GothiCon was really marvelous, of course. Thanks to Donna, as well as to the 86 Club, its volunteers, the bands and speakers, and all the attendees for making it a great weekend.
I mentioned to Donna and to the Asylum leaders (Ben, Bill, KJ, Liz) my perception that we need to follow up with some sort of more regionalized, more frequent group, which i’ll here call a “cell group”, evoking the idea of home groups that make up such an important part of many church congregations. Here’s a first pass at a proposal, which i’ll try to flesh out later.
Purpose: The purpose of these groups would be: To pray for each other, encourage each other, and brainstorm how to connect with the alienated in our local areas; to do all of this more frequently than is practical in existing formats (GothiCon, Cornerstone, Ichthus, etc.).
Autonomy: The groups would be mostly self-determining — in content, emphasis, geographical divisions, etc. The role of the central actor (be it the Grave Robbers, Asylum, me as an individual, whoever) would be mostly advisory, to get people in touch and get things started.
Geography: In general these groups will be arranged so as to be at most a 3- or 4-hour drive from participants. I have some ideas of natural groupings that might emerge in the Central US, because the location in Cincinnati meant that most of the GothiCon attendees the Midwest or South. The East and West Coasts, as well as locations outside the US, are less clear to me. Perhaps there are other events in those places (e.g., Unified Underground in Maryland) or organizations (e.g. Steiger in the countries where they have bases) that would be helpful in scouting the territory. For now i’m happy with building this idea out in the Central US and letting people in those other places figure out what they want to do.
(For detail see: Suggested geographical groups.)
Activities: I’ll put together a sample agenda, with the understanding that groups can adapt it as they’d like. I emphatically recommend a huge emphasis on prayer, and in particular on prayer preceding decisions about action. Action is important but our plans need to emerge from prayer rather than presenting God with an agenda and asking him to bless it.
Information required: Really just names and contact info of people who’d like to be involved — Donna indicated that it may not be as easy as i thought to get the list of conference attendees. We may have to piece together various sign-up sheets and mailing lists.
Subcultural scope: We’re probably best off recognizing our historical roots in goth but also being fairly open-minded about not attaching ourselves exclusively to our scene.
Much more to follow….