Summiteers for the Common Good (and Would-Be Attendees),
We are just 27 days away from what I expect to be one of the most-exhilarating gatherings I have ever attended. In my lifetime, the American Experiment has never seemed so imperiled and American Christianity never in such desperate decay. Trump and Trumpism have seemingly driven both to the brink (along with our individual psyches). So it seems incumbent upon all People of Good Will, those committed to upholding Good and resisting Evil, to devote their full energies and resources to begin to reverse this political-spiritual Plague upon our land by sweeping Trumpism’s enablers from power on November 6th. That’s what the San Juans Summit is primarily about.
I see two greater objectives beyond, which excite me even more:
1. Now that Trumpism has shown its true colors as an abjectly-selfish, nationalist, misogynist, white-supremacist belief system at complete odds with the evolved principles of America, we have a golden opportunity to recreate this country as the exemplar of freedom, facts, truth, absolute equality, and compassion it was always intended to be, but never truly achieved. That’s inherently so much easier to accomplish when the ugly opposites of those qualities are so apparent and so vivid. And the threat to America so recent and so real.
2. Secondly, a platinum opportunity (if that’s more precious than gold), in stark reaction to the American Evangelical Betrayal, to remake Christianity, finally, in the image of Jesus. It’s been a long time since Jesus personally demonstrated the all-encompassing love, compassion for the sufferers, radical inclusiveness, and supreme selflessness which he called upon Humanity to emulate, but while his name has been hijacked for most of the intervening history, that shining vision has not been lost. Now is the time to once again build, set, and populate his Bigger Table* at which all Humanity belongs and where each one is irreversibly treasured: all ethnicities, all genders, all faiths, no faith.
But I’ve digressed, since this email is supposed to be about logistics. I just can’t help myself. . .
Now for some logistics . . .
A. The Summit’s agenda is still under construction, with additional luminaries still being recruited, but we’ll share that with you in preliminary form soon.
B. Registration & Kickoff will occur on Monday evening, the 28th, so please plan to arrive by mid-afternoon or earlier.
C. For those of you arriving by air, we will have free airport transfers available from both Montrose (MTJ) and Grand Junction (GJT). It is incumbent upon you, of course, to give us your flight information in order to access those transfers.
D. Accommodations in Ouray run the gamut from simple to luxurious. Here are some additional suggestions, starting on the high end:
1. The Beaumont Hotel is Ouray’s piece de resistance. Originally built in 1886, at the height of the San Juans’ Gold & Silver Rush, it was reconstructed in 2003. The current owners purchased it in 2010 and were married there a year later. In its original iteration, it hosted such notables as Chipeta, the widow of Chief Ouray of the Utes, who gave the town its name, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Sarah Bernhardt. The spectacular Beaumont is located almost directly across the street from our venue, the Wright Opera House. www.beaumonthotel.com
2. Another special spot is the Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings. Ouray is renowned for its hot springs; the Wiesbaden’s vapor cave was used therapeutically and ceremonially by the Utes long before white man’s arrival. The original portion of the structure was built in 1879 as Mother Buchanan’s Bath House. It was later expanded to become the Bates Hospital and Sanitarium. If you are addicted to hot soaks or are drawn to the mystical, this is the place for you. www.wiesbadenhotsprings.com
3. A simpler lodging choice is the Ouray Chalet Inn, the classic two-level American motel. No remarkable history here, just clean rooms, free breakfast, and the breathtaking views shared by nearly every establishment in town. www.ouraychaletinn.com
E. Some of you may be joining us for Telluride’s amazing Mountainfilm Festival, which runs Friday through Monday ahead of the San Juans Summit. This will be its 40th Anniversary event, with a theme of Migration, particularly fitting for this group, I’d say. Mountainfilm’s joyous celebration of the Indomitable Spirit and passion for making the world a better place makes for a profoundly-uplifting holiday weekend! www.mountainfilm.org If you choose to attend, please alert us so that we can start to get to know you there.
F. I’ve copied the leadership team for Common Good Christians and Greater Things, so don’t hesitate to reach out to any or all of us with any questions, comments, or suggestions. We’re committed to maximum impact for SJS—and that means maximum impact upon YOU and through YOU. So whatever we can do to better achieve that, we surely shall.
I’m counting down the days!
Your Local Host and Fellow Servant of Humanity,
* Here is some homework!
If you haven’t yet read John Pavlovitz’s profoundly-motivating instant classic, “A Bigger Table”, please do so before May 28th.