More about the interesting people I met last Tuesday

In the order I met them (If I had realized sooner that I had this already typed up, I would have included most of it with yesterday's post.)

Scott is a director of the urban ministries program of Westmont College. He lives in SF with his wife, and works with groups of students for a semester or a week at a time. I sat down at his table randomly, and he made me feel welcome. We talked a little about Quakers, and his own experience with a formerly Quaker church in New York. Did you ever meet someone and find yourself telling them more about yourself than was really proper? I think people like Scott are exceptional listeners. This is a great skill among pastoral workers, I’m sure. I think it’s beyond what you can learn, it’s a spiritual gift.

Mark Scandrette I had met before, but I didn’t think he would remember me. However, he made a point of saying hello and that occasionally he reads my blog. (I’m honored!) Twice we had a choice of five discussion groups and both times I ended up in his group. One of these days, I'm going to have coffee with Mark (and his wife Lisa?) and have a chance to talk for more than 30 seconds in the midst of 30 people. They live just over the hill. This must be possible.

Doug Pagitt. I was hoping to attend a worship service at Solomon’s Porch this summer, since I will be passing through Minneapolis, but the dates don’t quite work and I won’t have enough time to go. I have other reasons to go to Minneapolis – I’m sure I will do it someday. But I got to meet Doug briefly and thank him for his comment on my blog. I don’t know how many times people meet him and then gush about Jenell Paris, who he knows IN PERSON, but he was gracious about it anyway. And then he asked me, “have you met Karen Sloan yet? You should.” And he walked me over to introduce me.

Karen Sloan. Meeting Karen may be the real highlight of the day. She is the author of Flirting With Monasticism: Finding God on Ancient Paths, and the coordinator for a series of presbymergent parties this summer. Ok, first, it was great to meet her because we just naturally see eye to eye, simply because we are physically the same height. Second, I didn’t know it at the time, but now I’ve read her book and we have had a number of parallels in our lives. My life has been intertwined with the Roman Catholic church for many years – never part of it, but never very far away either. I’ve written a bit about monastic and other vocations in other contexts. Care for the body issues. And the conversations she is having this year with people in her denomination about emergent trends sound a lot like the conversations I am having with people in my denomination about convergent Friends.

There were many more snippets of interesting conversation along the way. Mainly I was pushed all day to remember why I included the emergent church movement as part of my understanding/underpinnings for convergent Friends.

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Blogger Jenell Williams Paris said...

Hi Robin,
We're moving in late July, but if your time in/through Mpls is before that, I'd love to meet you IN PERSON!


6/27/2007 9:01 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Hi Jenell! Alas, I just will be passing through the Minneapolis airport on the way in and out of town. I'm going to a huge Quaker conference in River Falls, WI for the week of June 29-July 7. If it was just you and me, I would say we could arrange something on the 7th, because I'll probably be hanging out at the airport for several hours, but there's all those little boys in our lives. Not the most conducive environment for heart-to-heart chats.

6/27/2007 12:17 PM  

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