marketing girl with cute shoes, soul searching, women in ministry, spam (yup, the canned meat stuff) and research methodologies, add a huge mall and a rollercoaster ride and that's my trip to minnesota in a nutshell.
the association of youth ministry educators has an annual meeting and since i work with a number of them through our academic support network, i was able to attend. it was totally great to see these folks among their peers and hashing out research that is currently being done and its implications on what and how they're teaching their students who are becoming professional youth pastors. of course, i am not an academic by any stretch of the imagination and my brain got a workout tracking with phrases like "moral therapuetic deism" and "the intersection of eccesiology with the constructs of current applied practical theology". there were some really interesting conversations around a new study, the results of which are published as soul searching by dr. christian smith. kenda deans book practicing passion was also touched upon. i have some reading to do. another section of the conversaton focused on the research methodologies used and how the method may impact the results. i have to say i was very grateful for my friend amy, or dr. jacober as she has earned the right to be called. she patiently answered my questions and translated the academic-ese during the conference.
in addition to the translation services amy provided, it was interesting to talk about women in ministry. we had some conversation around the fact that there are still people who believe that women shouldn't be in formal ministry. it is just crazy that this is still a struggle for women. i look at women in the bible, such as esther and deborah who were leaders for their people and at the fact that after his resurrection jesus first appeared to women and they were the ones who first believed what they say and were the one to deliver the good news that he had risen, and it blows me away that there is still an issue with women being in ministry.
on the lighter side, the conference was in rochester, mn. and for an outing, we loaded into buses and headed to austin, mn--home of the spam museum. yep, you read that right,spam museum. it's actually won awards for being the best musuem related to a food product--it beat out hershey. anyway, it was quite a hoot with lots of great kitschy spam items. my personal faves were the spam temporary tat and the limited edition spam-a-lot spam. and another fun perk of the trip was the fact that minnesota has some very picturesque farm country that had just gorgeous fall color between rochester and minneapolis. oh, that and mall of america. amy and i had lunch there and then rode the roller coaster at camp snoopy. in a random note, i've now ridden the roller coaster in the world's largest mall (edmonton, alberta, canada) and in america's largest mall. i'm wondering if there are other malls with roller coasters i should check out...