On Emergent Canada

Jamie from Emergent Voyageur has an excellent piece on how the emerging ‘Emergent Canada‘ group might fit with the other Canadian groups, especially Resonate. Jordon Cooper “seemed to think that the two groups could coexist happily, because Resonate was more regional, more fringe, and looser.” Link

My take on it is this:

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I think every country should have 2-3 networks that represent the focus of what God is doing in the emerging culture and the structural forms and focuses that arise . . [i nearly said ’emerge’] A few countries may want to use the name Emergent and be connected with Emergent USA – and thats fine – no one has a monopoly on the name Emerge, Emerging or Emergent – they have been used by many groups in many countries, and Emergent USA are happy to connect, although they do not want to colonize.

At the moment, most networks have their own identity but relate to other groups as peers and colleagues on equal footing – which I tend to favor. And this seems to be what is happening organically in Latin America, Asia, Europe, Australasia and USA.

[before you Canadians comment below, you need to know that i intentionally said ‘USA’ instead of ‘North America’ in that last sentence to get a rise out of my Canadian friends who just LOVE to be lumped in with that other somewhat geographically smaller country just south of them . . . AY? . . . AY? AY??]

Indigenous national networks need to rise up with the redemptive gifts of their particular country and be able to offer those gifts to other countries. God does not want us all to be the same – there will be many tribes and tongues in heaven – so let the Canadian (and other) networks and movements be strong, be connected to the residual church, be visible at the Kairos time, be redemptive in their own country and have a gift for the nations when they come together for global events.

Anyway, thats what I think. Here on top of the world in Scotland [ay??] and at 4am in the morning. What say you?

UPDATE: The conversation comes to a head here.

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

11 Comments

  • I say you should be sleeping now, not blogging! From six hours behind you though, I’m interested in your statement, “Indigenous national networks need to rise up with the redemptive gifts of their particular country and be able to offer those gifts to other countries.”
    One of the differences between Canada and the US (notes me the Canuck) is in the way that other cultures exist within our borders. In the US it’s a “melting pot” of immigrants becoming “more American” whereas in Canada each culture retains more of its heritage… more mosaic than melting pot.
    I haven’t decided on “Emergent Canada” yet… something tells me that in some ways the name is too American for us, even though functionally we’re saying the same stuff. Resonate is largely regional and even though Winnipeg isn’t that far from Saskatoon, there’s a different flavour where we are. I would agree therefore that multiple collections of groups will be most appropriate for any country that is geographically and/or culturally diverse.
    In keeping with the melting pot vs. mosaic notion, istm that even if all of the USA fits within “Emergent”, we crazy Canucks will more likely gravitate to being groups of groups, mosaic-style. This way too, we can avoid some of the religious difficulties that we’d inevitably be faced with in trying to harmonize with Saskatchewan Roughriders fans.

  • I think it is stupid discussion in many ways. All day people have been instant messaging and asking me “what does this mean?” and I think that people think in terms of branding and competition instead of advancing the gospel. Although I don’t like it when people quote old e-mails of me from last year, Emergent.ca will do a great job in advancing the conversation into new places. God speed to them and others.

  • I heartily agree that branding and competition is a bad mode to get into, but I think “stupid” may be a bit harsh wrt the discussion. The fact the conversation exists means it’s important to someone, even if you or I don’t attach the same significance to it.
    Re-reading Andrew’s post above, I highlight the part where he says, “most networks have their own identity but relate to other groups as peers and colleagues on equal footing” – which is a good model, I think, for how it can work in Canada. Part of the national identity though is perhaps the expectation that we’ll be overshadowed by the Americans… perhaps that’s the source of some resistance to the name “Emergent” outside the USA? Just a thought, not fully-formed.

  • All the discussion around the (pre)formation of Emergent Canada (or whatever) is great.
    I have tried to clarify the situation as I see it from my localized little worldview, on these sites: http://www.jordoncooper.com and emergentvoyageurs.blog.com and so will say no more here except to thank you, Andrew, for the wisdom in your post 😉

  • I was out of line with my earlier comment. I think part of it was my MSN Messenger chiming in non-stop about the competition which isn’t how I have ever seen Emergent or any other network and especially about what I have seen with Emergent Canada. In the past I have said that I would be honored to work with Emergent.ca and that is still the case. I think what they are dreaming will do a lot to advance the conversation across Canada and North America.

  • Franchising is probably the greatest fear/concern for most of us north of the 49th. Nobody wants “colonization” (good description, Andrew!), but that’s just an extrapolated caricature of Emergent, as far as I can see, anyway. It’s not like Emergent US or UK is into creating cloned images of itself, like the Canadian icon Tim Horton’s or something.
    Bro Maynard’s comment on the regionalism of Canada is an important consideration. What’s happening at Emergent Canada on the West Coast will connect, but not completely reflect, what is happening in Winnipeg or Saskatoon, Hamilton or Montreal. The groups of groups is probably a prophetic angle from Maynard that will eventually prove accurate.
    Ultimately, I think Emergent Canada will function much as Emergent US & UK — a resource, sounding board, and catalyst for discussion, where various groups will take what they can learn from, and apply to their own unique situation(s). In other words, chew the perogies and spit out the poutine (or was that chew the poutine and spit out the perogies?).
    Oh, and Andrew, it’s spelled “eh”, eh?

  • Hopefully whatever emergent ca does, it will start with a name change. And while I think there are good reasons to be wary of this, I sincerly doubt that this is a huge surprise to anyone. There is an overrepresentation of canuks on the uk & us blogs right now – perhaps this will free up space for their own conversations to get flowing without our “disruption.” We are a pretty rowdy bunch…

  • As an Irishman via London to Vancouver right now and for a few weeks, I’m getting a feel for things on the West Coast. We’re having a gathering over here on the 1st September which will help me get a better idea, but like the UK, I feel that a more organic indigenous expression of emerging collaboration will look different to US expressions. Thoughts later. Mine’s a guinness cold Robby.

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