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The Great Emergence

Something is happening out there . . .

  • Traditional churches are declining in membership and influence in society.
  • New churches are scrapping plans for traditional buildings in order to meet in movie theaters, living rooms and coffee shops.
  • Christians are becoming more and more interested in churches that offer ancient rituals and litanies.
  • Young people are demanding that their churches take leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDs, poverty and climate change.
  • Denominational boundaries are breaking down as Christians across the theological spectrum look for common ground.

What’s going on?

What’s happening is as old as religion itself, says author Phyllis Tickle, author of the new book The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. In it, Tickle, the founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, explores the link between history and the new face of the church. What emerges, she says, is a pattern of upheaval every 500 years in which the church cleans out what is old and ill-fitting so it can be relevant to the culture at large.

These upheavals—the last was the Protestant Reformation—can be thought of as “rummage sales,” where the very structures and institutions of the church are shaken out and re-examined. The result is a “Great Emergence,” a shattering of the old structures of institutionalized Christianity and the birth of new and vital forms of Christianity.

On Saturday, October 31, 2009 Phyllis Tickle will be in Winnipeg to talk about this Great Emergence—what is happening? Why is it happening? How might it affect your church or denomination?

This day-long event, which will be held at Booth College in Winnipeg, is being organized by FaithForum and sponsored by a wide variety of local denominations and institutions (see below for a complete list).

Cost of the event is $60 (general), $20 (students/seniors) / $75 and $25 after Oct.15.

For more information about the seminar, or to register, go to

Sponsors of The Great Emergence include:

Booth College
Providence College & Seminary
Evangelical Mennonite Conference
Soul Sanctuary
Canadian Mennonite University (Institute for Theology and the Church)
Steinbach Bible College
The Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod
Hull's Family Book Stores
Diocese of Rupert's Land, Anglican Church of Canada
The Salvation Army College for Officer Training
Mennonite Church Manitoba
Synod of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference
Emerging Spirit/Winnipeg Presbytery/The Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario/ The United Church of
Geez Magazine
Salvation Army Prairie Division

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Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
Fax: (204) 433-7158
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