Faith leaders from across the Pacific Northwest meet annually with Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry faculty and students through the school's State of the Church gathering each May. Participants collaborate on the future of the Christian church in a pluralistic world, and focus together on how Gospel values can be embodied for the common good. The State of the Church is a growing gathering of thought leaders and practitioners, ranging from Historic Protestant to Progressive Evangelical partners in faith.
This year on the evening before the main workshop-type event, community members gathered for a special Monday evening conversation with Protestant author Diana Butler Bass on the topic of "Tinkering with the Future of the Church." About 300 individuals gathered at Seattle's First Baptist Church and participated in a lively discussion following the presentation which focused on the future of religious sensibility and on the possibility for religious unity which is also protective of the rights of secular humanists and athiests in the public square.
On Tuesday, over 100 faith leaders from communities ranging from Vancouver BC to Portland and west to Spokane gathered to worship together and join in challenging but important discussions about faith-based work in our world today, including changing demographics nationwide and the impact on faith communities.
More information coming soon about the 2015 State of the Church conversation!