Vol 3, Num 1 :: 2004.01.02 — 2004.01.15
Describe the best Christian cultural event you attended or participated in this year.
*cino staff picks: Calvin Festival of Faith and Music. It helped bring Christian musicians together, many of whom probably feel like they don’t belong within the Christian community of music. Also noteworthy is Live Justice, the first ever event of the Ontario Student Solidarity Local, exposing a very active community of believers surrounding Redeemer University College.
W.D.: Cornerstone 2003, the ultimate Christian arts festival, in Bushnell, Illinois. Tons of stages and bands, art tents, films, speakers, etc.
D.D.: A trip to Galiano Island with my Regent College Small Group to visit God in a simple lifestyle where hard work and rest were well-deserved and enjoyed to their fullest.
G.S.: Three events stand out: the Christian Labour Association of Canada’s (CLAC) October 17 LiveJustice event, CLAC’s October 18 Ontario Vision Conference, and the Work Research Foundation’s December 3 Public Square event. LiveJustice had its flaws: it was too long, and the room was too big. But the event signalled the emergence of a new generation of Canadian neocalvinists, and I find that very exciting. Discovering Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma as a public speaker was also a highlight of the event. The Vision Conference may have been the turnaround event in CLAC’s relationship to the broader Christian community in the Canadian province of Ontario. I look forward to the further unfolding of the possibilities glimpsed at this conference. The Public Square event was the first time I had heard an influential Canadian politician draw on Edmund Burke’s “small platoons,” Berger and Neuhaus’s “mediating structures,” Kuyper’s sphere sovereignty, and the subsidiarity idea of Catholic social thought. If this is a sign of things to come, the next few years could be very interesting in Canadian politics.
T.C.: Singing the Durufle Requiem.
K.V.: Catalyst Conference with Andy Stanley and John Maxwell—does that count? Highlight was hearing 4,000-5,000 people with Pop Rocks on their tongue and mouths hanging open in the stadium (you had to be there).
C.N.: The pre-opening of the World Fare fair trade store in Three Rivers, Michigan. I was so impressed not only by what had been planned but by how effectively and quickly theory was applied to practice.
J.V.: The building of the Tire House (now called Earth Ship) in Gallup, New Mexico. Whilst not being church (as in the organization) sponsored, it was born out of the love for our planet by caring Christians who take our ecological system very seriously. Primarily constructed of used tires and soda cans, the Earth Ship has a very upscale look to it. Stucco covers the tire and soda can walls giving it a truly New Mexican feel. Rainwater is collected into a cistern that is pumped out when needed. En-route to the cistern it passes through enormous planters inside the house feeding huge plants and flowers. For climate control, strategically placed glass panes have been set to catch the sunlight at an angle that heats the home comfortably all day and retains the heat throughout the evening. A breathtaking home to view/stay in yet an economically and environmentally friendly way for anyone to build.
Describe the worst Christian cultural event you attended or participated in this year.
*cino staff pick: A Willow Creek Church service. The service itself was fine. The message was great. But it was hard to concentrate with all the hustle and bustle going on everywhere. It feels like you’re in a mall, with a cafeteria in the middle and the bookstore pumping out Willow Creek self-help manuals upstairs. We’re sure Willow Creek does a lot of good for a lot of people, but we’re glad every church doesn’t run the same way. They run a tight ship over there, and all their hairs are in place, which is probably necessary for such a big church, but at times it felt like we were worshiping in “the house that market research built.”
D.D.: That would have to be a conference advertised as free with a famous speaker (forgot the name already), but it was nothing but a marketing campaign for a radio station and the speaker’s new book. It was a total waste of time, and to think I stood in line 45 minutes to get a seat. Blech.
K.V.: Hearing Brad Stine (Christian comedian) twice—once at Promise Keepers and again at Catalyst. The guy is funny, but I think his citizenship in the USA is more important to him than his citizenship in heaven. He is a very poor representation of the Christian world-and-life-view to a popular audience!