Okay, I’ll admit it: it was pretty cool to walk into Borders, flip open a national news magazine, and have my daughter point to a photo and say, “Mommy, Daddy, Dee!”. Our little fly-by of (minor, temporary) fame is making me smile.
Not that the whole thing wasn’t quite stressful (though in an understated way). I found the writer, Jay Tolson, to be informed, exceedingly intelligent, genial, and wonderfully curious about all aspects of our church, and of others groups like it. I was guarded at first, until it was clear that he realized that emergence is something much larger than Emergent or Christianity or even religion– it is happening everywhere. Jay was talking about Non-Newtonian physics, Open Source, Chaos Theory, self-organizing systems, and non-hierarchical organizations, and once I realized that he ‘got us’, I relaxed– probably more than I should have– and rambled pretty freely. Which was scary, as I reflected and recollected later, as I’m sure there was a lot that I said which could be wrest from context and held against our church. If lightning strikes again, I’ll have to be more media-savvy: to use a combination of stories and sound-bites to clearly describe what we are, and what we’re not. Which is tough, since there’s a whole lot that we are, and a whole lot that we aren’t.
It is difficult, of course, to see a long labor of great love by many people reduced to a few words, and to see some quotes stripped of context and nuance. It is hard to see a bit of cynicism applied to something so beloved, so alive. But it was an honor to be featured, and a compliment to be understood for what we are.