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Showing posts from April, 2016

a hospitality conference: eating, drinking, and changing my thinking

I was privileged to be a part of Society of Vineyard Scholars conference last week. The theme of the conference was Hospitality, Holiness, and the Kingdom of God. It was hosted by the lovely folks at the Raleigh Vineyard Church in South Carolina, and we all got a taste of Southern hospitality in the form of local favourites such as sweet tea, biscuits, pulled pork, and shrimp and grits. Yes, focusing on hospitality meant that we were offered kindness, meals, housing, and rides to and from the venue, but it also meant that we were invited to do a bit of hard work: the hard work of embracing the unfamiliar and the strange(r). Here are a few snippets from my conference notes.

Hospitality is more than inviting a few people over for a meal in the comfort of my own home. This is a limited form of hospitality because in this scenario I remain on my home turf and, for the most part, still make the rules. True hospitality challenges me to "play the game" on the field of the stranger…

reading 1 Corinthians 12 again

A lot has happened since my last entry here: After a few intense weeks of studying, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation on April 1 (see my post here if you want to know what that entailed). We (Dean and a bunch of academics) all went for a celebratory lunch and then I spent the next few days writing a paper for a conference which is happening this week. After that, it was back to my dissertation to make the changes requested by my examiners (the title and a note about one of my sources) and fix any typos and improper citations. On Tuesday, I submitted the final version and allowed myself to sign off as Dr. Matte on an email. Just for fun.

This morning I drove Dean to the airport, waved goodbye to the house-guests we had for a few days, and sat down to read 1 Corinthians 12. It is about the gifts the Spirit of God gives to the people of God. As I am currently considering the next steps in my vocation, this sentence seemed especially significant: "Each person is given…