Place Matters Seminar

A couple of years ago, Jenny and I met with Steve Garber at Zoka, my favorite Seattle coffee shop in Seattle. Years before I spent hours each week when I worked as an assistant pastor at Green Lake Presbyterian. We had returned to the Seattle area after serving thirteen years at Redeemer Presbyterian church in downtown Indy. I was trying to get my feet under me as the pastor of a small presbyterian congregation on the east side of Seattle also named Redeemer.

I had met Steve during a work-faith cohort that I had participated in with a number of other pastors from across the U.S. During that cohort, I came to value Steve’s wisdom and vision for a holistic life of faith and work. Somehow Steve had the capacity to befriend us too. He didn’t just talk to us, but shared his heart and life with us. So when I learned that he would be in Seattle, I reached out to Steve to see if Jenny and I could meet with him. He said yes, and we made arrangements to meet at Zoka. In the course of the conversation, I brought Steve up to speed on the Identity Mapping ministry that and asked him advice on next steps. He listened carefully, then shared this.

Steve said that he felt strong that the Identity Mapping ministry needed to be connected to the art studio and gallery that Jenny and I had been developing on Camano Island. He said that he felt that there should be a strong tie between that creative place and identity mapping. I’m sure Steve said a number of important things. But that is the one thing that really registered with me. At one level it made sense, but at another I just didn’t see how it would work. After all, the focus of our ministry is in Redmond and not Camano Island. Nevertheless the idea planted itself, and I pondered it.

As I was developing the Identity Mapping this spring, and taking the next step to organize and communicate the Identity Mapping ministry, it dawned on me that we could offer seminars at the studio. Half-day seminars would be doable for members of our congregation, as well as for others who would be interested to dive into the subject matter. I realized if we provided a meal it would really hit the mark of one of our values which is to build community.

All of that to say that on Saturday, August 29, we will be holding our first Identity Mapping seminar at Sunnyshore Studio: Place matters. Here are some more details.

Place Matters Seminar

In “Country Roads” John Denver sings

“Country roads, take me home to the place I belong”

Place evokes powerful longings in our heart. We feel we belong to places. We long for places. But does place matter to God? What should the Christian’s attitude to place be? And how are we to be fully present in the places God planted us and to long for heaven at the same time?

In the Place Matters seminar, we will explore place in the Bible, paying special attention to Jeremiah chapter 29 where God instructs his people in how to live as “resident aliens.” We will listen to Dietrich Bonhoeffer who says that we should embrace the Old Testament attitude toward place with a “holy wordliness” and that they way to look and long for heaven is by “drinking the earthly cup to the dregs.” You will be challenged to “represent your place” and “bloom where you are planted” as a citizen of heaven. You will enjoy a tour of Jack and Ann Dorsey’s place and hear the story of their engagement with place. You will have time to map your places, and prayerfully set goals for engaging the places where God has put you. And you will enjoy a delicious lunch by Chef Dismas Smith and have plenty of time for conversation and interaction with seminar participants.

Schedule

  • 9:00-9:15am arrive at the studio and get signed in.
  • 9:15-10:15 Seminar lecture and discussion by Jason Dorsey
  • 10:15-11:15 Tour of Jack and Ann Dorsey’s home and garden and their story
  • 11:15-12:00 Alone time to pray, journal
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00 Seminar participants share their goals for engaging their places

Social Distancing

Our plan and hope is to be outside for the entirety of this seminar. The end of August is usually quite nice in the northwest. For the first hour we will meet under the studio’s balcony. We will be outside for the tour at Jack and Ann Dorsey’s home and garden and hear their story on their spacious deck. Lunch will be back at the studio again under the balcony. In the event of rain, we will meet inside the studio which is large enough for us to maintain social distancing. To maintain social distancing requirements we are setting the limit of seminar participants at 12.

Cost

The cost of the seminar is $25 per person. This cover the cost of food. Copies of Jason Dorsey’s Identity Mapping handbook The Name will be available, but these are optional.

Registration

To register contact Jason at identitymapping123@gmail.com or 317.209.6768. Space is limited to 12 so please be sure to RSVP.

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