“The Congregation and Public Witness: Prophetic Responses to American
Salvation,” October 19-20, 2012
Church of of All Nations will be hosting our 2nd annual conference on pastoral leadership from October 19-20 titled, “The Congregation and Public Witness: Prophetic Responses to American Salvation.” The conference will begin 5:00pm Friday and conclude 5:00pm Saturday, with additional conversations and activities through Sunday for those who would like to stay and worship with us. The conference description is below, while the speakers, schedule, travel and lodging, registration information, and additional resources will continue to be updated on this site. Please contact me at email@example.com if you have further questions or would like to register.
Why this conference?
Opportunity, prosperity, freedom are the virtues that define the American way of life in the popular imagination. But these virtues have become empty rhetoric for the vast majority, a false religion designed to entrench the power of corporations in collusion with government. The electorate becomes disenfranchised and our communities more fragmented. American neo-liberalism has been pushed here at home and across the globe as not only the most practically workable political and economic framework, but an ideology that rivals religion in its claim to lead people to earthly salvation.
Individuals are desperate for a way out of the systems that reduce them to commodified bodies, yet insufficient understanding of these systems among Christian leaders makes it difficult to distinguish the kingdom of God from the ways of empire. We believe that the congregation has a compelling role as counterwitness to this American salvation.
The call of the Christian congregation is to embrace its distinct minority presence before the larger “powers and principalities,” that we may become a healing and prophetic witness of genuine salvation through our very way of life together. This conference aims to equip Christian leaders to discern the times and to reimagine together alternative visions for life-giving community.
We invite pastors, theologians, seminarians, community activists, congregational leaders and young adults to dialogue about our era of American neo-liberal salvation.
What we’ll talk about:
1. How did we get here? Surveying the development of neo-liberalism (the political and economic ideology of the US), including the sense of historical inevitability and civilizational supremacy undergirding it since the end of the Cold War.
2. What’s going on? The decline of social capital and community building, and the consequences of a distracted and depoliticized public.
3. What’s at stake? The psychological and relational consequences of neo-liberalism, which emphasizes radical individualism, freedom of choice, consumerism, and competition to climb the social ladder.
4. What can we share? Stories of local congregations and communities that have dared to imagine alternative forms of social and economic organization, along with their learnings on the journey.
5. What we can we take with us? Biblical, historical, and theological resources for an alternative social and political vision, which restores the crucial role of the local congregation in human flourishing.