Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DSC social network on Ning!

One new development that came out of DSC’s recent Charlottesville gathering is a new social network for DSC on Ning. I was invited and joined and am happy to see friendly faces and a new place to connect! Seems like there is definite interest this time around about staying connected online.

On the Ning site, each person has a profile; a page of their own similar to other social network sites like Facebook (where conveniently, DSC also has a new group!). You can leave comments for each other, start or join discussions, make blog posts, and share ideas and resources through the forum.

From the site: Reflections on favorite moments at the Charlottesville gathering:

Justin Fike: Mine would have to be the all night conversation I had with Kim and Jordan. All of the connections with new friends was the most unexpectedly fun part of the conference for me, and that moment was the most extreme example of that. Thanks for being interesting enough to keep me up all night guys ;-).

And thanks to everyone else I met there for the first time, for being open and real right from the beginning.

David Oliver: I would have to say that helping Jordan finish his version of "Sorrowy Mind" was a definite highlight. it's interesting that it happened after Bryn and I changed our minds about leaving and returned to join the madness. So we almost missed it. It had a good hook too! I still have that song in my head...it's sort of not fair that I can't hear it anywhere. although there's the video. Is that posted somewhere in here? Youtube? Jordan?

Jordan Miller: Mine is the conversation with Kim and Justin; I've never connected with people my own age like that, and i'm excited to develop those connections. Sorrowy mind is definitely up there though. And I love the way that newcomers were just absorbed into the family.

does that make the DSC sound too much like the mafia? maybe that's a good thing...

Kimberly Glick: Shhh - DSC is the mafia, Jordan! The artistic, Jesus-centered, we're not-actually-all-that-hot-at-making-money-or-beating-people-up kind of mafia. (I don't actually know what the mafia does, so I'm just guessing here.)

My favorite moment - definitely the totally unexpected all-night conversation (I only joined in because I was trying to sleep and they wouldn't stop talking! I decided it was better to participate than to just not sleep.) And the conversations with Ken and Troy during our 24 hours in the car together. And lunch conversations with David and Kristi. And meetings that couldn't go anywhere because we were laughing so hard.

I wasn’t there but as far as I can tell, everyone who was at the Charlottesville gathering had a fabulous time (More on that soon). For those who missed it or just can’t get enough—the next gathering is in Asheville, NC August 15-17, 2008. Space is limited so email dandelionseedco@gmail.com as soon as possible to register if you are interested.

But for now, say hello to everyone online!

(If you are interested in joining the Ning site, let us know!)

Amber (for the DSC blog elves)

Monday, June 16, 2008


We'll have more on the DSC conference that gathered in Charlottesville this past weekend--but for now, here is more along the vein of Jon's thoughts last week. (Be sure to read the previous post to get the flow of what he is talking about).

If the Dandelion Seed Company is an incubator, what's been growing in it?

A person who studied (and now practices) meditation -- and in the process came to love Jesus more.
A microchurch made up of people learning to follow Jesus in a way that's different than how they grew up.
Several bands that play in bars and coffeehouses.
Several small businesses that value creativity and helping others.
Some interesting projects bringing together artists and churches.
Lots of conversations about what following Jesus means.
Visions and dreams.

So what is the Dandelion Seed Company?

It is a group of people God is bringing together. It is a dream of living life creatively, in community, with meaning and awe and the presence of God. It is an alternative way of being together with each other and God.

What will the Dandelion Seed Company become?

Who knows but God? No one.

But it may become a resource and a meeting place for all kinds of people, people who are settling into a new culture, people who are looking to build friendships, homes and families with the help and direction of the Holy Spirit, the teachings of Jesus, and the wisdom and love of God.

It may become a home for people: creative people, depressed people, artists, leaders, misfits, business people, lonely people, practical get-it-done people, scientists, theologians, and chimney sweeps, loners without friends, and networkers without a center.

It may become a network of individuals, microchurches, and businesses who are committed to follow Jesus creatively in this new culture.

This is currently how we have describe our vision and mission:

Vision: Our goal is a revitalized culture that is creatively engaged, emotionally aware, spiritually alive, relationally secure and socially responsible.

Mission: Our Mission is to provide tools, training, a context and accountability to individuals and organizations committed to
revitalizing culture through the arts; intentional, committed relationships; and Jesus-centered spirituality.

What do you think about all this? What has the DSC been to you? What do you think it may become? What would you like it to become?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What is the Dandelion Seed Company?

We're having a Dandelion Seed gathering at our house this coming weekend. Friends from TX, NC and IN are coming to visit. The floors will be crowded; there will be fun, music, prayer and lots of discussion. We're talking about this question: "Is Christianity optional?"

Obviously it is optional (not everyone is a part of it). But is it optional for us? Who is us? This got me thinking about the Dandelion Seed Company (DSC) and what it is.

We've called it "an informal gathering of artists," "an artists' network," "a gathering of people committed to follow Jesus, build
community and make art that is honest, excellent and true."

So why do non-artists come? Why do so many of us wonder if we're really artists?

Why have we spent so much time over the years talking about church? (What church is, isn't, should be, could be?)

Why have so many of us come away from Dandelion Seed gatherings saying "We felt more at home with that group of people than about anywhere we've been?"

As the guy who first called us together I've been thinking about this a lot recently.

I have some ideas:

Maybe God brought us together.
Maybe we didn't know why and still don't.
Maybe that's ok.
Maybe we need to discover it together.
Maybe that will emerge as we think, talk, create, listen, pray and live life together.
Maybe it's been emerging but we haven't noticed it.

Our culture is changing. Artists are usually at the forefront cultural shifts.

What if this "artists" group is actually a group of people with a certain cultural perspective and identity that's so unformed it's hard to identify clearly?

What if the DSC is less about art and more about a way of thinking, living, seeing the world and relating? What if God wanted to incubate something that would grow in this emerging culture? What if God grabbed a group of artists and misfits and dropped seeds of vision in them? What if God drew them together and they felt it but couldn't quite understand it?

More on this next week.


Monday, June 2, 2008


Most traditions have some form of mystics, seers or prophets. Jesus is seen as a prophet in several traditions -- and for those of us who make our life's goal following him, it's good to approach this facet of who He was while on earth (and is now in His mysterious body which is the people who have given themselves to him).

There is something human that hungers for mystery and revelation and connection with God. Dreams, signs, words from God, visions -- abstract, metaphorical, imagery and story.

Paul Grout has been something of a prophet among us since almost our beginning. We've seen Jesus in and through his art, words, challenges and looks in a unique way. I recently connected with another friend who is also a prophet, and from another stream or tradition. He recently connected with the Charlottesville Project (which is a local gathering connected to the Dandelion Seed Company). His visit was encouraging and challenging -- in some ways similar to Paul Grout and in some ways very different.

I look forward to the Dandelion Seed Company continuing to connect with prophets -- to hear and see and feel God through people and art. To be inspired and challenged, and to give this gift to others as well. I believe our lives and words and art can embody the mystery of the Word of God in ways we haven't imagined and yet long for...