I flew home Friday from The Episcopal Church's General Convention and spent Saturday at San Diego's Comic-Con. I have staffed Comic-Con for the last seven years as a Guest Relations person and my whole little sub community there know I am a clergy person.
While Gen-Con is a triennial gathering of a few thousand to chart the course of the Episcopal Church; Comic-Con is an annual event that charts the course of multiple universes by externalizing the sub-conscious of the 135,000 or so people, exhibitors, writers, artists, tv and movie casts who come to "imagine their way into the future.
This is what just a few thousand look like as they wander the booths. Thousands more are in screenings, seminars and fans-meeting-talent panels. These folk generate $162 million in retail sales and about $3 million in taxes and their efforts at imagining the future are the driving force in computer, gaming and publishing technologies. They may look like geeks, but behind the scenes they heve been, in fact, imagining our future into being.
What's more they all pay their own way here to delight in the imagining. They are enthusiastic, engaged, smart, creative, thoughtful and persistent in sharing their visions of the universe and exploring the boundaries between good and evil, heroes and villians.
If you want to see the diversity of God's children Comic-Con has them all. We would never ger them all into a list for a resolution! This year for the first time in my memory there were fundagelicals outside with signs proclaiming the usual messages of sin, damnation and Jesus' love. Inside there is a Christian Comic Arts Society handing out their Revelation Comic book and selling complete bibles in graphic novel form. They are evangelicals and perhaps fundamentalists, too, but they understand that they must engage the world where the world is and represent Christ in the heroic form the Con goers relate to. Not unsprisingly there were no main line groups like TEC there.
The attendance at Comic-Con is the equivalent to about one-seventh of TEC. Ponder how well we might imagine the future if, instead of resolutions, we had seminars inviting us into the spiritual worlds of our Native and Indigenous people's communities; panels of our best "people with great ideas", Indaba groups, music groups, people, like Matthew Moretz, showing their own videos and discussing the nuts and bolts of their creative processes.
Consider the fun we had with Bonnie-ball (www.bonnie-ball.org) and the fun we had eaelier this year with Lent-Madness crafted by Scott Gunn.
We are the best educated and wealthiest, per capita, denomination in the U.S. and I am completely confident that among our various parishes we have all the people with ideas we need to spark all of our imaginations towards ministry of one form or another. If we brought them together in a place where they wanted to come (like San Diego, for heavens' sake not Salt Lake City) we might find that the synergy would become palpable.
Gen-Con 2012 made some amazing decisions, decisions that will change the lives of multitudes. We made all mean ALL and resisted the sniping from the edges about how sinful and terrible that ALL was when filtered through their biases. There are trolls at Comic-Con too, but they do not write Tweets or Wall Stree Journal articles.
Tomorrow we all jump back into our weekly cycle of celebrating the Good News and being in union with God. I would invite us all to take the spirit that developed at Gen-Con and gather to it the spirit of Comic-Con's journeying to the far ends of imagination. As we move into the future, we are free to embrace the power of love to triumph over all evil and present that love in such a way that halls get filled with super hero souls.