Theme Development: SPEC 2014 – Beyond

Planning is underway for SPEC 2014 “Beyond.” About 5 members of the SPEC steering team had a conference call this week to begin discussing and discerning how the theme “Beyond” is speaking to us and how that might take shape at SPEC. Here are some of our thoughts… please feel free to comment and share your thoughts. They will help shape and inform us as we move forward. We started our call with a few moments of silence followed by these questions.

Take a moment to detach from the distractions around you, and quietly mediate on the word: Beyond.

  • What images does it conjure?
  • Synonyms?
  • What impressions does it leave?

Here are some of our thoughts:

  • Immediately looked the word up in the Bible and what things went with it. Corinthians  – “beyond all lands”; beyond the horizon; there’s so much more out there than what we visualize in our small world; there’s so much more when I open myself up to that’s so much more to what I have experienced.
  • Looked directly to Doctrine & Covenants 161: 1a – lift up your eyes and fix them on the place ‘beyond’ the horizon; beyond all comprehension, all understanding, all certainty, all knowledge
  • Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening by Diana Butler Bass– may be a really good read for those of us on the conference calls; discusses the massive great awakening that’s taking place.
  • Dreaming what new possibilities are; beyond our current idea of what it means to be religious and to follow God; new ways of being in community with people
  • Kept coming back to something that was beyond myself; it seems like one of our goals is that campers have meaningful experiences that helps them to get beyond themselves; something bigger than me; greater and further than me; what does it look like to get the campers involved in this?
  • What’s beyond me?; we walk around in a bubble – an arm’s distance away – then we don’t have to worry about other’s suffering and I don’t have to share mine either; getting beyond that barrier; when we do break down that barrier and get beyond our immediate self, it changes our perspective and how we treat each other.
  • How do we think about God; God’s attributes?  God is beyond my understanding of what I think God is.  And because God is beyond all of those things, it moves me towards a deeper understanding.  Luring me in that direction.
  • Beyond All comparison, all Pain, all Grief, all Sadness. Beyond Bullying, Hatred, All comprehension, all Belief
  • Beyond limitations; lots of ways that we limit ourselves
  • We limit God when we try to define something in a finite way; when we try to put God in a box
  • Common thread from above is an openness to new viewpoints
  • Radical kind of openness
  • Radical shift away from what we’ve defined Christianity and religion; sometimes we even put SPEC in a box and expect it to be a certain way and when it doesn’t meet those qualifiers, then we don’t know if it’s good or bad; so we need to be open to something radically different than what we experienced in the past
  • The word ‘imagine’ comes to mind

We invite you to take a few moments and meditate on these questions too. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. They will help shape and inform us as we move forward.