Announcement: Hutchmoot 2010

By

The Rabbit Room started in September of 2007 as an experiment in community. I didn’t know what it would grow into, if it grew into anything at all. I knew that my life had been impacted on a deep spiritual level by the works of artists and writers who were Christians, and from what I could tell those artists and writers were fashioning those works in community.

They not only cared about the excellence of their work, they understood, on some level, that they needed each other. So they met every week in the original Rabbit Room and shared a pint by the fire. They nourished friendships, they celebrated one another’s gifts (and since they were men, and British, I’m sure that means they also made fun of each other), they wagged their jaws, and they shared their writings. They may have even chortled.

We’ve tried to emulate as much of that as possible via the wonder of the Interweb, but the time has come to step out of cyberspace and into the real world. I’ve met many of you at shows, and I’m always humbled, excited, and grateful (read: geeked out) to hear this place has been a blessing to you. It thrills me to interact with the folks whose screen names show up here on a regular basis. I’m fascinated by that mysterious ingredient in the books/films/music we discuss that drew you, of all the billions of people in the world and of all the zillions of websites in the world, to the Rabbit Room. That ingredient is, as far as I can tell, Story. Story with a capital S. It’s the stories we tell, the stories we sing, the stories we live, and the Story we’re invited into by the Author of our faith.

So the next chapter in the story of the Rabbit Room is Hutchmoot 2010. “Hutchmoot?” you ask? Well, you can blame it on Sarah Clarkson’s dad. He suggested the name, sort of kidding, and we laughed. Then we sort of stole it from him. It may sound weird now, but once you’re used to it you’ll be on board. On the bandwagon. In the hutch.

It’s scheduled for August 6-8 in Nashville. Here’s the scoop:

Q: What’s a Hutchmoot?

A: It’s a gathering. A meeting. A retreat. A conference. A powwow. A shebang. An entmoot, without the ents.

Q: What happens at a Hutchmoot?

A: Food. Good food, prepared by our resident Rabbit Room foodie Evie Coates. Quality time among fellow Rabbit Room readers with whom you’ll develop friendships that will last until you’re 87. Two concerts (one by yours truly, the other a private in-the-round concert with members of the Square Peg Alliance). The book release of Jonathan Rogers’s The Charlatan’s Boy. Sessions led by Rabbit Room contributors (pretty much all of us will be there). Panel discussions on writing, songwriting, and film. Nightly conversation with dessert and coffee.

Q: Why should I go?

A: Because you must.

Q: No, really. Why should I go?

A: We want you to come and enjoy a weekend of music and conversation about the stories all around us in song, film, books–and most importantly the story being told through our lives; our own story–what it means to get to the holy hidden heart of it, how to tell a better story with the days we’re given, and how our stories intersect each other’s and connect to the Great Story.

See? I told you so. You must.

Q: Who’s going to be there?

A: Andrew Peterson (me), Jason Gray, Eric Peters, S.D. Smith, Pete Peterson, Evie Coates, Jonathan Rogers, Ron Block, Randall Goodgame, Andrew Osenga, Russ Ramsey, Travis Prinzi, Curt McLey, Stephen Lamb, and Thomas McKenzie. There are probably more that I’m forgetting. Oh, and YOU. (Because you must.)

Q: What do I need to do?

A: Click here to visit the official Hutchmoot 2010 website, where all your dreams will come true. You can read about the schedule, browse and buy the recommended reading for the retreat, and register.

That’s it. That’s the plan. The event will be held August 6-8 at Church of the Redeemer in Nashville. I really think there’s something to this story-meets-community idea. I know it’s enriched my understanding of the Gospel, deepened my imagination, and blessed me with dear friends. We’re excited about this next phase in the experiment, and look forward to mooting with you.

Sincerely,

The Proprietor

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


89 Comments

  1. Julie Brown

    Oh my word! This sounds like a dream come true! I may be a poor college kid but I think I’m going to have to do my very best to make sure I’m there! (and i love the title by the way!)

  2. Amy

    This absolutely kills me. I just see no way I can afford this right now, but I’ll try and hope for some miraculous intervention!

  3. Collin Bullard

    Great idea. Great title. Everyone should sign up immediately! I’ve loved reading (and hearing and watching) all of the rabbitroom banter; thanks for telling your stories. You touch more lives than you know. Unfortunately, I’m living in the UK at the moment, so I probably won’t be there :(. If your conference happens to take a field trip to the corporeal rabbit room, I can meet you there :). At the very least, I’ll tell my pub group about the conference (by the way, we call ourselves the ‘Dinklings’… thought you’d like that).

  4. Terry K

    Wow!! The only problem is how one could choose between the sessions. I imagine there will be some honourary “Square Peggers” performing on Saturday night? Sorry for the Canadian spelling there (honourary) – hey will there be a prize for longest distance travelled, like at family reunions? I’d be coming 13 hours but it would be so worth it!

  5. Margret

    All right, everyone, I have only two things to say:

    First, the phrase, “but the time has come to step out of cyberspace and into the real world” made my heart say, “Oh no…. They’re not shutting down The Rabbit Room, are they? Please God, may that not be the case!” You’ve no idea how relieved I am that my fears were unfounded.

    Second, this is so absolutely totally fantastically God! Every child of God who is passionate about the gifts he’s been bequeathed is saying “Yes! This is just what I want; just what I need!” It’s true and, frankly, I might be concerned that the sanctuary will be unable to contain all the attendees. I’ll be praying that all those who must attend will have the grace, support, and monetary wherewithal to attend; also that those of us who cannot attend this year will rejoice with those who can and eagerly await our turn in 2011.

    Third (yes, I said only two things, but, really…), is there any chance of shared discussions in The Rabbit Room once it’s over? That would be of great encouragement to those of us waiting for next year’s Hutchmoot.

    All of Heaven’s best to you and yours,
    Margret

  6. Shelley

    Amen! This ‘next step’ confirms a basic thought that I’ve always sensed here: that the community of artists, strivers and stumblers in faith, is beyond a collective brain that exists soley on the internet. As mentioned, it’s a Story that you have begun (as the Proprietor) by launching The Rabbit Room with known individuals that has expanded to include many…. what a way to enrich the community here by hosting a retreat, a gathering in person so that some of us, can connect comment names to a laugh, a shared memory. What a way to enrich The Body. May these planned events surpass everyone’s expections.

  7. Russ Penner

    Great idea. We’ve been running a Feast of Tabernacles event the last few years with some of the same goals, only for general audience, and not the artist focus. God has called his people to gather for events throughout our heritage, and I am confident that He’ll honor your effort. We all gain so much from a different form of togetherness that is outside our usual flow of life.

    It’s too bad our event is on the same calendar squares, so I can’t be in Nashville. Any chance of webstreaming any of this??

  8. Micah

    I just might ask my best friend to change the date of his wedding from Aug 7th to something else…

  9. Mike Brown

    You folks don’t realize how many times my wife has said to me “you would love to be in a room just listening when these folks were all together.” By the Grace of God I will be there. Nothing I’d rather be than a Hutchmoot.

  10. Chris J.

    I have a feeling Mike Brown’s wife and mine would get along nicely. Been an AP fan since I met him at one of his first concerts after Walk came out 13/14 years ago. (Has it really been that long already??) Have heard the same comment from my wife many times…”you’d love to just be around these people wouldn’t you?” Kicking myself for not driving down for the opportunity to be part of Resurrection Letters…will do my best not to repeat that mistake. Thanks for presenting this great opportunity.

  11. Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    Sorry Terry, I’ll have you beat by an hour – 14 hours from my house to Franklin, TN. Unless you have a detour 😉

    And I may be mistaken, but I think maybe the proprietor is being a little modest… I think one of the concerts that weekend might be a celebration of the release of his new CD (which is great by the way). I could be wrong about that, but if that’s the case I would think that might sweeten the deal for readers here.

    And I’m bursting here with the rumors I hear of who might be the keynote speaker… It’s not for me to say, but if it’s true, we’re ALL in for something very special…

    I’m looking forward to meeting some of you at Hutchmoot, 2010 – our very own storied version of lollapalooza, or bonnaroo, but our name is cooler.

  12. LauraP

    Almost cannot bear the excitement and anticipation… Will be there come heck or high water, and yes, I know the water’s been pretty high there lately.

  13. Brad

    Andy my friend, you have just caused this Oregonian a serious dilema. Emma will not let me off the hook on this…for as you say…we must be there. Time to check the airline specials…

    (great idea though, if we at all can be there, we will)

  14. Jessie Rae

    This calls for multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s all I can do to stay in my seat right now. I literally squealed with delight with every two sentences. Time to find a second job so I can be there. Love the name! Holy Moly, indeed!

  15. David H

    The Inklings used the writings of Ms. Ros in a somewhat ceremonial fashion. A contest, if you will. It might be fun to carry on the tradition.

  16. Keith

    While this is a most excellent idea, it is also torture to those of us that know there is no way we will be able to make it to Hutchmoot 2010.
    Maybe I should look for a job in Nashville…

  17. Jen

    Okay, anything with “fireside chinwag” on the schedule has to be awesome. I’ve been trying to find an excuse to go to Nashville again. Think I found it. 🙂

  18. eugenia

    thomas – i’m with you. crap. am on the other side of the world ):

    otherwise, this sounds RIDICULOUSLYAMAZING. all the best with it!

  19. Peter B

    Davidp, I’m with you — except my birthday was two weeks ago and I had no good ideas! AAARRRGGHHH!!!

    Honorable mention “AARRGGHH” goes to the fact that August 6 is my daughter’s birthday.

    *sigh*

  20. Peter B

    Hey Andrew, is it true that The Book of the Dun Cow is not available in the Rabbit Room store?

  21. Megan

    That sounds amazing! I wish I could be there. Will y’all be tweeting during the event for those of us who unfortunately cannot make it?

  22. LauraP

    S.D. — ‘Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – CS Lewis

  23. Heather Irene

    Seriously considering it. I mentioned it to my friend who is our Director of Arts & Worship at church. We might be able to work something out… We shall see!

  24. Duane

    Tremendous news lads! I am encouraged at least weekly (and not weakly encouraged) by The Rabbit Room. I love the stories, the songs the reviews and the vulnerability that sometimes shines through the contributers. One day, I hope to write, but real like gets in the way of my attempts. If I can manage to make it from W. Michigan, is it ok for me to just sit and absorb. Or do I have to lie about all the great projects I am working on?

    AP, looking forward to seeing you in Rodney, MI next month (Rodney?)

  25. JulieA

    crap. i live in ukraine.
    As they say in Ukraine ‘next time!’
    (which is usually a passive-polite way of saying ‘no way’ but in this case really means, next time I wanna come 🙂

  26. Nick and Susan

    🙁 I with Gina am in England (not literally with Gina! LOL) please take lots of photos and/or upload podcasts. Or what would be even better….bring the Hutchmoot to England!

    Susan

  27. LauraP

    SD, Tony and JR — Ha Ha! I’m having fun and I’m not even there yet! Can’t wait to meet you guys and the rest of the rabbits. Laura

  28. S. D. Smith

    @sdsmith

    I cannot stomach these pretentious persons who use their initials. –Sammy

    Wait, Jodi is the one who convinced me to do that. Her fault. -SD

  29. Peter B

    Pete, you should go 100% initials so people can confuse you with the Microsoft product that has provided 10 years of sustenance for my family.

    Also, what phenomenal cosmic powers must you possess in order to be able to edit your comments? That’s just wicked cool; does it come with your key to the store?

  30. Mark Geil

    Just registered. Very excited, and somewhat intimidated.

    Is it really true that “Moot” is a verb meaning “to discuss”? How ironic, then, that a “moot point” is something not really worth discussing.

  31. Caleb

    I’m literally in a state of depression right now. As soon as I read this post, I forwarded it to my wife so she could be filled with excitement and giddiness. We started planning our trip out there, then we suddenly remembered that my wife will be in a wedding that weekend.

    You had my wife and I dreaming of this event ever since you (AP) posted the ideas about coffee mugs, paying a small membership fee, t-shirts, and the idea of a weekend like this. Now that it’s finally coming true, and we won’t be able to make it, we’re deeply saddened.

    This site is a huge blessing to my wife and me. We’ve been hooked for the past two years! Can’t wait for this event to continue on.

    So much love for the Rabbit Room and all its fans!

  32. Tony Heringer

    Cherie and I are in and I expect to see A.S. and S.D. appear with tweed jackets and pipes (smoking or bag will work). This should be fun and the start of a great tradition. Thanks Barliman!

  33. Rob

    This site has been a big encouragement to me many times since I found it last fall. Thanks to everyone. We will definitely try to be at the Hutchmoot.

    I heard Wendell Berry speak at a nearby library on Tuesday night and someone asked him about internet communities. He responded that you’re not really in community until your neighbor gets your livestock out of the road or spanks your child for you. Maybe this Hutchmoot is something like that? Livestock and spankings figurative of course 🙂

  34. Peter B

    Even better: go by your favorite initialism that shares your initials.

    I hereby dub you Radial Keratotomy.

  35. Heather Ivester

    Hmmm…we’re thinking Hutchmoot may turn into another road trip for the Ivester clan. My husband would love to discuss literature with someone besides me.

    As I have two rabbit hutches out my back door, I think we’d be in good company among rabbit roomers.

  36. Janna

    My maiden name is Janna Beth Young. I was always called JB as a nickname by my Papaw and some other family members when I was young. When I moved in the middle of ninth grade, I told everyone to call me JB all the time, but I dropped it when I went to college. Then I got married to a Barber; so I kept Young as my middle name because I would still have those initials available to me. And those southern folk who’d always called me “Janna Beth” would continue to do so. Plus, who doesn’t want to keep “Young” in their name? Yes, I do sign my name Janna Y. Barber, but I will not answer to JY, because that’s what some people called my brother (Jonathan) when he was in high school.

    John and I are planning to come, but no you’re not allowed to call him JB, also — no matter what he says. I’m older, it was mine first!

  37. Shawn

    Interestingly, when we lived an hour from Nashville this wouldn’t have worked for us, but now that we moved to SD, I can drop the four kids at Grandma and Grandpa’s house (please, please, please) and trek across the country to celebrate our birthdays and 10th Anniversary all in one. WooHoo! Hope to see you all there! ~ S.W. and MAKY

  38. Peter B

    Hear hear! The church should be the primary authority on what community really is… and typing messages on a glowing rectangle doesn’t quite cut it 🙂

    It is notable, though, that the Rabbit Room does facilitate the kind of interaction that can lead to community when the opportunity arises.

  39. Marit

    It’s too far away from Norway for this year, but maybe I can make it work nex year. I am sure it will be great for you who will be there, and then I expect some sort of tweets/podcasts/real-time notes for the rest of us…

  40. benjamin christensen

    Pete-Trying to think logistical here. Let’s say there was this guy and maybe his brother who would love to come to HM but are killer poor and think the drive and cost of the event itself might break our banks, are there any good camp sites near HM or maybe even someones backyard where we could crash in a tent?

    B.D.C.

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