It's hard to believe we're only two days away. I've been thinking about this symposium since the summer of 2000 when I pulled Laurel Gasque over in the hallways at Regent College and said, "Laurel, I've got this idea for a conference that would bring together artists, pastors, educators and theologians." That was the original idea. She said, "Great. I hope you do it."
And here we are, I'm doing it, and it's so much harder than anything I ever imagined back then. We're ooching toward the 600 mark when we start including the day-rate goers in the mix. It's frightening, really. But it's happening.
It's the eeriest feeling. I was standing outside Hope Chapel this morning, during the service, talking to Melinda Peinado. Off to the side was a cluster of three older women. They kept looking at me. Then one of them walked over to me and said, "Hi, I'm Kevin Delahunty's mother." "Oh my! It's so nice to meet you. I knew Kevin back in the mid '90s. I was just getting started with this whole arts pastor business." "Yes," she said, "and I'm here for your symposium." Oh wow. This funny feeling started wobbling around in my heart.
"Do you know what it means that you're standing in front of me?" I asked her. "No," she said with a bemused look. "It means I really have to do this symposium thing after all. Oh shoot!"
Folks at this moment are driving from Georgia, Mississippi, Colorado and around Texas. Barbara Nicolosi flew in this afternoon. The rest of the gang and hundreds of others descend upon Austin tomorrow.
It's 72 degrees in Austin tonight, 81% humidity. The skies are clear. I'm not done writing my talk on the dangers of artistic activity in the church. I'm beat.
And I've never done anything like this before.