Hutchmoot Recap

by Jonny on 27/09/2012

In the homey hills of suburbean Nashville is a little brick church building. This past weekend, over 180 people stuffed inside for Hutchmoot.

Hutchmoot started as a physical gathering of the folks in The Rabbit Room, an online intersection of faith and culture… but more on what Hutchmoot actually is next week. See, so many people asked me to take notes for them at Hutchmoot that I’m going to present my reaction in multiple parts.

This week, I’m posting a recap for those who weren’t able to make it to Nashville; next Thursday I’ll get a little deeper into the ways the weekend impacted me. I hope y’all are following The Rabbit Room too, because they’re going to be posting recaps and podcasts over the next few weeks.

So without further ado, let me tell you about some of the people I met at Hutchmoot:


One of my first encounters was Pete Peterson, author of two of my favorite books. Pete is the man in charge of organizing Hutchmoot, and he stood by the door welcoming people in a manner that for all the world reminded me of…


Songwriting and literature are a big deal at Hutchmoot, but the visual arts are vastly underrepresented, and that’s a cryin’ shame. If you’re a visual artist, I’d love to see you at Hutchmoot next year – we gots to represent, yo!

The one artist-in-residence was the amazing Justin Gerard. Justin is a fantastic illustrator of book covers, has contributed concept art to some of my favorite films, and apparently had some interesting encounters with the incomparable Chris Sanders. Watching Justin color his Arabian-flavored book poster and attending his ‘Illustrating Wonder’ panel made me feel almost as though I was learning the ways of the Force.


“I draw comics.”

No matter who I was talking to, as soon as I said that, people were immediately interested – everyone had something to say about comics. Unfortunately, Ben, Sherri, and myself were the only people I met who are involved in comics. I thought of us as the Harry, Ron and Hermione of Hutchmoot.

Alas the lack of cartoonists at Hutchmoot! …but that’s a topic for a later blog post.


Evie Coates led a crack team of kitchen operatives to keep everyone fed. That’s right, food was provided at Hutchmoot, and it was the kind of mouth-watering culinary combinations they talk about in Ratatouille. I’m not even going to describe it to you, man. You just had to be there.

Okay, I am going to describe it. My status quo is simple, tasty food that satisfies. This went beyond that. We’re talking about art on a plate. If Rembrandt or Chagall had pursued your taste buds instead of your eyeballs… well, think about that, won’t you?


Jodie’s loss of innocence in The Yearling is the story of the great fall all over again, the tragedy of the garden of eden repeated in our lives as we leave childhood innocence behind for new secrets we can never unlearn.

Andrew Peterson’s new album, Light for the Lost Boy, is a remarkably and painfully honest look into that tragedy. The songs confront the fall, mourn it, and ultimately find resolution in early light of morning.

Light for the Lost Boy is a beautiful work, combining Andrew’s powerful songwriting with outstanding sound production by Ben Shive and Cason Cooley. Hutchmoot gave us the album release concert, complete with supporting band Caleb (who also played a great opening set).


Phil Vischer’s keynote address reiterated the story in his book ‘Me, Myself and Bob,’ but it was told in a different way that brought out profound new sides of the story. I highly recommend reading the book, but I also hope the Rabbit Room posts a recording of the talk – not just because of the spiritual and creative insights, but also because it was really really funny.


Songwriter Andrew Osenga has finally done what we’ve all wanted to do, but were afraid to try: he put on a spacesuit, sat in a spaceship he built in his backyard, and wrote an entire album’s worth of songs.

Osenga’s songwriting has always been great, but this project, I think, got all of us giddy with excitement – not only because of the geeky fun inherent in all spaceship-themed activities, but also because Andrew Osenga’s songs just keep getting better and better!

So imagine our delight when the unannounced surprised event Saturday night turned out to be a play-through of Leonard the Lonely Astronaut – complete with Osenga in his spacesuit and the stage decked out in spaceship panels.

Leonard rocked my face off.

These are a few of the moments and events that stood out this weekend, but the real highlight was the fellowship I found with my fellow Hutchmooters. In his opening address, the proprieter made two things clear:

First, that although the staff had an agenda for the weekend, God had a specific agenda for each person present. We were encouraged to follow God’s personalized agenda and not sacrifice His plans by trying to be at every scheduled activity.

Second, that the leaders of Hutchmoot had as much to learn from the attendees as the attendees had to learn from them. In other words, this was not a leaders-training-followers situation. This was God’s children encouraging one another, challenging one another, and eating delicious food together. Seriously, that was by far the best antipasto salad I’ve ever tasted.

I met so many great people this weekend, and that above all else is what I value about the experience. I dialogued with brothas and sistas in Christ, and they ministered to me mightily. I only hope I did the same for them.


Two final things: first, don’t forget I’ll be posting more Hutchmoot thoughts next Thursday, and stay tuned to the blog or twitterbook, because I’ll be following that up with more thoughts about the need for comics in the kingdom.

Second, I met some fantastic artists this weekend – be sure to take a look at their work online – [Justin] [Rebecca] [Ben] [Sherri]

There are 4 comments in this article:

  1. 27/09/2012Ben Humeniuk says:

    LOVED seeing your notes and cartoons from the weekend, bro! I also like the way you’re correlating major events of the weekend to notable literary characters. That’s awesome. Thanks for encapsulating these memories in such a cool way.

  2. 27/09/2012Jen Rose says:

    This is awesome. And my sister is Hermione? I’m so proud.

    Seriously though…. I love comics and I’m glad there were a few more visual artists representing. I think Sherri and Justin were the only ones last year. Wish I’d met you and Ben…. Next year!

  3. 27/09/2012Peter B says:

    Dang, I missed this subculture movement entirely. Thank you for posting this! I think we all have a deep admiration for those of you who have honed your visual art skills, even if we don’t necessarily have the same gifts. Your presentation is greatly appreciated.

  4. 27/09/2012Shauna Peterson says:

    This was such a fun blog! I can hardly wait to see what else you come up with concerning Hutchmoot – and well, anything else for that matter.

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