Call for papers: “Urban Life Together: Inhabiting our Neighbourhoods’ conference”

Urban Seed is hosting the inaugural ‘Urban Life Together’ conference in Melbourne, Friday-Saturday October 17-18, 2014.

The aim of the conference is to inspire, invite and inform deeper transformation of people and places through Jesus.

Urban Life Together will bring together Christian activists, thinkers, leaders and practitioners from Melbourne and around Australia to interact around:

·       keynote addresses from leading Australian urban mission activists on key urban mission themes (speakers to be confirmed)

·       skype interviews with international Community Development and “New Parish” advocates (specific people to be confirmed)

·       reflective creative dreaming groups

·       papers from reflective practitioners and reflectors (like you we hope).

Input is invited from practitioners, leaders, activists, researchers and students to explore themes or relates issues or case studies. Be encouraged to offer

a.      a 30 minute paper, OR

b.     a 10 minute presentation, which may be a case study, ministry dilemma you are grappling with, story, artwork or other creative presentation, song, or powerpoint presentation.

Presentations will be arranged in to the timetable of the day, usually in streamed sessions.

Submissions are welcome on any topic that relates to urban studies and urban mission, especially the theme of the conference “Inhabiting our Neighbourhoods”, e.g.:

       taking neighbourhood opportunities

       building neighbourhood community

       finding neighbourhood theology

       emerging demographics and relevance for urban ministry

       applying The New Parish or other mission frameworks in Australian urban contexts

       public issues and public theology

       discipleship and spirituality for sustainable urban mission

       new models of church

       social entrepreneurship

       developing community resilience and social capital

       cultural diversity and celebrating all ages, all cultures, all stages of faith

       leadership development and pathways for urban mission/ neighbourhood ministry

Please send a maximum 1 page proposal including title, 100 word summary and 2-3 line bio of yourself and your context of urban ministry or research to Ash Barker no later than August 15, 2014 to Ash Barker ashleybarker1969@gmail.com. Proposals are especially invited from younger writers, women and practitioners from culturally diverse backgrounds. Presenters will be notified about the acceptance of their paper or presentation by the end of August.

As a result of the conference, it is envisioned we will publish our findings and insights in a book and in video clips that can be used in small neighbourhood-based small groups. A second follow-up conference is planned for April 2015, and the proposed book may combine the best of both conferences.

A new Urban Studies Centre/ Hub for Urban Leadership is in planning and the vision for this will be shared at the conference and input and collaboration invited on its strategic directions.