What Is Emerging?

19 04 2010

Thanks, Julie Clawson for asking folks to synchroblog on the question: “What is emering?”  Here are a few of my thoughts.

If Phyllis Tickle is right in The Great Emergence, then emergence is something that describes broad cultural changes that might be global in reach, but has many very particular expressions. Capital “E” “Emergent,” as Shane Claiborne described last week in his Sojo post, is the Emergent brand, which may have little or nothing to do with the particular expressions of emergence around the world.

When I created my godpots.com website, I was hoping to create a space for particular expressions to be voiced. I described my hopeful vision this way:
“Godpots is intended to be a place of hospitality, a place of open conversation, a place to consider new ideas and reflect on actions that may reveal a more whole and holy way to live with one another and with the world. The name reflects creation as vessels for the Creator’s spirit – our usefulness, our fragility, our center being filled by the divine being. It is a place to reveal the heart, the struggle, the hope we have. I believe the world as humanity has shaped it is not how G-d intended it to be. I believe we have and are broken vessels, but G-d, as a potter, never let’s resources go to waste. Every scrap of clay can be reclaimed. Every drop of water can slag down the mistakes. Every shard can be ground and reused as grit that will strengthen the next batch of clay. I believe G-d can redeem even our most shattered realities.
“Therefore, I also believe that we have deep ethical responsibility to redress our wrongs, clean up our messes, apologize for the hurts we’ve caused and make right our injustices. We are responsible for reconciling our relationships with one another and creation as far as we can, unless doing so would cause further harm. This means we must be open to hearing from others how we have injured them – even if we didn’t intend to do so. It means acknowledging someone else’s experience – even if we don’t share it. It means we must bear another’s burdens and tend their wounds – even when doing so might seem more than we can. To say it is too hard to hear someone else’s terrifying story is to admit cowardice to imagine what another, a sister or brother, has already lived through, or did not survive. It is our ethical responsibility to listen. It is our responsibility to accompany. It is our responsibility to reconcile. Through care-filled attention to our relationships – we begin to experience the redemption that is a holy gift. Welcome! Share your questions, thoughts, experiences – your journey. Peace.”

The reality of maintaining an active site/blog has given way to the easy connections of Facebook and Twitter, but the vision still gives me hope. I see amazingly faithful particular expressions everywhere, as well as resistance and rejection of some of those expressions by faithful people. It is my hope that we can listen to one another well enough and long enough that we begin to love one another more than we love our own ideas, theologies, denominations, traditions, politics and cultures.

I believe emergence is happening in churches, temples, mosques. I believe emergence is happening in faith, in medicine, in education, in industry, in politics and in art. I believe emergence is happening in our personal lives, in families, in countries and cultures. I believe emergence describes how so many aspects of our lives are shifting as a result of changes in information flow, how we gather and filter information, how we attribute authority to the sources of such information and how we are shaped in our relationships as a result.

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10 responses

19 04 2010
What is Emerging? | onehandclapping

[…] grateful for emerging globalized Christianity. Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. Mike Clawson reflects on the non-western voices that brought him to the emerging conversation. […]

19 04 2010
Emerging Women » Blog Archive » What is Emerging?

[…] grateful for emerging globalized Christianity. Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. Mike Clawson reflects on the non-western voices that brought him to the emerging conversation. […]

19 04 2010
My Swarm Theory « The Agnostic Pentecostal

[…] grateful for emerging globalized Christianity. Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. Mike Clawson reflects on the non-western voices that brought him to the emerging conversation. […]

20 04 2010
Neverending Conversion « first day walking

[…] grateful for emerging globalized Christianity. Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. Mike Clawson reflects on the non-western voices that brought him to the emerging conversation. […]

20 04 2010
“we may look like losers” « the carnival in my head

[…] Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. […]

20 04 2010
Especially made for you… « Girl Reupholstered

[…] Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. […]

20 04 2010
Synchroblog on What is Emerging « Godspace

[…] grateful for emerging globalized Christianity. Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. Mike Clawson reflects on the non-western voices that brought him to the emerging conversation. […]

20 04 2010
godpots

Here are other participants in the “What is emerging?” synchroblog:
Pam Hogeweide compares the emerging church movement to a game of ping pong.
Sarah-Ji comments that the emerging questions people are asking are far bigger than any defined movement.
Sharon Brown writes about using labels as an excuse.
Peter Walker reflects on how the emerging church conversation helped him recognize his power and privlege as a white male.
Dave Huth posts a on new ways to talk about religion.
Kathy Escobar finds hope in seeing a spirit of love in action emerging in the church.
Nadia Bolz-Weber reflects on the the beautiful things she sees emerging in her church community.
Chad Holtz writes on our Our Emerging Jewishness.
Julie Kennedy describes her organic entry into the emerging church and reflects on moving forward with a new public face.
Dave Brown comments on the emerging church and swarm theory.
Danielle Shroyer reflects on what is emerging in the church.
Brian Merritt offers his pros and cons of the emerging church.
Julie Clawson is grateful for emerging globalized Christianity.
Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities.
Mike Clawson reflects on the non-western voices that brought him to the emerging conversation.
Jake Bouma suggest that what is emerging is a collapse into simplicity.
Liz Dyer believes a chastened epistemology is a valuable characteristic emerging out of the church today.
Rachel Held Evans writes on what is changing in the church.
Tia Lynn Lecorchick describes the emerging movement as a wood between worlds (from The Magician’s Nephew).
Amy Moffitt shares her journey towards a theology of humility.
Travis Mamone comments on the need for the emerging church to rely on the word of God.
Sa Say reflects on the the prick of doubt.
David Henson lists what he sees as what is emerging in the church.
Angela Harms writes in in defense of emergent.
Wendy Gritter asks how we can listening to the voices from the margins.
Bruce Epperly comments on the largeness of spirit of emerging spirituality.
Linda Jamentz reflects on listening to the voices from the margins in church.
Lisa Bain Carlton hopes that our emerging conversation can respond humbly to our moment in time.
Christine Sine asks how far are we willing to be transformed.
Lori Allen Wilson reflects on what is emerging in the younger generations.
Cynthia Norris Clack sees love emerging in the church.
Bob Fisher lists the values emerging in his faith community
Mihee Kim-Kort writes of the conversions and conversations she sees around her.

20 04 2010
An Emerging Introspection Round-up - Ryan Rodrick Beiler - God's Politics Blog

[…] Susan Philips on knowing when to use a capital “E”: If Phyllis Tickle is right in The Great […]

19 11 2013
What is Emerging in the Church? – April 2010 | synchroblog

[…] Susan Philips points out that emergence happens as G-d redeems our shattered realities. […]

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