Early in the summer of 2008, Dave published the book Not the Religious Type: Confessions of a Turncoat Atheist that told his experience of finding faith as a secularist and suggested the idea that perhaps a different sort of faith was possible. A faith that operated outside of boundaries, culture, or religion; a faith where people could connect with God from wherever they were at. A centered-set faith.
This book begged the question, could this centered-set, Stage 4 faith spark a nationwide movement of people connecting with God? With this type of faith could a secularist connect with a Jew? Could a Christian connect with a Muslim? Could anyone from any background or religion have a deep meaningful conversation with someone radically different where both parties contributed to the conversation and left feeling closer to God? Could you be a secularist, Muslim, or Jew, who followed Jesus? It was out of this idea that Not Religious Inc. (currently Blue Ocean Faith) was formed.
The question we asked in Cambridge was, were there other people out there who thought like this? Were there other people who were passionate about faith and passionate about the places and culture in which they lived and wanted to see the two thrive together? Could we find partners in this endeavor around the country and maybe around the world? To find out we hosted the first “Center City Summit” conference in Cambridge and things took off from there.
Since then, an annual conference has formed where people from all over the country gather together each year to connect with each other and discuss building thriving communities of faith in this radically changing world. Many of you have been to at least one if not all of these annual conferences, and are a crucial part of the Blue Ocean community. It has been your thoughts and comments on this blog, your experiences of faith in your community, and your returning to Cambridge ever year in an effort to stay connected and be a part of this endeavor that is helping to shape Blue Ocean Faith into what is.
Speaking of which, many of you have bemoaned the fact that you have friends who would love “this stuff” if only they could make it out to Cambridge and take part in a Blue Ocean Summit. But, as you noted, they probably never will.
Well thanks to Jeff Heidkamp, Ryan Bauers, Christina Roberts, and some other Blue Ocean friends, we’re having our first Midwest Blue Ocean Conference in January. (If all goes well, perhaps we can have others around the country.) This conference is geared towards all of those people who haven’t been able to make it out to Cambridge, but would greatly benefit from a being a part of the conversation. And of course it would be wonderful to have any of you who could make it. The conference will cover everything from the ground up (bounded vs. centered-sets, stage theory, Blue Ocean strategy, centered-set biblical theology, “things we’ve tried”, etc.) along with providing time for participants to connect with each other and share their experiences in various breakout groups.
What we could really use from you is your help in spreading the word. If you have friends who would love to be a part of something like this, please let them know. And by all means, we would love to see you there if you can make it!