The Congregation & Public Witness:
Prophetic Responses to Neo-liberal Salvation
2nd Annual Pastoral Leadership Conference
October 19-20, 2012 at Church of All Nations
4301 Benjamin St. NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Why this conference?
Opportunity, prosperity, freedom are the virtues that define the American way of life in the popular imagination. But these virtues have become empty rhetoric for the vast majority, a false religion designed to entrench the power of corporations in collusion with government. The electorate becomes disenfranchised and our communities more fragmented. American neo-liberalism has been pushed here at home and across the globe as not only the most practically workable political and economic framework, but an ideology that rivals religion in its claim to lead people to earthly salvation.
Individuals are desperate for a way out of the systems that reduce them to commodified bodies, yet insufficient understanding of these systems among Christian leaders makes it difficult to distinguish the kingdom of God from the ways of empire. We believe that the congregation has a compelling role as counterwitness to this American salvation.
The call of the Christian congregation is to embrace its distinct minority presence before the larger “powers and principalities,” that we may become a healing and prophetic witness of genuine salvation through our very way of life together. This conference aims to equip Christian leaders to discern the times and to reimagine together alternative visions for life-giving community.
We invite pastors, theologians, seminarians, community activists, congregational leaders and young adults to dialogue about our era of American neo-liberal salvation.
What we’ll talk about:
Surveying the development of neo-liberalism (the political and economic ideology of the US), including the sense of historical inevitability and civilizational supremacy undergirding it since the end of the Cold War.
The decline of social capital and community building, and the consequences of a distracted and depoliticized public.
The psychological and relational consequences of neo-liberalism, which emphasizes radical individualism, freedom of choice, consumerism, and competition to climb the social ladder.
Stories of local congregations and communities that have dared to imagine alternative forms of social and economic organization, along with their learnings on the journey.
Biblical, historical, and theological resources for an alternative social and political vision, which restores the crucial role of the local congregation in human flourishing.
Friday Oct 19
2-5pm Registration (and informal conversations)
7:00 Welcome & introductions by Jin S. Kim & John Nelson
8:00 Plenary I: “Betrayed by a Kiss: The American Church & Empire” by
Charles Amjad-Ali (followed by Q&A)
Saturday Oct 20
9:00 Worship and Word: Sermon by Hikari Nakane & Testimony by
10:00 Plenary II: “The unKingdom of God: Nurturing Radical Communities”
by Mark Van Steenwyk (followed by Q&A)
11:45 Announcements (workshop descriptions)
12:00pm Lunch at CAN
3:00 Plenary III: “Prophetic Responses to American Neo-liberal Salvation,”
panel discussion with Charles Amjad-Ali, Doran Schrantz, Mark Van Steenwyk, & Jin S. Kim.
4:30 Prayers of the People
5:00 End of conference
5:30 Dinner at CAN for those staying through Sunday
7:00 Dessert reception at Pastor Jin’s house
(Optional) Sunday Oct 21
10:00am Worship at Church of All Nations
2:00 Rides to airport
Date and Location
The conference will be held at Church of All Nations (www.cando.org), 4301 Benjamin St. NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421, from Friday October 19 at 5:00pm to Saturday October 20 at 5:00pm. There will be additional activities Saturday night for those who would like to stay, and do join us for our 10am worship service on Sunday October 16 with free lunch following. More information about our church, staff and internship program can be found at newchurchrising.org.
Those flying should book flights to the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) airport, approximately a 25 minute drive from Church of All Nations (CAN). We can provide transportation to and from the airport if you request in advance.
If you are driving, directions and maps to CAN are available at: http://www.cando.org/main/location.asp.
Attendees can reserve hotel rooms at a special discounted rate at the Days Inn (2550 N Cleveland Ave, Roseville, MN 55113, (651) 636-6730; $61/night if booked by Oct. 1); or Country Inn and Suites (2905 North Snelling Ave., Roseville, MN 55113, (651) 628-3500, $112/night) in Roseville, MN; both just four miles from CAN. Let the hotels know you are with Church of All Nations when booking. Shuttles will be available to and from the conference for those staying at these hotels.
The conference fee, including Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch & dinner, is $50 early-bird rate if registering by Sept. 12, and $60 regular rate if by Oct. 12 (walk-on registrants welcome at $35 per day fee). Make check payable to “Church of All Nations.”
Download Conference Agenda & Registration Form here