Ok, I’m back at home now and am able to post about my weekend.
On friday, I met Carlos and Sarah, and other friends from Mosaic Way in Holland to ride over to Chicago. We went to the “Everything Must Change” tour with Brian Mclaren. The reason the posts title has (childcare) in it is because this is what the church sign read all weekend. Which made me wonder if normal people walking/driving by would wonder what needed to be changed so desperately in child care. But I digress.
We first went to our hotel to check in which was about 10 miles from the church. We arrived and we’re immediately greeted by a thick musty cigarette smell. We walked up to the counter only to be told that the three rooms that they booked online we in fact smoking rooms, which was a “no go” with having two pregnant mom’s with us. Then, I had them check my reservation only to discover that they had not entered it into their database. So, a friend called and got us some rooms at the Sheratan Suites in Elk Grove! A big improvement to say the least!
We then stopped into to Popeye’s Chicken for dinner. I’d never eaten there before and found it pretty yummy. We drove down to the church, which we had to call in to my dear friend Denise for some help w/ directions. It was held at the First United Church of Oak Park. This is a classic, gothic-style church that houses two communities in one. There’s a Presbyterian and a United Church of Christ church that meet there. We were about an hour early, so we registered (and got some free eco-friendly light bulbs!) and made our way in. Since we were so early, some of our friends walked down to Starbucks and grabbed some coffee for us. I connected with Brian before everything got started and we had a nice time catching up.
The event kicked off with some introductions, and music (which was all written by Brian – go look for his album from the 1970’s). We then saw a video from the Sierra Club about mountain top removal in the Appalachia’s. Brian spoke on the suicide-machine that is our socio-economic situation and how we’ve built this system that can not last. It was a great review of the first part of his book. There was several chances to randomly choose a few people to talk with in order to respond to what was being taught. I met a really nice old man from the host-church. He was wearing a P-Flag pin on his shirt and we talked about a world where all people were offered rights. He said they have a saying in P-Flag which is: “If only gays and lesbians had civil rights, you’d want them too.”
After the first evening, we headed out to Elk Grove and found our hotel. Then, I quickly grabbed a shower and went to bed. We woke up and left by 6:30am in order to grab some breakfast and attend a “cohort leader/church planter” breakfast w/ Brian – which was attended by almost half the crowd, apparently the message about it being a ‘cohort and church planter’ breakfast didn’t really get out. It was a pretty good round table, but I left it early as I needed to check my emails. Then, we had our morning session and got to hear from Tommy who’s with “Just Coffee” (see my link under Justice). He told how they started the co-op and explained that while fair trade is a great step, he doesn’t believe that it is truly enough. So, he helped launch this co-op coffee farm in Chiapas Mexico where they grow, pick and roast the beans. This is different from fair-trade in that they aren’t just picking the beans and sending them to America to be roasted and then sold for $10 a pound, reducing what the farmers make. With “Just Coffee” the workers actually keep about 2 bucks a pound, and are now able to offer their workers health insurance!!
Anyway, Brian talked about which Jesus we are following. He began by talking about “Talledaga Nights” and how Will Ferrall would pray to “sweet baby jesus” and how they talked about their fav versions of Jesus. He then talked about trying to follow the Jesus presented in the Bible. We then had a lunch where I went a visited with some other cohort people, and by then I was hitting my physical wall. I pretty much stayed out in the foyer on a nice couch listening to the sessions while resting and working on a paper for school.
We left the church at 4:30pm and headed about three blocks to the local “Girodono’s Pizza” place. We had some AMAZING chicago pizza and then drove home. After getting dropped off in Holland again, and driving home to Ionia, I was able to get in bed after midnight. I slept until 11am this morning, and continue to ache! It was worth it though.
Today, we headed over to Okemos and had lunch with our friends the Kingsbury’s and then stopped in briefly to my mom’s place. Then, over to Enoch’s Path where we watched “The Mission” together. I never get sick of that movie. It was really well timed as I just got back from speaking about the churches past, it’s lack of environmental and social concern (for the most part). Anyway, I’m back home and am prepping for a week with the girls who are on Spring Break!