Back in 2007, many of us Presbyterians were starting to get more and more involved in the Emergent conversation. The question of how to incorporate the Emergent conversation into our Presbyterian ministry contexts became extremely relevant to many of us; thus, the formation of Presbymergent.
We worked with some folks and hosted a conference at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, participated in the Mainline Emergent/s conversation at Columbia Theological Seminary, started hosting Presbymergent gatherings at PC(USA) events and formed a Coordinating Group of Presbyterian pastors and lay people interested in the conversation.
In February of 2009, 30+ Presbyterians gathered in Louisville for a conversation about Presbymergent. I was just looking through a few videos I had taken at the event, and saw how many cool people were in the room together for those couple days, some of which were: Troy Bronsink, John Vest, Landon Whitsitt, Chad Herring, Ryan Kemp-Pappan, Neal Locke, Nanette Sawyer, Carol Howard Merritt, Jud Hendrix, Jan Edmiston, Erik Ledermann, Seth Thomas, Karen Sloan, Jenny Warner and many others.
Unfortunately, shortly after that gathering, it seemed like everyone involved in Presbymergent found their energies going elsewhere.
We’ve kept the website up, and maintained our Facebook & Twitter presence (though, not actively). But I’ve often wondered if Presbymergent still has a voice in this conversation about the future of the church. I think there are other groups now, most notably the NEXTChurch folks, who have been active in conversations about the future of the church. I think part of that comes with the financial support the folks involved have been able to get, which is helpful for bringing people together for the national conversations.
And yet…I’ve continued to hear about Presbyterians who, when they hear about or first get exposed to the Emergent conversation, often ask, “Where are the Presbyterians who are engaging with these ideas?” For those of you who have gone through this process, you know it only takes one Brian McLaren book to screw you up.
So, here’s my question. What role does Presbymergent have in the larger Emergent conversation? What about in the larger PC(USA) conversation about the future of the church? What do you think?