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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Reflections on Midwinter 2007

Denver Adam's Mark Hotel was a great location for the Midwinter Conference. Its downtown location allowed attendees the chance to get out of the building without all the logistical challenges of Chicago and the Hyatt. The rooms were not as nice, but a Midwinter is not about the rooms, its about connections and conversations. The downtown location also meant eating was much more reasonable to church and personal budgets. Kudos to those who arranged the site.
The worship services that I attended (Monday and Tuesday night) were superb on the contemporary side and the ethnic expressions. It is getting more and more fun to sing worship songs in Spanish (mmaybe living in California is an incentive). But when it comes to singing anything hymnic, the sound was a mediocre arrangement, trying to contemporize that which should be left alone. I love solid contemporary beath, rhythm and riff, but sing the hymn the way it was written! I like Tabsco sauce, but not on everything. Everything does not need to be "contemprized." I guess I've said what was on my heart.
The value of the Midwinter for me is to have the ability to connect for as long or as short as I want with others. For some old friends, a simple "Hi" in the hallway is sufficient, but for others, a long cup of coffee or a walk, helped us reconnect with our stories and families.
Is it worth it? Is the Midwinter worth the $1,000 it probably ends up costing a church and its pastors? I think so. I have all sorts of critiques of denominational leadership, but this is a time we are all together. In our fragmented, text-messaged world, this is good.

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