I just completed two days of conversation and fellowship at the TransFORM East Coast Gathering in Washington DC. The conference was well organized and seemed to go very smoothly, which is good news for my friend, Steve Knight, who headed up the conference planning team. I thought the host site, Wesley Theological Seminary, was just perfect for the event. Even the weather was picture perfect.
As I expected, the conference provided much to think about, much that provoked, and much to question. I saw a lot of angst and frustration at work in many of the participants, much of it there for good reasons. I heard a lot of good questions, most of them very important. And yes, I saw some disturbing assumptions and some misguided thinking I would say is as simplistic as the wrong-headed modernistic certainty it is reacting against. But I also saw a lot of soul searching and a great deal of desire for finding and living a Christianity worth believing--one that engages real issues and makes a real difference in the lives of real people in the real world.
My favorite workshop leaders were: Samir Selmanovic (Learning to Love the Other in God, Self, and Society), Russell Rathbun (Sustainable Faith: Telling Stories that Compost), and Mark Van Steenwyk (Cultivating Liberated Spaces).
Of course, one of the best parts of any conference is the opportunity to meet and talk with people. I met a lot of new friends and had some great conversations. I was also able to renew friendships with some of my old CSF friends--Steve & Becky Knight (who worked at the conference), Josh Hunt, and Juan & Chloe Sole (who all live in the DC area).