By Wendi Bernau
What happens when you gather a roomful of people who share a vision for Christian community, building bridges between peoples, and spiritual renewal? Potentially—anything!
Every year, the Missional Wisdom Foundation gathers the dispersed community together for a three day extravaganza of learning, building relationships, and engagement with a variety of topics. Participants have the opportunity to hear keynote speakers, explore spiritual practices, host conversations, and socialize through interaction in large and small groups in formal and informal gatherings.
National Gathering occurs in April each year and alternates between the Missional Wisdom Foundation's hubs in Dallas, TX (the Mix coworking space), and Asheville, NC (Haw Creek Commons). This rare and unique gathering includes an ecumenical collection of laity and clergy leaders who are actively seeking to transform lives and communities in their own contexts.
Ronda Van Dyk, textile artist and Ahadi Mentor, says:
“I am not a church pastor or church associate nor have I any theological background yet I found the gathering, the topics covered, stories and activities inclusive and thought provoking in a language and vocabulary that’s friendly and relatable.”
Jim Hunter, Iona pilgrimage alumnus and member of the Dispersed Community, says:
“Having been retired four years, I didn't attend this year's national gathering in hopes of gaining new skills or knowledge. I don't really need a bunch of new tools for my toolkit. I simply wanted to hang out with the amazing folks I met on last year's Iona pilgrimage.
I should have known that my bar was way too low. Community is always wondrous and full of gifts and surprises. I did see my friends; we laughed, worshipped, ate together, and I made new friends but I left with far more than a chest full of memories. The Missional Wisdom community was, again, Christ for me. Transformation happens when you are around bright, talented, loving people who have a gift for making you feel bright, talented, and loving as well.
Encounter in community is a conversion experience. It always has been; from Jacob wrestling in the woods to Jesus stopping by a tax collector's for lunch; from asking a poker buddy about his sick wife, to listening intently to someone's story while pulling weeds at your neighborhood's entrance.
Thanks to all who planned, produced, and attended this year's gathering for reminding me and helping me walk in this way.”