June 4 – 7 I (Callid) will be spending my time with some of the most interesting and diverse people I know. Brought together by the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), more than 200 folks will gather to consider the future of Christian leadership, theological education, and service. What excites me most is that FTE’s vision of “Christian leadership” is not limited to the training of future pastors and professional ministers: the question being raised is “What is the next most faithful step that you can take?” That means that everyone can be asking how they can be more faithful. Yes, pastors, ordination-tracked seminarians, and the deans of divinity schools, but also poets, MCs, non-profit managers, bankers, bakers, and baristas.
For the next four days FTE has brought together a whole host of people to reflect on what we can all be doing to better be of service to the world for justice and Christ’s sake, and what our institutions can be doing to more effectively support this service. I’ll be sharing meals and conversations with current seminarians, doctoral students, seminary presidents, non-profit executive directors, and a plethora of faithful folk who work in a variety of sectors all trying to be faithful.
While I might pipe up here and there (especially when conversations steer toward discernment, pedagogy, or the role of arts and technology in the church), as a member of FTE’s advisory board, I’ll be there the primarily to listen to the wisdom of those gathered. To be present to the novel ideas of seminarians for whom the current model isn’t quite cutting it. To hear the stories of scholars of color who continue to strive for equal representation and respect among theological school faculty. To laugh and worship with people who place their trust and hope in a God that is living and here. And calling us all to something more.