Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Evolving Church Conference, 2006

Yesterday, I attended the conference organized by Epiphaniea Inc. This was my first time attending a Christian conference, so I really didn't know what to expect. It was held at the Tyndale University College and Seminary. Also in attendance were Muzpuppet, ChiquitaWonder and some other friends from ETCBC.

I got there at 8:20am and I had to join a long line up for registration. It went quite slow. I did not get my turn until about 9 o'clock. I have never waited that long for registration before at other conferences. Finally, I got my name tag, and there was this guy directing people up another set of stairs because the passage in front of us was congested with a 2nd group of ppl trying to register. So, I went up the other stairs, only to find out that I had to go back down to get my booklet and water. That was a big miscue for the guy who directed us up the 2nd flight of stairs.

When I went to get water, I bumped into CW. Later on, I sat in the chapel for the morning worship. After that, Peter Seay was the first speaker. He was very funny, very entertaining. Then it was the workshop, and mine was held in the cafe. It was noisy there because the kitchen people were cooking and banging their pans. The speaker, Donald Miller, was quite good. We just sat there and listened to him talk. He told many amusing stories, so that wasn't too bad.

Then came lunch and we had cold cut and tuna wraps. I also had some very good veggie sticks. The drinks, though, were TERRIBLE! I had never tasted such awful juice before in my life! Yuck, yuck, yuck! After lunch, was had the afternoon worship and then we listened to the second speaker, Donald Miller. He gave a pretty good talk, but again, it was all him. I was falling asleep, partly cause I had just ate a lunch.

After that was the afternoon workshop and we listened to B. Walsh, I was positively bored to death. This gentleman thought it would be a good idea to read to us for what felt like 20 mins. He read to us!!! And it was not even an interesting story, but a dissertation/essay of some boring sort. There was some interaction, like questions from the audience at the beginning, but he didn't address those questions in his lecture. I felt bad for those folks who asked those questions, but never really got any feedback from him for them. That was such poor preparation. Why did he ask questions of the audience if he was going to completely ignore them for the next 30 mins?

At the end of the day, the last speaker was Brian McLaren. He was a fantastic lecturer. He discussed some pretty complex ideas that I had never heard of, but I was able to follow what he was saying, and I even got his point. I won't repeat it here cause I would mess it up due to my ignorance on the matters he discussed. Trust me, he was great! After this lecture, we had cookies and then we left.

Overall, I would say that the conference was not organized that well because the registration took way too long. The lunch was good, very healthy. The choice of speakers was fine, I suppose. But, I think some of the speakers should have engaged the audience better. Don't call it a workshop unless you expect people to be engaged in some kind of practical exercise. Over all, it wasn't great. I learned a little bit, but if the entire day were full of workshops with McLaren, I think I would have learned a lot more.

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