I was recently invited to participate in an event that has the potential to change the course of my life, and will no doubt jumpstart my final doctoral writing project. I have been invited to participate as an Initiator with The CANA Initiative
. The CANA Initiative is a nation-wide network of influential Christian leaders and thinkers. The impact of the CANA Initiative and her partners (Initiators) is changing the face of Christianity in America.
Other CANA Initiators
include many people I have read/quoted for my doctoral studies at Logsdon Seminary but never had the pleasure of interacting with face to face; people like Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Tony Jones, Philip Clayton, Dianna Butler Bass, Shane Claiborne, Tripp Fuller, Doug Paggit, and Cameron Tremble.
After expressing interest in the CANA Inititative, the organizers of CANA have read some of my research about emerging Christianity in rural America, and have extended an invitation for me to join them for a gathering of CANA Initiators in south Florida this March.The NeedAll the money raised in this fundraiser will help pay for travel, lodging, and meals to attend the CANA Initiative 2015 national gathering
(which will likely be less than 100 people). I really cannot overstate it - this is an incredible opportunity for my doctoral work, and for me personally, to connect with such high caliber Christian leaders from around the country and dream about how to collaborate for ministry in the 21st Century.More About Me:
I pastor a small-town church in eastern Virginia, right on a river opening into the Chessapeake Bay. Every day I see the trends in the larger culture affecting my church and my congregants.
Two years ago I began the Doctor of Ministry program with Logdson Seminary, and immediately felt led to concentrate my research and writing on emerging trends in Christianity and culture. This Januray (2015) I begin working on my final project/disssertation, which will focus on helping small-town churches everywhere navigate cultural change.
I have made my doctoral research available at smalltownchurches.org
, and since starting the blog others have taken an interest in my writing. I now regularly contribute to two nationaly read religious news outlets- Baptist News Global and the Baptist Standard.More About the CANA Initiative:
The CANA Initiative is a growing but still intimate network of key leaders in the field of my doctoral research (emerging Christianity in America) and their influence has been huge in my work at Urbanna Baptist Church, in my writing at smalltownchurches.org and for Baptist News Global.
CANA is connecting Christian leaders from around the country for the pupose of answering four urgent needs:
• To convene a new generation of voices, encouraged and supported by more seasoned elders, who together embody a positive, progressive, courageous, and compassionate Christian ethos.
• To advocate for this new ethos by engaging these voices in passionate, creative, and civil public conversation.
• To network those who embody this ethos by creating sustainable, expandable structures, augmenting personal sacrifice with a sustainable financial base.
• To act by identifying shared priorities, collaborating across denominations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and organizational specializations.
3 Ways to Support Jonathan
Please pray that the Lord provides for me to be able to benefit from this opportunity. Pray that this wouldn't just be a networking opportunity, but that the experience of attending the CANA Initiative gathering would impact the heart and soul of my ministry in Urbanna and through the Small Town Churches Network.2) Finacial Support.
Every bit helps! If we don't raise the funds, I'm not going to be able to go.3) Support Audrey (my wife) and the boys while I'm away.
If I'm able to go on the trip, Audrey would love a little help from anyone during the week I'm away. :-)