CHRIST & CASCADIA GATHERING | APRIL 25, 2024
hosted by The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in central Seattle
in partnership with Inhabit Conference 2024
You’re invited to a relationship-forward event centered on questions specific to our place and time, designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas among Christ followers to explore, imagine, and create the future of Christianity in Cascadia.
The 2024 event is the re-imagined, reinstated annual gathering, and the first under The Seattle School’s stewardship. The bulk of this half-day event will consist of convened conversations over locally roasted coffee, and end with locally grown and fermented hops and grapes and (we hope) exchanges of contact information for ongoing support and connection of the Christian community in the region.
This event is for:
- Pastors, church planters, and leaders from the wide river of ecclesial traditions;
- Innovators and gatherers of spiritual communities that aren’t easily classified;
- Spiritually-led creatives in music, poetry, visual arts, and genre-bending mediums;
- Faith-motivated community developers, activists, and nonprofit workers;
- Academics, researchers, and writers in related fields;
- And you! This event is for you, however you practice your spirituality in place.
THIS YEAR’S GATHERING QUESTION:
WHAT IS DISTINCT ABOUT MINISTRY IN CASCADIA?
We have some hunches—our love of nature, the post-Christendom secularity, the fully justified distrust of religious institutions (not to name names). And we know that our counterparts in the central and eastern parts of the continent just don’t get it. Their resources are often unusable here, and even the best-intended conversations leave us feeling bewildered and isolated. So let’s get into it. What’s different here than in other regions? How do we understand ourselves—and how do we narrate those distinctives?
We authentically don’t know, and invite you to not know with us. At this event, there are no keynote speakers; there are no academics behind a podium reading you their philosophical theories of how to do ministry here; there are no subject matter experts with 3- or 5- or 12-step answers. Instead, there’s you: practicing Christians in daily ministry, as the experts of your own experience, coming together to discuss those shared experiences and your unique insights.
You are invited to submit your interest to convene a 60-to-90-minute conversation around a question. Follow the below link to a form where you’ll be asked your name and contact info, your question, and how you’ve engaged that question so far (such as in your practice of ministry, as an academic researcher, through art, etc.). You do not have to be a credentialed subject matter expert to convene a conversation on a question—just a curious person! Conveners have the option (not the requirement) to submit an article on their question leading up to or following the gathering.
Some examples of questions (these aren’t taken, just some brainstormed possibilities to spark your imagination):
- And It Was Good: How does the region’s love of nature shape our ministries?
- Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest: In a post-Christendom / secular context, what are people’s assumptions about Christians and Christianity?
- Church After Mars Hill: What is distinct about leading/being a congregation in a place so harmed by organized religion? What are most people’s experiences of Christian organizations?
- SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious): How might Christians connect with people who are interested in the divine but not our vocabulary of God?
- Ecclesial Tradition and Denominational Identity: What do pastors/priests/ministers/counterparts in other regions not understand about our context?