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Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Five: Big Event Topics

We're on our way! 37 participants will join our presenter, the Rev. Carol Howard Merritt on Carnival Inspiration, departing this Saturday for a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Carol will lead us through a study of her book, Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation.

But even though we're just packing our bags, we're already thinking about next year's cruise and envisioning future topics and presenters. Let's use this Friday Five as a survey of the ring. Please share five topics and/or presenters you might like to see for future Big Events.

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For a complete how-to, click here. I'll be on my journey to Tampa, but will try to check in with you along the way.


  1. My vote-- a land-based event next year. Something with a smaller carbon footprint, please.

  2. I'm out of town visiting a seminary. I'd love to be at one of your gatherings and your hosts seem fascinating to me already.

    Of course I would probably find most beneficial right now just workshop format and the people who are on the cruise would be delivering the workshops...sorta ask the matriarch afloat. I'd just like to soak up as much wisdom as possible. ;-)

  3. I like angela's idea of "ask the matriarch afloat" but I also remember hearing that part of the costs of the event are funded by (to quote a very cool RevGal) The Church's One Foundation. That may mean a speaker is necessary.

    I don't have any immediate suggestions re: speaker/facilitator.

    I also agree with MaineCelt. I think it is short-sighted to think that the only way BE can happen is onboard a cruise. Surely there are other land based options. I think we need to at least consider a land based possibility. Otherwise, there are some who will never make the trip or experience the fun and fellowship of a BE.

    Personally, it would cost me at least $700 - $800 just to get as far as Tampa and back. That doesn't even include the cost of registration and accommodation for the event. An event held near a major airline hub (?Texas? Arizona? Washington DC?) would really help defray that cost.

    Also, I'm not sure I could sell a learning event on a cruise to my Board. Despite the speaker. And I most certainly can't afford it myself.

    Just my two cents.

  4. I totally agree with MaineCelt and Sue ... a more inclusive, less expensive land option would be wonderful ... maybe you cruisers could do your cruise and add another event that others could participate in

  5. We have just been too traveled out as a family by the time BEs roll around so we haven't participated yet (although Fellow Traveler says, "Go for it!" and is game to come along participate in the non-theological stuff). the event that a future BE converges with free time for thing I struggle with is nurturing a strong spiritual life at a time when church has become all about attracting and teaching the un- and underchurched...sometimes, frankly, I feel like I'm spiritually starving in this atmospere where we "low-need," supposedly, members are often left to fend for ourselves... and then I get the guilts for feeling that way. Anyway...workshops on designing a Rule of Life, on spiritual recharging, etc., would be helpful to me; maybe others.

  6. right now I'm not envisioning myself as able to come to a BE, so I don't feel in a position to offer opinions on program. I really like having Carol from Tribal Church/REframing Hope this year.

    And I know it's hard to be affordable. So this is not a critique in that way.

  7. I would love to have the opportunity to hear from Barbara Brown Taylor. Oooo, or Anne Lamott (now I'm probably just dreaming).

    Affordability is certainly a factor for me too; coming from the Great White North, flying anywhere is expensive. But I would consider the splurge if I felt the topic were something I could really use.

  8. I had another idea that I felt I ought to add: it would be really cool to have a very creatively-centered retreat type event. Perhaps with Jan from the Painted Prayerbook, or something similar?An opportunity to engage with and enter into the texts in a very different way (at least for me!).


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