I’m going to be at Soularize this year; are you? Spencer Burke breaks down what’s going on each day…
DAY ONE– Developing Relationships (Old and New)
Our desire at Soularize is to build friendships that we can continue to develop throughout the years. This year we rented a “Private Island” for the first day, (Oct 25th 9-5). Here you can meet each other while you “bob” in the water, relax in a hammock, grab some bar-b-que at your leisure, snorkel, kayak or sit under a palm tree sharing stories and life together. After dinner we have a welcome reception in an art garden where you can reconnect before our first main meeting (the first drink’s on me). Soularize’s small setting (under 500 attendees) allows us to get to know each other including our evening speaker N.T. Wright. If there is one comment we hear over and again it is, “Soularize is the place I met so many of the people I had been hearing about and now I call them my friends…”
DAY TWO – Exploring The Future (Practical and Possible)
Have you ever listened to “Soularize in a Box”? Then you know what starts out as a workshop or lunch conversation at Soularize, becomes the books, people and practices everyone will be talking about in the future. This year’s theme is “Beyond Our Borders” and our international venue, allow us to engage with a wide variety of voices from Africa to South America, Europe and beyond. You won’t agree with everything you hear, but you can be aware of the emerging theories and voices that will influence our path ahead. Rita Nakashima Brock will open our morning session and our eyes to the issues our church and faith are facing today. Workshops include; Michael Dowd debuting his book “Thank God For Evolution”, Frank Viola will explore the possibilities of being the Church and Karen Ward will help us with GodSpotting. The afternoon creates a 4 hour space for hands on learning including an art tour, spiritual retreat, writers forum, theological round table or beach reclamation project. On day two we leave the night open for reflection, friends and the opportunities of the Caribbean.
DAY THREE – Collaborative Learning (Bahamas and Beyond)
Everyone comes to Soularize with something. It might be confusion, a book proposal, 5 years left till retirement, a research project or a dream about the Church… No matter what it is you don’t have to carry it alone. In our morning session Brennan Manning will remind us with his words and his life – we are in this together. During the day you can take advantage of the resources available to help you on your journey. Do you want to pitch your book idea? Go talk to an acquisitions editor. Are you stuck and nothing seems to make sense anymore? Experience a professionally facilitated Break Through session. Looking for a team build activity? Forget the ropes course and literally swimming with shark. We will be “wired” so you can get the opinion of those joining us from around the world through live web Interface with polling, chat, webcams and whiteboards. We will close the evening and the conference with Fr. Richard Rohr who has and continues to live out the Kingdom in collaboration. Over the next year, (with our new found friends, ideas and skills) we can use the web tools (we have developed during the event) and put Soularize into “praxis” in our own life context.
I hope you will consider joining me along with Becky Garrison, Jim Palmer, Dwight J. Friesen, Gareth Higgins, Will Samson, Karen M. Ward, Barry Taylor, Ian Mobsby, Jordon Cooper, Nicholas Fiedler, Ian Morgan Cron, Mark A. Scandrette, Kristyn Komarnicki, Michael Dowd and Ron Martoia in the Bahamas October 25-27, 2007.
Even if you can’t make it please let others know, I am surprised how many people tell “If i only knew, I wish I had heard about it before it was to late to go”.