I belong to the United Methodist Association of Scholars in Christian Education, UMASCE. Actually I will get to serve as an officer of the organization. The folks involved are among the most well known, well published leaders in Christian Education. There are professors and students and Conference staff that participate in the organization. Sounds quite high tone. But really they are the salt of the earth. Our gatherings are a combination of sharing new information and exploring what needs to be done in the future. We consider how curriculum in seminaries will be shaped over the course of the next few years. We consider how future church leaders will provide for the formation of their congregations. We consider how sociological factors influence the formation of church members.
The group gathers every other year, and during the off meeting years the officers get together to plan for the approaching meeting. Our meetings are a mix of deep educational discussion, profound fun, inspiring worship, and hopefully an introduction to future leaders in Christian Education. And typically we meet in remote, thin places where we can get away from the busyness and focus on our time together. This past year our gathering was so remote that there was no cellular service and you had to drive 30 minutes in either direction to get service. The pending meeting is going to be a bit of a different place, we will be close to a major metropolitan area, with the possibility to engage in a mission project. So we will get together to plan how we will change from remote to metropolitan and maintain the thin place.