Innovative Clergy to Discuss Worship, Social Justice, Community-Building
LOS ANGELES, CA-- Synagogue 3000 (S3K) and Emergent will host a groundbreaking meeting to connect pioneering Jewish and Christian leaders from dynamic and innovative congregations on January 16-17, 2006, at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, CA.
In their first-ever formal gathering, emerging leaders from across America will share experiences and exchange ideas about reinventing the meaning and practice of community in their respective faith traditions, especially for unaffiliated Christians and Jews who are not attracted to conventional congregations. A debate with leading clergy in mainstream synagogues will explore the relationship between the congregational establishment and emerging groups. Internationally respected experts on religion and generational change Wade Clark Roof, Steven M. Cohen, and Ryan Bolger will lead a provocative panel discussion.
Prominent Emergent Christian theologian Brian McLaren has met with S3K three times to discuss recent trends among younger Christians and Jews. "We have so much common ground on so many levels," he noted. "We face similar problems in the present, we have common hopes for the future, and we draw from shared resources in our heritage. I'm thrilled with the possibility of developing friendship and collaboration in ways that help God's dreams come true for our synagogues, churches, and world."
S3K Senior Fellow Lawrence A. Hoffman stressed the importance of building committed religious identities through conversation across faith lines. "We inhabit an epic moment," he said, "nothing short of a genuine spiritual awakening. It offers us an opportunity unique to all of human history: a chance for Jews and Christians to do God's work together, not just locally, but nationally, community by community, in shared witness to our two respective faiths."
The meeting has historic possibilities, observed Emergent-U.S. National Coordinator Tony Jones. "As emerging Christian leaders have been pushing through the polarities of left and right in an effort to find a new, third way, we've been desperate to find partners for that quest," he said. "It's with great joy and promise that we partner with the leaders of S3K to talk about the future and God's Kingdom." S3K Director of Research Shawn Landres concurred. "We hope to learn from their experiences and also to build bridges by engaging and challenging one another,” he said.
Synagogue 3000 (http://www.synagogue3000.org) empowers congregations to create sacred communities that are compelling moral and spiritual centers of Jewish life. The S3K Leadership Network includes working groups on Spiritual Leadership and on Emergent Sacred Communities. A synagogue studies institute is in development.
Emergent (http://www.emergentvillage.com) gathers reflective practitioners and engaged scholars for conversation and missional action around the issues of Christian theology, practice, spirituality, justice and church life. The network developed in the 1990s and includes a wide range of Christian leaders from progressive evangelical, mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic backgrounds.
ATLANTA--Rev. Troy Bronsink
BOSTON--Margie Klein, Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
CHICAGO--Rabbi Menachem Cohen, Rev. Nanette Sawyer
DENVER--Rabbi Daniel Alter
KANSAS CITY (MO)-- Rev. Tim Keel
LOS ANGELES—Rabbi Sharon Brous, Shawn Landres, Rev. Rebecca ver Straten-McSparran
MINNEAPOLIS-- Rev. Tony Jones, Rev. Doug Pagitt
NEW YORK--Julia Andelman, Rabbi Andy Bachman, Rabbi Shir-Yaakov Feinstein-Feit, Amichai Lau-Lavie, Rabbi Shoshana Leis
PHILADELPHIA-- Rev. Scott Collins-Jones, Lauren Grabelle Hermann
SAN FRANCISCO area-- Rev. Dieter Zander
SEATTLE-- Dr. Dwight Friesen, Rabbi Dov Gartenberg
WASHINGTON DC area--Rev. Heather Kirk-Davidoff
Dr. Ryan Bolger, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena (CA)
Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Hebrew Union College, New York
Dr. Wade Clark Roof, University of California, Santa Barbara
Shawn Landres (Synagogue 3000)
Tony Jones (Emergent)