Take a look around South Florida…what do you see?Some see beauty – roadways lined with palm trees, breathtaking sunsets, endless beach, perfect weather, leading philanthropy, attractive people, yachts, cruise ships, expensive cars, a thriving economy and carefree smiles of people from across the world saying, “hello Sunny!”
Others see brokenness. Income inequality – impoverished low-income housing across the street from a Ferrari dealership. A homeless epidemic – men and women with small children standing on street corners asking for a meal and safe shelter. An overtaxed foster care system – sirens wailing, first responders removing children from their homes. Overburdened infrastructure- green spaces disappearing in the name of progress and development, eroding beaches, flooding roadways and gridlock. A difficult place to call home – a runaway rental market, low wages, Publix bills, threat of severe storms, and a hit-or-miss public school system, just to name a few.
In the midst of this beauty and brokenness we find a something that is uniquely South Florida – a story that is continually being written, marketed and shaped by the context of our culture, the moments that grab our attention and the place we call home.
Culture shapes us. Moments shape us. Places shape us. Our faith transforms us.
As Christians, we believe that we have been called by God, gifted by His Spirit and sent out by His Son. We share a common commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and an awareness of our calling by God to join Him in His redeeming work throughout every channel of culture. After all, Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come, and his will to be done on earth as it in heaven.
In South Florida as it is in Heaven.
Imagine if we got a little creative and contextualized the Lord’s Prayer. What if we prayed for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done in South Florida as it in heaven? What if we let our faith drive us towards looking around our community and asking: what’s broken that needs fixing? What’s messy that needs clarifying? What’s missing that needs to be built? What’s great that needs celebrating? I believe a conversation would start – a conversation that would lead us towards staying curious, thinking well and advancing good. Sound interesting?
Q Commons finds its roots in those questions and that very conversation. Motivated by the Christian faith, Q Commons is conversation that is committed to exploring cultural topics and advancing good in communities around the world.
This is far more than an event; it represents the opportunity to join in a conversation. Q Commons is a platform that you can stand on to invite people into a conversation about what it looks like for our region to flourish. It seeks to see Christians thoughtfully engage with cultural moments – both nationally and locally.
Practically, Q Commons is a simulcast style event that combines a global broadcast with live elements that create an evening that is uniquely global and local. Throughout the two-hour evening, attendees will hear three talks on important topics from recognized presenters via video broadcast and three live talks from local presenters in their city. Following each there will be just enough time for roundtable conversations, and Q&A opportunities to digest the content with friends, colleagues and neighbors. It’s a fast paced evening filled with lots of meaningful content. With local expressions in 110 cities since October 2014, Q Commons has been received by more than 12,000 individuals.
That conversation is coming to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, March 3, from 7 – 9 p.m. at Axis Space, 333 Las Olas Way, CU1 Fort Lauderdale where all are invited to learn and consider how to advance good in Fort Lauderdale .
Who is Q Commons for?
If you’re interested in exploring cultural topics and advancing good in South Florida, Q commons is for you. The event will primarily appeal to those of a Christian faith, but the questions being discussed have broader relevance. Q doesn’t have a monopoly on good answers to questions in their host cities, and so they desire to engage with speakers and attendees who often do not share the Christian faith. However, as an event motivated by a commitment to the gospel, the language and tone will reflect that at points throughout the evening.
Beyond a conversation
Ok, so we’re starting a conversation…is that all?
No. Rarely does thinking critically about something lead to inaction. Once a question/topic/idea has surfaced it becomes something we’re forced to interact with. God has called us in the context of our community and our community is both beautiful and broken. Our goal is that you’d walk away thinking about how your faith compels you to engage in the culture of South Florida. Where there is brokenness, ask your self, “how have I been gifted to bring beauty?” Where this is beauty, ask ,”how I have been gifted to celebrate it and make it known?” Where this is confusion – are you gifted to bring clarity? It all starts with a question. Stay curious.
To learn more about the event and register, visit qcommons.com/fortlauderdale.
Trinity International University is sponsoring Q Commons, and as an alumni I am a product of their commitment to training students to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness and lifelong learning. A conversation like Q Commons is right up their alley. Trinity’s commitment to being Christ-centered, community focused, church connected and culturally engaged has helped shape and deploy countless thought leaders throughout our region.
Edwin helps lead RENEW South Florida, a church planting and leadership development organization committed to seeing a gospel moment take root in our tri-county area. He can be reached at [email protected] Read more articles by Edwin Copeland at: goodnewsfl.org/author/edwincopeland/