CAPC Oakland

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The Great Emergence: Session 1

The Great Emergence Icon

We’re starting a series talking about the changes in our world that we recognize, suspect and might not see.  Wether they’re good or bad, is somewhat besides the point. What we’re talking about is how do we address, deal and live with these world-wide changes as people, disciples and the body of Christ: the Church?

The book we’re using as a discussion springboard is The Great Emergence.  Here’s an introduction to the work taken from Publisher’s Weekly:

North American Christianity is presently undergoing a change every bit as radical as the Protestant Reformation, possibly even as monumental as its natal break with Judaism. And it’s right on schedule. Tickle, author of God-Talk in America and PW’s founding religion editor, observes that Christianity is holding its semimillennial rummage sale of ideas. With an elegance of argument and economy of description, Tickle escorts readers through the centuries of church history leading to this moment and persuasively charts the character of and possibilities for the emerging church. Don’t let this book’s brevity fool you. It is packed with keen insights about what this great emergence is, how it came to be and where it may be headed. Tickle issues a clear call to acknowledge the inevitability of change, discern the church’s new shape and participate responsibly in the transformation. Although Tickle’s particular focus excludes the dynamic forces of Asian, African and Central/South American Christianity, this is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the face and future of Christianity.


Biography of the author: 

Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, is one of the most highly respected authorities and popular speakers on religion in America today. She is the author of more than two dozen books including the Divine Hours series of prayer manuals. A lector and lay eucharistic minister in the Episcopal Church, Tickle is a senior fellow of the Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral. For more information go to and

Beginning Notes for our
1st Session : July 3, 2016

Here’s what we’re reading: from the Preface to the end of Part 1 “The Great Emergence: What is it?” (pp.1-18)
Some initial questions to ponder, which we’ll also ask on Sunday (taken from the study guide in the book written by Danielle Shroyer).

1. What are your reaction to Tickle’s immediate assertion that this “new season” of the Great Emergence affects every part of our lives?

2. Where have you seen evidence of the Great Emergence? Where have you seen evidence to the contrary, and why do you think that is?
3. Should the Church’s response to the Great Emergence differ from the response in other fields such as science, ecology, or philosophy? If yes, how so, and why?

4. Does this shift toward an emerging worldview seem distant from your own understanding of the world, or does it support your understand of the world? In what ways can you draw parallels between emergence theory and your own faith journey?


On Sunday, June 26th we watched about 25 minutes of an hour + lecture that Phyllis Tickle gave to an Anglican Church community in England in 2012.  We started at minute 5.  You can rematch that portion, or the whole thing, by CLICKING ON THIS LINK:


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This entry was posted on June 29, 2016 by in Classes.
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