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Hutchmoot: Hutchmeets? August 10, 2010

Posted by markgeil in Church, Philosophical musings.


I parked my car in the back, like the little sign had directed, and entered the Church of the Redeemer. The welcome inside was warmer than any I receive at other meetings. Come to think of it, most all of the conferences I attend are for work, full of engineers and docs and PTs and such. Fine folks, mind you, but the common theme that unites us is, well, work. Hutchmoot participants were united by our own very different common theme. I’m just not entirely sure what it was! More on figuring that out later. Suffice it to say that we all knew we had an a priori bond, so even without sufficiently describing it, we knew we were among friends, and that was enough. A Facebook post yesterday likened this feeling to Gonzo’s stunning realization in Muppets in Space that he was not the only blue weirdo in the universe.

Upon checking in I received a lovely folder – the Hutchmoot logo had been hand-carved in wood and stamped on the front – and I met my first Rabbit Room celebrity, Pete Peterson. He’s Andrew’s brother, and his real name is something like Arthur Sherman. I don’t know where he got “Pete”. He’s an author, and by the end of the weekend I had purchased his debut novel and asked him to autograph it. Pete wrote “Pirates are better than Ninjas!” So, there you go.

I had scarcely sat down to review the contents of said folder when I had my first very specific sort of meet-and-greet. Let’s call it a Hutchmeet. (Clever, eh?) The Hutchmeets almost always included a few key questions:

“Where are you from?” evoked responses including where the person lives now, how long it took him to get here, and prior domiciles and hometowns and colleges, and often led quite nicely into,

“What do you do?” These responses were quite fascinating. Let’s see, just sitting here as I  type (on a flight to Chicago) how many occupations I can remember… Musician, author, news reporter, worship leader, filmmaker, church staff (plus, curiously, lots of former church staff), computer programmer, pastor, student, video editor, freelance writer/artist/graphic designer, school teacher, engineer, road manager, and so on – you get the idea. In general, there were a lump of jobs I would call “expected” – the artsy church folks – and then there were the rest. Normal, everyday jobs that might not be expected of a person at a gathering like this. Which begat the next question,

“What brings you here?” Herein lies our common bond. For most it involved some connection to the Rabbit Room. But what attracts folks to the RR? The majority knew first of Andrew Peterson, either from his CDs through the years or from his annual Christmas tour, Behold the Lamb of God. The rest stumbled upon the site because they were huge fans of either (a) C.S. Lewis, (b) J.R.R. Tolkien, or (c) All of the Above.

I had Hutchmeets with people who work just down the street from my house and people from Canada and people who had made 12-hour drives (that day!) and people who had flown in from all sorts of far-flung locales, and now that I think about it, we all came for one basic reason. We like good storytellers, and we seek to understand the Story. That capital-S-Story is a word I learned at Hutchmoot, and I like it. It’s the miraculous and mysterious Story of the grace and redemption and love found in Jesus Christ, and, ultimately, every good story (in prose, or song, or art, or a smile) is a part of this grand Story. All these people met at this strange intersection of art, creation, inspiration, music, books, trades, crafts, and hobbies, all practiced under the umbrella of – or maybe I should say mixed in the bowl of – the Story.

I did not really appreciate it at the time, in that first hour, but now I understand one more proof of God. It is creativity, the ability and desire to create. We are made in His image, so there’s something inside us all that yearns to create, just like He created the stars and the oceans and me. And every time we create, we are afforded the joyful privilege of communicating the Story with the rest of creation.

That’s why I’m typing right now, in the middle seat in coach class on a crowded airplane in front of a crying baby, with a broad smile on my face. Oh, what joy to be part of the Story!


1. Dave - August 11, 2010

“What a joy to be part of the Story!” Indeed, and what an honor. C.S. Lewis said that as humans we are adjectives desperately wanting to be nouns, and once we become Christians our role is to be an adjective humbly striving to point others to the Noun of truth.

2. Hutchmoot Hub (A Collection Of All ‘moot-related Blogposts, Websites, Etc.) | S.D. Smith - August 12, 2010

[…] Hutchmoot: Hutchmeets?, from Mark Geil […]

3. The Rabbit Room - August 13, 2010

[…] Hutchmoot: Hutchmeets?, from Mark Geil […]

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