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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Progressive Faith Blog Con Announcement

We can now announce that we have a venue in which to hold the Progressive Faith Bloggers Conference - hopefully the first annual event.

Progressive Faith Blog-Con 2006 Carnival

We'll be throwing open the curtain at the Montclair State University Conference Center Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16.

The entire event (without catering or housing) will cost $630. So far, about 40 people have indicated their interest in the event. I know, beyond a doubt, that some will not be able to come and some cannot afford to donate anything towards that total. I'm asking those who can to give whatever they can. We have some funding offers that we are pursuing, but I'd rather see what we as a group can do for each other. Additional funds will be used to help pay for housing and transportation costs for those who need the assistance. If you'd like to make a donation, contact me at xpatriated_texan-at-yahoo-dot-com.

The Blog Con is aimed at developing friendships among diverse faiths. As Rachel put it so eloquently: "Faith and politics have the capacity to profoundly divide, or to profoundly connect." We hope to make long-lasting connections during this weekend. A pluralistic society must maintain the infrastructure necessary to discuss and debate what is important to us, what drives us, what defines us as a nation of people, both majority and minority. This is our small attempt at adding to that infrastructure.

It is NOT intended to be a political event. I understand that, in these times, simply having Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists (and whoever else jumps in the mix) together to discuss our values tends to be interpreted as political. Fine. Interpret it how you will. Obviously, some of the issues we care deeply about impact the political world. The intent is not to influence our political leaders, though. It's much more radical than that. We aim to reach out to grassroots America, challenge its prejudices and the comfortable negligence with which it treats matters of faith, and carve out a small space in the public arena where we can speak openly about our faiths and how they impact our lives.

It is a conference for bloggers, by bloggers. Non-bloggers are definitely welcome, but there is a danger that they may get lost in the links (so to speak).

Montclair State University is the second largest public university in New Jersey. You can read more about it here. It's close enough to New York City to make a day-trip if you plan an extra day (because you won't want to miss ANYTHING we do!). The cost to come is - free! Man, you can't find a bargain like that anywhere in New Jersey!

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