OUR MISSION OUR STORY
Focused on educational and cultural travel to encourage, empower, and enlighten people in their quest for lifelong learning
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What is the difference between an expedition and a journey? An expedition signifies travel for some specific purpose or mission. We create expeditions with the objective that many journeys will follow. Our concept of a journey emphasizes movement of a group, or for us, usually a cohort of 12-24 fellow travelers, who journey from one place to another for a significant duration. At Malone Clan Expeditions, LLC, we take this nuanced distinction between an expedition and a journey to be an essential expression of our identity.
Expeditions are conceived to be elaborate, pleasing and well choreographed expressions of our mission intended to be a memorable, and even, we hope, life changing experience for everyone who eventually becomes a member of a journey. To create an expedition, for us, means to meticulously conceptualize, plan, and research the purpose and details of all future journeys we hope will eventually become part of a particular expedition. We invite you to read more about how our story developed into our mission, which, in turn, blossomed into our expeditions we hope will become your journey
Our mission grew out of our story. Our expedition, Invitation to Conversation... ...in Germany, began as a phrase coined by our proprietor intended to offer a fresh perspective and more accurate description of the early sixteenth century reformer, Martin Luther, in his publication of the 95 Theses more than 500 years ago in 1517.
Events and ideas that followed the presentation of the 95 Theses have long been taken by people all over the world to be historically significant enough to their identity that they recognize themselves and others as Lutheran. For many Lutherans, however, the specific relevance of ideas and events that unfolded more than 500 years ago has either faded into distant memories of childhood religious instruction or dwells on a level of their subconscious as a presupposition . We created our Invitation to Conversation... ...in Germany, to be a fascinating , fun, rich conversation among fellow travelers.
In 2017, Malone Clan Expeditions, LLC began leading small cohorts of fellow travelers to Germany. These purposeful journeys to explore what living 500 years after the European age of reformations means for those who may have forgotten virtually everything they once knew about these ideas and events as well as those who fancy themselves experts in Reformation history. Some fellow travelers have journeyed with us to Germany with no knowledge of the Reformation. Others have joined us in Germany despite no Lutheran identity. We created our expedition to engage people and draw them into conversation whatever their background.
Experience of leading people to Germany has taught us to begin our expeditions as concepts that take shape through a process that is much more art than science. Itineraries are crafted as narratives intended to stimulate and foster conversation rather than disseminate information. Expeditions are planned for journeys of 12-24 fellow travelers who generally stay in one culturally rich location and venture out for daily excursions. Our expeditions seek a balance between just plain fun, and time for serious reflection with fellow travelers or alone.
Whether embarking on a journey with us as a fellow traveler on our established expedition, Invitation to Conversation... ...in Germany, you would like for us us to consider dates just for your congregation, perhaps consider the possibility of creating a fully customized expedition for you and a group of your fellow travelers, like our Beautiful Trip to Chicago, Malone Clan Expeditions, LLC stands ready to make our expedition your journey.
To take a look at our purposeful journeys, including our, Invitation to Conversation... ...in Germany click on the the button below:
In developing our expeditions, which we call our purposeful journeys, our focus is on your experience as a fellow traveler. We invite you to explore offering your own journey. Click on the button below to begin a conversation with us about extending your own customized journey:
In April 2015, Roger Gustafson, Bishop of the Central States Synod of the ELCA, convened a group of leaders from across Kansas and Missouri representing nearly 180 congregations comprised of nearly 50,000 Lutherans. The bishop inspired these leaders to formulate plans to be executed in 2017 as an appropriate and commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses. The group came to be recognized across the synod as Team 500.
In their first meeting as Team 500, a round table discussion took place that focused on the story of the Reformation beginning in Germany with the actions of Martin Luther in his publication of the 95 Theses. The familiar story of the Reformation that emerged as a dominant narrative out of the eighteenth and nineteenth century European Enlightenment, once again, proved resilient as members of Team 500 articulated the familiar description of an angry monk forcefully nailing a diatribe to the door of a corrupt church. A member of Team 500, the Reverend S. Michael Malone, known to friends and colleagues as Mike or Pastor Mike, offered a fresh perspective on this old, familiar story.
Mike suggested to Team 500 that in his publication of the 95 Theses, Martin Luther intended to invite conversation; a difficult, tense, perhaps strident conversation to be sure, but a conversation nevertheless. Team 500 embraced "invitation to conversation" as a key expression of their work that extended over more than two years. As a PhD candidate with degrees that include an M.Div. from Concordia Seminary and an MA from the University of Chicago, Mike continued to develop and share his ongoing research within Team 500.
Mike focuses his research on the changing ways of knowing a world growing increasingly complex as a result of global interactions that accelerated at the turn of the sixteenth century. His doctoral dissertation engages studies by German physicians whose intellectual interests outside the field of medicine were stimulated by these worldwide interactions. Mike seeks to better understand, and to share his passion for understanding what happened and why in the amorphous, ambiguous, often contentious movements and change that accelerated in the early sixteenth century. Mike believes that endeavoring to understand who we are today in light of our past can be extraordinarily engaging.
As the seeds of ideas germinated into concrete plans within Team 500, trips to Germany emerged as a vital manifestation of those plans. Team 500 selected Mike to lead the synod trips to Germany in 2017. Administering multiple trips to Germany, however, demanded more than a passionate volunteer. The Central States Synod, in mutual agreement with Mike, determined that administering trips to Germany required the formality of a business relationship. In January 2017, Mike and his wife, Kathy, founded Malone Clan Expeditions, LLC.
What started as a phrase, developed as an idea for trips to Germany, and finally blossomed into expeditions to encourage, empower, and enlighten travelers in their journey of exploring what living 500 years after the European age of reformations means for them and their fellow travelers. Our Invitation to Conversation... ...in Germany will continue to be a hallmark expression of our mission to support people in their quest for lifelong learning.