The Idea Camp DC is Coming Together!
I’m sitting right now on a Virgin America flight back to LA. (Loving the internet access!) The past 37 hours in DC were quite productive in prepping for The Idea Camp DC.
First of all, this pre-trip was made possible because of the hospitality of some great friends (Bethany Hoang, Daniel Li, and Laurence Tom)! Thanks so much for lugging me around town for meetings and allowing me to work with you on the upcoming Idea Camp.
So, here’s what happened on this trip:
On Monday, I had the privilege of visiting Sojourners, one of the organizations coming out to our event, to converse about possible collaborative efforts. As an organization that has been around for over 30 years now, it was so encouraging to see how they are embracing creative ways to continue their efforts to be the voice for the voiceless and marginalized.
For lunch, Laurence and I caught up with Erick Bauman and his wife Mandy of Trinity Grace (NY) at Old Ebbit Grill. I love Erick’s heart and passion for the church moving more missionally in the city (plus his witty comments are hilarious!).
After lunch, we spent most of the afternoon planning for the DC event at the headquarters of IJM (an organization committed to fighting slavery around the world). It was great time of development and dreaming.
Pre-Idea Camp Meetup
On Monday night, several people from various organizations and churches gathered to participate in forming what our DC event could look like. I did a brief presentation (see slides below) of what the Idea Camp is and hopes to be. In addition, we had a great time conversing about Faith and Compassionate Justice. I appreciated the honesty and humility with which many of the participants engaged the topic. It was also good to see several join us online to experience the moment via a live stream (courtesy of NewSong).
I was deeply encouraged by the caliber of participants as well as their willingness to help for our DC gathering of over 40 organizations and networks!
It was another great day today that started with a meeting with Mark Batterson of National Community Church (aka Theatre Church). Many told me going into the meeting that Mark was one of the nicest people on the planet. Guess what? They’re absolutely right!!! Mark shared that he had already heard about the Idea Camp through his friends on twitter and was looking forward to participating in our DC event. Also, he offered to help us out in any way possible to make our gathering a success. It looks like that NCC will partner with us by helping us get the word out about the Idea Camp and allowing us to do a late night optional gathering at Ebenezer’s on the first night.
Afterward, Bethany, Laurence, and I headed out to visit our main venue for our DC event, Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church. Quite honestly, I was blown away by how perfect this venue is going to be for our gathering. I love the architecture of the church, the amount of classroom space, and its accessibility from DC. Pastor Tim (senior pastor) was so gracious and gave us access to anything we needed! Considering that UMC has a rich denominational history in compassion and justice, I think this will most definitely be a great venue.
While at the church, Todd Wilson of Exponential Network (one of our partners for the event) joined us for a brief conversation about collaborative ideas we have brewing for the Idea Camp and Exponential. You’ll just have to wait and see what we have in store in the weeks to come. 🙂 (I promise it will be good!)
Finally, before leaving for the airport, I had a great opportunity to meet up with Shannon Moriarty, main blogger about homelessness at Change.org. She will be representing Change.org at our event in August. We had a great conversation about how important it was for churches, NGO’s, and our government to collaborative on issues of social care. Shannon, who doesn’t come from the same faith perspective of many in the Idea Camp tribe, shared how exciting and beneficial it would be for all of us to learn from one another during our time together. I think there are several meaningful conversations about caring for the poor that will arise from Shannon’s participation. Love it!
I’m always humbled by how God brings everything together for our gatherings. This trip has been personally encouraging, inspiring, and affirming of what many are sensing about the Idea Camp. I hope that many of you will continue to support and collaborate with us on this endeavor. The journey thus far has been amazing!