Clearnote Fellowship

Clearnote Summer Conference: your children will love it!

Here's the e-mail that went out to fathers and mothers of children registered for our 2014 Clearnote Summer Conference this coming weekend, "Salt and Light: Confessing Christ in the Public Square," and it's one small evidence of the truth we repeat to those considering attendance: the Clearnote Summer Conference children's programs are second to none. Clearnote churches and Clearnote Fellowship are family-centered. 

We are very thankful to the many men and women who serve our children during the conference, and especially Dr. Ben Burlingham who has led them. If you have children and you're able to get out of town during the summer, make plans now to attend next year's conference. You and your wife and sons and daughters will love it!

A Parents’ Guide to the 2014 Clearnote Fellowship Summer Conference

We have a great program planned for the kids this year, and the purpose of this email is to ensure that they all arrive ready to hit the ground running...


Last chance for Clearnote Summer Conference 2014...

We've now gone over 400 registrants, adults and children, for our Clearnote Summer Conference July 11th & 12th here in Bloomington, Indiana. The conference is titled,"Salt and Light: Confessing Christ in the Public Square." Are you coming?

We have a few spots left so go on over to the registration page and snag one. We'll look forward to seeing you.


A conference for the whole family...

Conferences get a bad rap around here, and for good reason. Generally speaking, conferences tend to be about money and personalities and book sales and money and self-promotion and money and stuff, for instance. They're also a really great opportunity for super-spiritual people to go and listen to their favorite super-apostles so they can feel super-righteous about their super-awesome understanding of supralapsarianism or something like that.

But if you're like me, there are still a few conferences out there that you like the idea of going to...


A few updates from Clearnote Fellowship...

A few exciting things to announce from Clearnote Fellowship, today:

PostAd_Conf2014.jpg

First, early bird registration for our summer conference is now live at clearnotefellowship.org. Here are five quick reasons to be the first to sign up:

  1. We’ve invited Doug Wilson to join our plenary speakers and the last time we had Doug in Bloomington it was, well, exciting. Who knows what will happen this go around?
  2. We’re addressing faith and life in the public square—what it means to be public Christians. It's a hot issue and one we hope to open up in really practical ways through both our plenary and breakout sessions.
  3. Our summer conference is, first and foremost, a family conference. That means we want you to bring your kids. See it as a mini-vacation, really. We have activities, games, and times of instruction dedicated to kids from the nursery through junior high. We call it Camp Clearnote, and it’s a lot of fun.
  4. We were operating close to capacity at last year’s summer conference. Which means we fully expect to close registration early. Don’t get left behind. Or if you’re post-mill and stuff, do, but in a good way.
  5. We may or may not have some fun goodies for you to take home. But we’re not spoiling any surprises here.

Second, we had a great time at our recent pastors conference...


Clearnote church officers conference only one month away...

One month from now, we'll be holding a conference here at Clearnote Church, Bloomington, titled "Elders Who Rule Well." We'll start on Wednesday, February 19, with a Texas-style BBQ dinner where you'll get to chow down on the world-renowned Chasteen Brothers smoked BBQ meats which regularly grace our rehearsal dinners, weddings, and other feasts. If you're a pastor, elder, deacon, or you aspire to serve the church as one of her officers, you should set aside the time and join us.

After dinner and fellowship, we'll have our first message, "You Cannot Do It Alone: Elders are a blessing." This will focus on the protection and comfort what has historically been referred to as "the plurality of the eldership" is to the pastor. Every wise pastor will take joy in having a good number of fellow elders lead the church, rather than bearing this responsibility himself. When there's a plurality of elders (we have fifteen), the pastor himself will receive counsel, support, and discipline. We cannot, we ought not, lead the church alone.

Following the message Thursday evening, we'll have some time for fellowship.

Thursday morning, we'll have our second message, "Fathers in God's House: Elders must be good fathers." This will focus on the recovery of fatherhood in the church...


Clearnote Summer conference subjects this year...

Knowing many readers plan their vacations a year in advance, I'd like to invite you to plan now to attend the Clearnote Summer Conference a year from now. It will be held at Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana on July 11th and 12th, 2014. To whet your appetite, here are the messages and breakout sessions...


Come to the Clearnote Summer Conference; learn to love the Church

Many are watching the Supreme Court this week to see what it will tell us about marriage and race relations. What will our justices rule on equality in this country? How will their decisions affect our lives? We watch and wait because their words bear weight. They carry authority. We won't escape the implications of what they declare.

Of course, for Christians there is a higher truth and the place God is pleased for us to hear, understand, and live this truth is the Church. Thus God names His Church "the pillar and foundation of the truth."

But we are quick to run to anything else; to campus Bible studies, to home churches, to a church that couldn't and wouldn't offend us; to a place called "church" where we won't have to confess our sins and listen as others confess theirs.

A church where we won't need to encourage others as they suffer because there is no sin or suffering. A church where brothers wouldn't think of admonishing or rebuking one another. To tell the truth...


Clearnote Summer Conference: your children will love it...

“She is our mother.” What a description of the Church—God’s gift to us, His adopted sons, for our care, discipline, and nurture. In a world that hates the Church, we need to stand as witnesses to God’s faithfulness. What better witness do we have than when we love some of the most precious God gives us: children! 
Camp Clearnote

The Clearnote Summer Conference is designed to love, teach, and care for the whole body—especially the very youngest. While mothers and fathers are sitting under the preaching of the Word, your children will be taught and challenged with Bible lessons explaining God’s purposes and works through Camp Clearnote.

We have a busy, fun, and profitable time planned for children of every age.

For our littlest ones, ages 0-3, we have age-appropriate facilities and caring volunteers. With a ratio of less than five children per childcare worker, you can know that your child will have the attention he needs. Even if it is your first time with us, you and your children will feel right at home...


Athanasius College begins classes this fall...

As I've written before, Clearnote Fellowship has founded Athanasius College and this coming fall our first students will start classes. The program and teachers are excellent and we invite inquiries from men and women who see the benefit of going through college or university in a community with a good Reformed church that has a vital ministry on the campus of Indiana University and deep integration of undergrad and grad students in our family life.

Central to the vision of Athanasius is cross-registration at Indiana University...


Register now for the Clearnote Fellowship 2013 Summer Conference...

Clearnote Fellowship is excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2013 Summer Conference, "She is Our Mother," to be held July 5th and 6th in Bloomington, Indiana. The theme of this year's conference builds on the 2012 Summer Conference, "I Believe in God the Father Almighty."

Christians in America today reject the fatherhood of God by gagging His word and those who proclaim it. They also scoff at the truth that any true son of God must have the church as his mother. When elders are diligent in their care for the sheep, we often refuse their care, bleat, and run off—away from our mother!

In the 3rd century AD, Cyprian of Carthage wrote: “You cannot have God as your Father unless you have the church for your Mother.” In his Institutes, Calvin writes: "But because it is now our intention to discuss the visible church, let us learn even from the simple title of 'mother' how useful, indeed how necessary, it is that we should know her."

Useful and necessary, indeed! Christ's church is the mother of all those chosen by God for salvation so join us as we sit under preaching focussed on what our relationship should be to this Mother God has given us, and what it means for her to be reformed in our own age.

The Clearnote Summer Conference is like none other! Our habit is to preach the Word of God rather than to give lectures and talks. We welcome children...


2013 Clearnote Pastors Conference audio...

If you missed the 2013 Clearnote Fellowship Pastors Conference, you missed a great time. If you're an officer in Christ's church, we hope you'll join us at next year's conference. To whet your appetite, here are the audio recordings of this year's conference from the Clearnote Fellowship website.


Clearnote Pastors/Church Officers Conference begins this evening...

Please pray for us. We're getting ready for the beginning of the Clearnote Pastors/Church Officers Conference this evening. We'll have over fifty this year which makes all of us very thankful to you and to our Father. The theme is "Preach the Word" which would seem to be the one thing every Reformed or Evangelical pastor already does faithfully.

Sadly, none of us have been killed, recently; none of us are in jail; and only a few of us have been fired for resembling Jeremiah, Amos, Stephen, Peter, or Paul. So yes, this conference is needed, particularly by those of us intimidated and maybe envious of men well-paid by aquisitions editors and conference-organizing coalitions.

"What? I thought this was a post puffing your own conference? Seems a little inconsistent, dude—ya know?"

Yup, this is a conference and I just got done thanking you and our Heavenly Father for bringing so many men to it. So what gives?

What gives is that this conference...


Are you telling me I'm a preacher...

I'm looking forward to the upcoming Clearnote Fellowship conference for church officers—elders, deacons, pastors, and those aspiring). I hope you are too! Register now—it's only a couple weeks away.

Three years ago we were sent to Indianapolis to plant Clearnote Church, Indianapolis. Since then I've been to many gatherings of pastors and church leaders, some small and others large. Some groups were only church-planters. Some were Reformed. Some weren't. My personal benefit from these meetings has been a decidedly mixed bag.

Yes it is good to see men working to spread the Reformed doctrine of Scripture among church leaders. Talking to others facing the same church-planting challenges can be helpful. Sharing prayer requests with other pastors and asking their counsel has strengthened me.

Still, it's been my experience that nobody at these gatherings truly benefits from being there unless a man brings God's word to bear on us. In other words, I've noticed without preaching it's just a bunch of talk. The air gets stuffy with technical truths. We swell with self-importance. The room glows with plious patitudes. It's a glorious sight.

But it's a waste of time. What we needed was preaching. Preaching pops our blimps and hot air balloons.

So here's the point...


Announcing ClearnoteSongbook.com...

Clearnote SongbookTo reform the Church is to reform her worship.

Everything about our worship indicates our reverence, zeal, and love toward the Triune God; or alternately, our flippancy and indifference. Hearts aflame for God cry out for men to preach the Word, read Scripture, pray, and sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with zeal. Sadly, though, worship today is aimed at the mind or the heart. It's intellect or passion--never both. When there is zeal, it's rarely "in accordance with knowledge." And those claiming knowledge make a principle out of their absence of zeal.

Five hundred years ago, John Calvin worked to reform every part of the Church's worship. We must give ourselves to this same work today.

That's why I'm very thankful to announce ClearnoteSongbook.com. The men behind the Songbook--Jody Killingsworth, Philip Moyer, and the Good Shepherd Band, along with Ben Crum, Joseph Bayly, and Lucas Weeks--have put together a site that is a call to reform our worship. The Clearnote Songbook is jam-packed with goodies to help in that work...


Save the date...

2013 Clearnote Pastors ConferenceOn Thursday, February 21st and Friday, February 22nd, Clearnote Fellowship is holding its 2nd annual pastors conference titled "Preach the Word" at Clearnote Church, Bloomington, IN. If you are (or aspire to be) a pastor, elder, or deacon, I hope you'll come. And if you're not an officer, would you please encourage your own pastors, elders, and deacons to attend? In fact, pay for them to go. It will be a wonderful gift to them and your church. Register now.

Here is the line-up...



Behold I Fall Before Thy Face...

One more gift to readers from the choir of Clearnote Church, Bloomington, and Phillip Moyer, one of our Sons of Asaph. This is Isaac Watts's "Behold I Fall Before Thy Face," set to Balloon.

Here are the words of Watts's hymn. (The choir sings only stanzas 4 and 5.)


Clearnote Fellowship Conference 2013: She Is Our Mother...

Thank you to our conference chairman, Jared Cochran, and all the brothers and sisters who did the work of Clearnote Fellowship's 2012 Conference, "I Believe in God, the Father Almighty," which concluded yesterday afternoon. The preaching and teaching strengthened me, personally, and it was a great joy to meet new brothers and sisters, as well as to renew bonds of love with those who have been here before.

In our world bound in chains of the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life, we must take time apart to sit under the preaching of the Word of God, to pray, to worship, and to share in Christian fellowship. This was our work this weekend and it was food for our souls. Time apart for God and His beloved.

Make plans now to join us next year for Clearnote Conference 2013 titled "She Is Our Mother."

It has been the testimony of church fathers from the time of Jesus Christ that you cannot have God for your Father if you refuse to...


Clearnote Conference pre-registrations at 350...

Two days before our Clearnote Conference I Believe in God the Father Almighty, we have 350 registered! We thank God for each of you and hope we'll be able to meet you while you're here. If you're a regular reader of Baylyblog and we haven't met, please introduce yourself to us.

David and I discipline ourselves to speak of numbers rarely, but we want to note that it is possible to have a bunch of people register and come to a conference without inviting any Reformed muckity-muck grand poohbahs as headliners.


Sexual by Design: A Series of Lectures with Doug Wilson

The Big Idea

"The only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot perform." – Alfred Kinsey

Kinsey was wrong. His quest to normalize perversion did not end in sexual liberation. It created sexual confusion and sexual brokenness.

Sexual by Design is a two-part lecture hosted by Clearnote Campus Fellowship and delivered on the campus of Indiana University featuring evangelical pastor, theologian, and controversialist Douglas Wilson.

In these lectures Wilson brings biblical wisdom and sexual sanity to the home of Alfred Kinsey. Why is heterosexuality central to bearing God's image? Why are sex and marriage so closely connected to the Gospel? These are some of the questions Wilson seeks to answer as he explores how sexuality relates to God's work in creation and redemption...


Clearnote Church, Bloomington's statement on the meaning and obligations of sexuality in congregational life...

(Note from TB: Often I've had calls from pastors and elders asking for help working through the issue of what is and isn't appropriate for men and women to do in their congregation. Some years ago Clearnote Church, Bloomington adopted such a statement drafted for us by one of our pastors at the time, Rev. David Wegener.

It's clear from a recent comment that readers of Baylyblog don't know Clearnote Bloomington's practice on these matters, so I'm taking this opportunity to post the statement here for the good of the church at large. It it would be helpful, please do circulate this statement--or even adopt it as your own.

Clearnote Church, Bloomington's Understanding of the Biblical Responsibilities of Men and Woman in Congregational Life

Adopted by Clearnote Church, Bloomington Board of Elders in November, 1999

1. All men and women are equally created in the image of God and therefore are equally worthy of our honor and respect...