It’s been a whirlwind of activity here in Grand Rapids. Our consultation came to an official end this afternoon, and then we had a terrific dinner at the home of one of hosts. We had a Brazilian BBQ (the meat just kept coming) and Brazilian side dishes (that I can’t remember how to pronounce) followed by Dutch dessert (our hosts were Dutch, but had lived in Brazil for 15 years and 4 of the attendees were from São Paulo). Languages at the table: Dutch, German, Portuguese, Afrikaans, and a tiny bit of English.Tomorrow I leave early in the morning to drive back to Chicago and then fly to New Orleans. Then the SBL circus begins!
So, what exactly have I been doing in Grand Rapids? Well, the short description is that I was invited (at the request of my advisor, Christo van der Merwe) to participate in a three-day Consultation on Bible Software in the Classroom and Pastorate. There were approximately 20 attendees. All stakeholders, but from different vantage points. Some were data producers, some software designers, others professors, and still others represented “real world” situations in the pastorate. There were representatives from four continents. No final answers or results came out of this time, rather it was the opening of a discussion and an assessment of the needs, tools, methods, and future of digital biblical tools. In addition, relationships were forged, ideas exchanged, and experiences demonstrated. It was a privilege for me to be able to participate.
I think we are still contemplating the content of our discussions, so it may be a bit before I post any real reflections from these three days. However, I do think that the fruit of the consultation should be shared more broadly, and receive input and contributions from others. Stay tuned!