Consumerism, Secularism, and the Nature of Church

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I've just finished 2.5 days of teaching at George Fox Seminary, a module on the nature and purpose of Church, for the Masters of Arts in Missional Leadership (MAML). I'll post my notes, power-points and bibliographies later. Meantime some highlights.

Students Again I was struck by the quality of the students. Bright, thoughtful church leaders, so open and engaging, and a privilege to teach and interact with.

Blogs & Twitter

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We had a great time in class using twitter and group tweet, to facilitate Q&A, and interact during the teaching with tweets to resources, articles, blogs and related discussions. It added a whole extra layer to the participations.

In particular Elizabeth Chapin, resourced us all so much with Twitter, and she has as great blog. Seriously if your looking for new blog to read, take a trip to hers here.

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Talking of blogs, Petey Crowder entertained us from another classroom with his great tweets, and that reminds me you must check out his blog too, he's an great blogger. Then there was Joshua Rhone, who tweeted me so prolifically during the teaching times, that I wish I could employ him as a research assistant. He's destined to do a PhD and teach at a great university.

Apple Then I got my pilgrimage to the Apple Store, and I'm gutted that I'll be leaving just before the big announcements due on tuesday from Apple.

Radio I love NPR radio in the US, in particular I spent my car journeys listening to OPB radio, listened to some superb education segments that explained the mechanics of the current credit crunch crises, and a great peace on the current noble prize awards. It makes a great BBC Radio 4 substitute.

Flip Video

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I've discovered and been using the Flip Ultra Video on this trip. It's allowed me to enter another aspect of social media, and connect with my kids back home in new ways. This device is so simple and amazing at what it does.

Faculty and Staff Again a time to meet staff and faculty I already know, and some new people, and appreciate the depth and quality of the people that make George Fox such a great place.

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MaryKate Morse, who heads up the MAML and was my D.Min dissertation supervisor, and her husband Randy, have hosted me, and taken such great care of me. MaryKate has a book on leadership due out in December 2008, that is a must read. Titled, 'Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence', it's about the physicality of Leadership.

I got to have breakfast at the cool Beveland Coffee House. Cliff is helping develop the new Global Missional Leadership D.Min program George Fox have asked me to lead.

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Trey Doty, who is now the Director Seminary Development at GFU, has become a new friend and I wish he lived nearer to me, so we could meet up more often.

He took me to the most amazing deli, Kenny and Zukes for lunch, with the biggest club sandwich I have ever had, and failed to be able to completely eat. He is also the sharpest dressed man I have ever met. But he was left coveting my Ted Baker iPhone cover.

Then there was pizza lunch and reunion with the crazy MAML 2007 class I taught last year, who tell me they are reading and lurking here. Thank you guys for your graciousness, welcome and encouragement on site this week. But you really need to get a Facebook Group like the MAML 2008 group have, so I can keep track of what you are all up to.

And dinner at a cool Italian restaurant with Alan Hirsch, and the chance to catch up with him after 5 years since last meeting in person, despite email contact over the years.

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At that same meal I got to meet A J Swoboda, full time pastor, part time PhD student in the UK, who is crazy extrovert, and genius, who teaches as an adjunct at George Fox. I'm looking forward to him visiting in June next year in London.

And Darla Samuelson and her husband Rick, were there. Darla administrates the MAML program. Turns out she is also a keen runner, and she regaled me with stories of some of the great runs available in Oregon.

Then a lunch with Kelly Cohoe, my teaching assistant, who is one of kindest most gracious human beings I have ever met. And at that lunch was John Reiger, an inspirational and thoughtful anabaptist student from the MAML 07 program, and his friend and student, anther gentle thoughtful tall guy anabaptis, Vaughn Jost.

Running So I will take a long run (to work off all these meals!) tommorow, then meet with the Dean of the Seminary, Chuck Conniry to plan the new D.Min further, before getting on a plane home. Chuck is one of the reasons I decided to do my D.Min at George Fox, back in 2003. He's going to be in the UK and traveling with me in November, and I can't wait to introduce him to my friends back home.

So all in all a rich, stretching, and memory making time.