18 May 2007

Expectations for Continuing Education Events

Yesterday around 2:30 me and a buddy headed down I-95 to New Haven to attend the Faith as a Way of Life National Pastoral Leaders Conference. The registration material asked that we get there by 5:00pm for the reception. Traffic on 95, however, had other ideas. We did make it to the Ivy League campus in time, registered then made our way to the Commons Room on the Divinity School Campus. (This room by the way has the best acoustics I have ever experienced in my life) We walked into the room and saw about 6 people, a table of light food and the all important drink table with three varieties of beer.

Being an introvert I looked at people and tried to imagine what they were doing here and why. After a few moments of sitting with my friend the extroverts began to find us. Why is it that 'they' think I need someone to talk to?

After three rounds of conversing with extroverts the conference began. Miroslav Volf was the evening's keynoter and the main reason I went. I have never heard him nor really read anything by him so I reckoned a trip to hear him was well worth it.

Volf's speech was okay, not ground breaking or earth shattering. After his speech there was the usual question and answering (read, folk trying to sound intelligent while most of the time dont make much sense). After the q&a I went up to Volf and to tell him that in person he is much bigger than in book form. He shook my hand, thanked me and that was that. (I believe he is about 6'2" easily.

Now on the topic at hand: Continuing Ed Event. I believe that Yale event was a good one on the planing side:good speakers, good workshops, and I suppose good music (we left Thursday night and didnt go back). Like most events the majority of folk are either in their fifties or they are 2nd careerers, or mesmerized with their own Episcopalian essence.

I would like an event such as the one planned at Yale but with a precondition that the clergy have to be under 40 and that only clergy can attend. I know that sounds a bit pretentious but I think it is vital and sound.

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