While more than one person has wondered about whether JoPa is some clever, mysterious acronym, the name is actually a fusion of the first two letters of the last names of founders Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt.
In terms of vision, the JoPa group exists to create innovative learning experiences that bring people together.
JoPa purposefully creates events to bring together a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and different places on the Christian spectrum.
Since we don’t believe any one organization or camp has all the answers to all the questions, we invite any respectful speaker, attender, or sponsor to participate. We believe in learning together with those who can challenge norms, break down “others,” and encourage us to think critically as we all seek to live our faith in better ways. All those interested in the future of faith–from conservative to progressive and everywhere in between–are welcome.
A lot of different things inspire us to create events. Sometimes it’s rising interest in a topic among faith leaders or society at large. Sometimes it’s increased religious activity in a certain part of the country, or decreasing religious participation in another. Sometimes it is a smart piece of literature or a well-delivered talk from another person of faith.
If you would like to share an event idea about a topic, venue or region of the country with JoPa, we’d love to take your thoughts into consideration as we plan our coming event calendar. You can submit your comments here.
By surveying our existing relationships, as well as suggestions received from attenders and leaders in other organizations, we develop a diverse list of potential presenters. We then invite people who approach faith from a variety of perspectives, purposefully welcoming smart, articulate presenters from different backgrounds and different places on the Christian spectrum.
Yes. In an effort to be even more intentional about welcoming diverse presenters, we’ve added a form that can be used to suggest a speaker.
Please keep in mind that we receive far more suggestions for speakers than can possibly be used, but we are making a concentrated effort to review and invite the broadest range of presenters possible.
We also hope to offer even more ways for a wider group of people to interact and share ideas. Some—for example—might apply to present a brief pecha kucha talk or participate in topical conversations around meals.
All attenders are also invited to voice their thoughts during the conference by posting on social networks using the official conference hashtag and by sending us their feedback post-conference feedback form. Some of the feedback received at previous events has prompted us to revise the way we’ve done things in the past. We are optimistic that while we will never achieve perfection, we can always improve our practices and nurture better relationships for the future.
During a recent event, we held a pre-conference discussion for a handful of attenders who lead organizations and/or raised resources to promote faith and justice in our generation
We are committed to looking for ways to include and join with others having similar conversations on faith across the nation. As we strive to do the best we can, we only ask that you will be as gracious as you can be, knowing we are only a small group of people juggling a lot of moving pieces to meet a variety of worthwhile goals.
We also purposefully leave space in the event schedule so there is room for gathering around your own goals. We welcome attendees to organize their own tangential gatherings and meetups, formally or informally, during lunch and break times or before and after daily programs. If attenders would like to do so, they may choose to post the gathering on the event Facebook page or tweet it using the conference hashtag.