Why would a home territory boy like me suddenly take off to cowboy country in the USA? A love for country music? Nup! Hiding from the law? No way! Three quarter life crisis? Don’t think so. I’m sure it’s something to do with the hosting of the World Convention of Churches of Christ. It’s one of the few occassions left for the gathering of our movement on a large scale. National Conferences are pretty much a thing of the past in this paradoxical age of decentralisation and, yet, vast access to the universe through technology. I’ve only ever attended World Convention on two other occasions, both when Australia was host – Adelaide in 1970 and Brisbane in 2000. So why Nashville in 2008?

Several reasons:

  1. Nashville is close to some of the historic roots that gave birth to the Restoration Movement, the church family I have most identified with from the age of four. A great opportunity to connect here as churches from all over the world consider how the principles of this movement are best interpreted for the 21st Century.
  2. Networking – living in what is sometimes called “the most isolated capital city in the world” can foster an unconscious parochial outlook, internet not withstanding. Close proximity for a couple of weeks to a wide range of international personalities will assist my antibodies in fighting off any lurking isolationist virus!
  3. The very process of overseas travel of which I have fleeting experience is stimulating my resourcefulness. I have learned a lot. I don’t want to present myself as a “mark” by looking like a naive open-mouthed tourist as I weave my way through unfamiliar territory in getting to Nashville – nor do I want to be an obnoxious know-it-all. Let me be a pilgrim – well prepared and open to learning along the way. “Awareness” is what I pray for on a journey that is structured but not rigid.

I hope to use this blog that has endured several recent fallow periods as a journal for reflections along the way. ETD is just over a week away. The week is chockablock with work to be done so next time I blog will probably be enroute.

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