as previously posted, a group of us were privileged to be part of the native american-lead gathering in Nashville last weekend (link). Billy, Dan, Janine, Barry, Isaac, Sherry and I took in the gracious hospitality, wisdom, and worship.
my first and most primal response to get togethers like this is lament - for the people of the first nations and for the immeasurable loss of life and other horrible fallout of colonization such as the annihilation god's majestic cultural gifts. languages, symbols, and ceremonies that would have no doubt taught us much about the ways of God. then i go deeper into sorrow as i think about my own 'sunburt country' and what was (is!) done to the Aboriginal people.
my second sense is to just watch and listen to the stories, songs, and dancing. the beauty and strangeness of praying with flutes and drums was a gift to me and somehow created space for contemplative prayer i rarely experience.
thirdly, and this is the truth for most 'conferences', the treasured words are not principally from the stage but come with the informal conversations that fill in the gaps between the programmed events.
finally, from the stage i heard richard twiss, mike rynkowitch, and terry leblanc....all excellent thinkers and communicators. i'm not sure if anything was recorded.
it was also a treat for sherry, isaac, and i to catch up with our dear friends (the Jacksons) and visit the Vanderbilt campus and Fido's coffee shop (along with bongo java our favorite breakfast spots in Nashvegas).