Skip to content

Reflections on RC’s Streaming Conference

2012 June 21
by Mike

Just back from a few days at Rochester College’s Streaming conference. It was fantastic, and I hope many of you get to go in the future. Here’s part of what I loved:

1) It was at Rochester College. Since RC is located in a suburb of Detroit (translation: NOT in the Bible belt!), it’s off the radar for many people. But this is a great little Christian school. Under the four years of Rubel Shelly’s presidency (and under the leadership of Provost John Barton), the school has gotten on track financially and has charted some interesting territory in academics. This school has some amazing teachers and programs. For example, if you’re wanting to do some graduate work in theology and missiology, check out this Master’s program in missional leadership.

2) It was thought-provoking. The interdisciplinary study—with Walter Brueggemann and Richard Beck as the resource teachers—was fascinating. Imagine a lively discussion about Richard’s book Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality with the insights of Brueggemann’s theological framework.

3) It was emotional. Not see-how-many-tears-we-can-bring emotional. But the stirring testimony of Ryan and Jessica Woods filled the room with faith and, well, deep emotion. As Ryan and Jessica served us communion in the final hour of the conference (along with Richard and Jana Beck), there weren’t many dry eyes. Likewise, the singing—sometimes a cappella and sometimes instrumental (led by Caryl and Scott Parker)—was stirring. Especially when combined with the painting of Ro Diaz.

4) It was hopeful. From the Woods’ testimony to Greg Stevenson’s “Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee” to Brueggemann’s insistence in the divine activity of God, it pricked the imagination.

At the ballpark with Rubel and Walter. We saw the Cardinals lose to Verlander.

5) It was egalitarian. And it was egalitarian without having to point out, “Hey, look, we’re egalitarian.” It just was. I gave the opening sermon. Sara Barton gave the closing sermon. It just happened.

6) It was ecumenical. Yes, most of us are from Churches of Christ. But there was a wide variety represented. Brueggemann is from the United Church of Christ. (Insert your own joke here.) One panel included a (female) Episcopal priest, a (female) Presbyterian minister, and a Disciples pastor. Like Rochester College, the conference recognized and honored the heritage that most shared—while also appreciating God’s work among other tribes.

Thank you, Mark Love, for your vision and your leadership in this conference. I came away encouraged and strengthened.

65 Responses leave one →
  1. June 26, 2012

    Last comment on this thread, I promise.

    Someone back in the day said of newspapers’ editors that lack of good judgment could be forgiven, but not a lack of courage. Is it too much to ask that institutes of higher learning be held to at least the same standard?

  2. annie permalink
    June 26, 2012

    Lovely words from Sara about the Streaming conference…

  3. Chris permalink
    June 26, 2012

    It’s disturbing that anyone would want to invite Obama rather than Ann Coulter. The former is trying his best to bring down the country. He refuses to enforce the laws which he took an oath to uphold and dozens of other things, as brilliantly outlined in “The Great Destroyer” by David Limbaugh. Ann is not only right on, she’s funny and easy on the eyes.

  4. Inside Job permalink
    June 27, 2012

    Dropped by not knowing I’d get my morning chuckle. Did someone just lecture Mike Cope on how HU shouldn’t uninvite someone? Hee-hee. Are we now going to lecture Mark Elrod about how political opinions should be covered by free speech (whether from right or left)?

    I’m a registered Republican who’s glad Coulter didn’t come. (I didn’t realize, Chris, the Christian value in her being “easy on the eyes.” But we women get touchy about that.) I’m sad that Mike hasn’t spoken here in twenty years. All because of one veto vote.

  5. Inside Job permalink
    June 27, 2012

    Thought I was done, but I’m back.

    Chris, please don’t say things like that. It’s foolish and divisive. Make intelligent arguments. President Obama isn’t trying to bring down the country. He’s carrying out one vision—shared by many Americans—of how to have a country with liberty and justice for all.

    I disagree with him and plan to vote for Gov Romney (despite my belief that Obamacare really is a carrying out of Romney’s plan).

    But is he trying to bring down the country? No.

  6. robin permalink
    June 27, 2012

    This reminds me of the old gossip game. Someone starts a conversation and whispers it to the next person. It goes all the way around that way to the last person. What the final person hears is rarely related to what the first person said.

    By reading the last 25 comments, I’d never have a clue what the post was about.

    But thanks for the original post. Would love to go sometime.

  7. June 27, 2012

    Robin, you’re right. Comment threads have a life of their own.

    qb – No limits from me. Keep posting. You always make me think.

    Richard – I feel the clock ticking on your 2-week warning. I’ve written the post. I’m waiting on a copyright permission to come back for a photo I want to include from flickr. I’d love for you to respond afterward. I tried not to cover everything in the post since it’s going to become a chapter for the book. At first I was excited to have a chapter in a book that includes new material from Brueggemann. Now I’m just glad to be included with you, because as Walter said, “Richard is just so . . . ” Peace.

  8. June 27, 2012

    Walter needs to stay away from the kool-aid.

    FYI, take your time. My Streaming posts are coming out next week and I’ve left your stuff for you to do. I’m not stealing your thunder! Looking forward to your post. And your chapter.

  9. June 27, 2012

    Well, I’ve had a bit of that kool-aid, too.

  10. Chris permalink
    June 27, 2012

    Obama is out of control. He picks and chooses what laws he wants to obey. Obamacare will bankrupt the country. Let’s hope it goes down in flames. His spending is making us another Greece. His wife takes 40 friends on a European vacation and spends millions.Obama spends most of his time playing golf and fundraising. Perhaps he can do less harm that way. He seems to think more of the Muslum world than our true friends, such as Israel. He’s so full of himself that he wants us to send money to him instead of buying gifts for friends and family. Nuff said .

  11. james permalink
    June 27, 2012

    Mike – Don’t feel bad about not speaking at Harding. If I’m not mistaken, this year’s lectureship is using only Harding people for the keynote speakers: It’s getting harder and harder to trust others!

  12. June 27, 2012

    James – I don’t feel bad about not speaking at Harding. When I think of Harding, I think of Cliff Ganus, Neale Pryor, Tom Eddins, Jerry Jones, Jimmy Allen, Dean Priest, Virgil Lawyer, Ray Muncy, Bob Helstein, etc. My life was blessed beyond measure by them. Harding has plenty of grads to draw from. They hardly need my help. In addition, who wouldn’t want to hear Monte Cox on opening night?

  13. June 27, 2012

    See, Mike, that’s just it. You make it really hard to criticize you because you’re so d@mnably kind and generous to people.

    LOL and carry on with YHWH’s blessings,


  14. gregg permalink
    June 27, 2012

    I thought that was a joke. But it’s not. All the speakers at the Harding lectureship are Harding professors (plus a former president).

  15. S Thomesen permalink
    August 5, 2012

    I got so caught up in all the comments that I almost forgot what I wanted to say! Comments can develop a life of their own.

    Thanks for the link to Ryan and Jessica….a wonderful read!

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS