I was delightfully surprised with who turned up for the Friends in Conversation gathering on “Politics and the Kingdom”. At least 30 people participated in a pretty free flowing conversation beginning with initial starters from our 2 guests: Goh Keat Peng and Rev. Dr. Hermen Shastri. It was good to see some new or less familiar faces and some of our regulars in the days of emergentMalaysia open meetings (which we haven’t met for ages! Or perhaps a better way of putting it we have been evolving or reforming đź™‚ )
What I liked about the content of our conversations was how anchored it was on down to earth realities – especially the realities of our context and our church experiences. Yes, there was a reflective and even theological tone to it but it wasn’t so high flung and out of our world. I think maybe it’s because of the topic “Politics and the Kingdom”. But more importantly, I think the guest speakers set the tone well …
We took some time before we managed to warm up… and by the time I felt we were getting into issues – very concrete ones the time was over. Maybe that’s why we need to have a consistent rhythm in engaging these issues of politics and faith not just at the level of conversations but more so in action. So, often we get warmed up only to miss the chance to press on for depth and impact. That’s part of the reason why I felt I needed to kep the blog talk going a little bit more.
As usual the post-meeting interaction had a nice afterglow to the conversation, I think the energy level was even higher at some points. We indeed had an interesting mix of people present (KJ John’s presence was a pleasant surprise!)
I think all present are Christians and/or part of the Church (big C and small c) in some way, but a number of us also wear different hats in the following (we didn’t come representing these networks or organisations but I think our involvement there informs our thinking):
Christian Federation of Malaysia
I’m quite sure I must have missed some others. Please forgive me (or if you were present add to them in the comments section)
At the end of an event like this, my prayer is always let’s be open to what are the possibilities ahead for us personally and beyond!