Many new ideas have arisen during the planning of our new ministry thrust. The Seasoned Believers brand is joining our current family of brands at a Gathering of Friends on Saturday, October 13. We are inviting a hand full of creative, experienced and Seasoned Servants to come together at the Mill Golf Course Conference Center in Winton Woods for an exciting day of ideas to Feed Forward into the future of American Christianity's Fourth Great Awakening.
One of the most exciting and stimulating ideas arose out of my experience as a graduate student at Southern Illinois University. A requirement of my program in Student Personnel Administration and Counseling was a two one year stints in some area of Student Affairs.
It was during one of those years that I met and learned from one of the most creative and exciting minds of the post WWII era. And, it was my interaction with him and other Seasoned Thought Leaders that led me to understand the brilliance of SIU's President, Delyte W. Morris.
The man whom I came to know through the Office of Student Affairs' was the genius R. Buckminster Fuller. This is what Wikipedia has to say about him. Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American visionary, designer, architect, poet, author, and inventor.
Throughout his life, Bucky Fuller was concerned with the question "Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how?" Considering himself an average individual without special monetary means or academic degree, he chose to devote his life to this question, trying to find out what an individual like him could do to improve humanity's condition that large organizations, governments, or private enterprises inherently could not do.
Pursuing this lifelong experiment, Fuller wrote more than thirty books, coining and popularizing terms such as "spaceship earth", ephemeralization, and synergetics. He also worked in the development of numerous inventions, chiefly in the fields of design and architecture, the best known of which is the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes or buckyballs were named for their resemblance to a geodesic sphere.
Late in his life, after working on his concepts for several decades, Fuller had achieved considerable public visibility. He traveled the world giving lectures, and received numerous honorary doctorates.
Fuller taught from 1959 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale as an assistant professor, receiving full professorship in 1968 in the School of Art and Design through 1970. Working as a designer, scientist, developer, and writer, for many years he lectured around the world on design. Fuller collaborated at SIU with the designer John McHale.
In 1965 Fuller inaugurated the World Design Science Decade (1965 to 1975) at the meeting of the International Union of Architects in Paris, that was in his own words devoted to "applying the principles of science to solving the problems of humanity."
Fuller believed human societies would soon rely mainly on renewable sources of energy, such as solar- and wind-derived electricity. He hoped for an age of "omni-successful education and sustenance of all humanity."
His position as a "was the brain child of Dr. Morris to bring numerous well known Thought Leaders to the sleepy little town of Carbondale, Illinois on the banks of the Big Muddy River. Dr. Morris wanted to allow these famous and near famous men and women's reflected glory illuminate the then tiny school in the hills of southern Illinois. And the scheme worked. I had the pleasure of serving as an assistant to Bucky and I visited his geodesic dome home on several occasions.
I had the opportunity to learn from several of these brilliant elderly men. When the Lord inspired me to "Unleash" Seasoned Believers from traditional ways of viewing "Senior Citizenship" I remembered Bucky Fuller and the other wizened thinkers.
It hit me that, although most current churches have no special places to recognize the accumulated wisdom and gifts of Seasoned Saints, one way to stimulate the thinking and creative juices of the Forty Plus Crowd would be to apply Dr. Morris' idea to the Gatherings of Seasoned Believers. Many of us would enjoy meeting and chatting with cutting edge Christian thought leaders.
I remember when I first met Dr. J.I. Packer at a reception on the campus of Gordon Conwell Seminary. After recovering from the initial shock I asked Dr. Packer if he would accept an invitation from me to come to College Hill Presbyterian and hold a series of talks, discussions and dialogues. He immediately got out his calender and said, "When do you want me to be in Cincinnati?"
Dr. Packer preached and lecture of course and they talks were wonderful. But what I remember best were the times we sat around a table chatting and asking questions about the Bible and church history as well as his opinions on current church politics. It is my dream to have people like Dr. Packer come to retreat centers or Gatherings for a few days to interact with Mature/Seasoned Servants; Citizens of the Kingdom whose lives have been richly blessed by service in the Lord's Army.
Here is my question: With whom would you like to share a Rabbinical three days of dialogue and discussion? What man or woman has inspired you but you could only listen to a talk or TV or radio program? Send me your nominations. Attend the October 13 Gathering #1. and share your dreams and hopes.
Think big. Think creatively. Cost is no object. Many of our guests are like us: old and unwanted by the youth possessed churches of the world. But we Seasonde Believers have loved and learned at the feet of some wonderful men and women. Why not get to know them as people; up close and personal?