The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

To receive cohort emails, join our Google group.


An Invitation

Hello friends - 

It has certainly been awhile since we have all been together! Kellye and I have been talking at length about the cohort, about how much it has meant to us, and still does. We have also been talking about our future as a family, and what our faith will look like in our family. After many conversations and prayers together, we've decided to focus our time and efforts in a church community on the near West side, in the Hilltop area. 

But, we also have talked about how much we love the cohort. I was sharing about our time in the cohort with a friend, and I stated that literally over the past 6-7 years, we have traveled across the country, experienced graduations, births, weddings, and even funerals. We have shared life together, in the fullness of what that means. 

It's hard to end well. It's hard to leave one thing and go on to something else. But we want to try our best. 

And so we are inviting everyone - EVERYONE - to a "Celebration of the Faithful" (or perhaps, an (un)Celebration of the (un)Faithful??) - Saturday, June 7, in the afternoon/evening. 

This invitation is intentionally far in advance so that hopefully as many people as possible can come. Perhaps even some of you who are out of town? (Nick? Cohoons? Others?) And even some of you whom we have not seen for months or years are also welcome. We have much to celebrate! 

No one can know what the next iteration of the cohort will look like. What we know, for now, is that it's time for our family to move on. But we want to intentionally take time to be with all of you, to express our gratitude, our laments, our joys and sorrows and everything in between. 

And of course, do what the cohort does best - eat and drink!! 

Please mark your calendar, and we hope to see you on June 7th, if not sooner. 


Jesse and Kellye (and Aleli and Evie)


"The Reason for God" discussion and meal

This Sunday March 16th


at the Miller's : 179 Bridgeport Way, Delaware, OH 43015

Please join us for a meal and discussion, hosts will provide



BREAD (for sandwiches )

You may bring sandwich fixings such as meats, cheeses etc.


We hope you can join us!


I wonder...

How has your faith grown since the Cohort has been meeting? Has the Cohort helped your faith grow or hindered it?

What is your relationship with God like right now? Is it deeper or more distant than when we began meeting?

Important to many of us is the freedom to speak openly on all ideas and views. Have you personally experienced resolution to any of the questions/ideas we have discussed? Have you found answers that you believe are right for you? Have you been able to reclaim any of the beliefs that you originally questioned? If so, what are specific examples where you have lived out a belief recently?

What do you want your relationship with God to become? Are you moving towards this?

To Jesse’s comment… “The purpose is to grow in our faith together…to try to live more like Jesus – together” Do you believe we are living more like Jesus together? Can you give some examples of how you see us doing this?

To Eve’s comment, “I would also love that through these meetings I would feel closer to God whether it be that I am accepting a deeper Truth than before or because I'm wrestling with Him with something.” Is that happening now? Or is it something you want to happen in the future?

What example would you give of something that has challenged you to change--To become better?
To Scot’s comment, “Establishing a common context is HARD work. Are we up for it?” Scot, if common context is not a priority for everyone, do you have additional ideas for another way forward?”

To Jacqui’s comment, “I do think we can be more intentional about how we communicate our assumptions and how we interact over our differences as things come up.” To what end? What do you see happening as this plays out?



Scot said...
Hey everyone,

So, lots of comments on the WTH! post... and honestly most of them bring more questioins to my mind.

I don't know where to begin.

Here is a section from the introduction of the Tim Keller book. Perhaps there is some Providential timeliness afoot...

"Three generations ago, most people inherited rather than chose their religious faith. The great majority of people belonged to one of the historic, mainline Protestant churches or the Roman Catholic Church. Today, however, the now-dubbed “old-line” Protestant churches of cultural, inherited faith are aging and losing members rapidly. People are opting instead for a nonreligious life, for a non-institutional, personally constructed spirituality, or for orthodox, high-commitment religious groups that expect members to have a conversion experience. Therefore the population is paradoxically growing both more religious and less religious at once. Because doubt and belief are each on the rise, our political and public discourse on matters of faith and morality has become deadlocked and deeply divided. The culture wars are taking a toll. Emotions and rhetoric are intense, even hysterical. Those who believe in God and Christianity are out to “impose their beliefs on the rest of us” and “turn back the clock” to a less enlightened time . Those who don’t believe are “enemies of truth” and “purveyors of relativism and permissiveness.” We don’t reason with the other side; we only denounce. We have an impasse between the strengthening forces of doubt and belief, and this won’t be solved simply by calling for more civility and dialogue. Arguments depend on having commonly held reference points that both sides can hold each other to. When fundamental understandings of reality conflict, it is hard to find anything to which to appeal. The title of Alasdair MacIntyre’s book, Whose Justice? Which Rationality? says it all. Our problems are not going away soon.

How can we find a way forward? First, each side should accept that both religious belief and skepticism are on the rise. Atheist author Sam Harris and Religious Right leader Pat Robertson should each admit the fact that his particular tribe is strong and increasing in influence. This would eliminate the self-talk that is rampant in each camp, namely that it will soon be extinct, overrun by the opposition. Nothing like that is imminently possible. If we stopped saying such things to ourselves it might make everyone more civil and generous toward opposing views. Such an admission is not only reassuring, but also humbling. There are still many of a secular turn of mind who confidently say orthodox faith is vainly trying to “resist the tide of history,” though there is no historical evidence that religion is dying out at all. Religious believers should also be much less dismissive of secular skepticism. Christians should reflect on the fact that such large sectors of our formerly largely Christian societies have turned their backs on faith. Surely that should lead to self-examination. The time for making elegant dismissive gestures toward the other side is past. Something more is now required. But what?"

Keller, Timothy (2008-02-14). The Reason for God . Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

I'll post more details about this coming Sunday in a day or two.

Is 4pm start optimum for everyone?


(Post-)Hell and Things Freezing Over

Hello everyone, and my apologies for waiting until Friday to post.

I am more than willing to move forward with our plans to meet for discussion at my house this Sunday. Whether that conversation is a continuation of last week, or whether we take a break from that topic for a while is fine by me.  I'm tempted to say maybe we should take a break from the topic for a week, for the sake of levity, since it looks like we might pick it up again the following week at Scot and Mary's.

If we do take a break, I think we can easily pick one the Nooma (Rob Bell) videos Jesse brought over the last time we met at my house.  Discussion on those would be less theological and more personal, which may be a nice contrast to last week's discussion.  I'm happy to make a couple pizzas again.

All of that being as it is, I want to suggest that we play Sunday by ear as it looks like by that time we'll be in the thick of a pretty nasty winter storm (...again).  The last I heard, the worst of the snow is supposed to be hitting right around the time we would be breaking up to head home.


I'm cancelling today.  Hope to see you all at Scot and Mary's next week.  



Anybody with me on this?

Last Sunday we attempted to discuss the Hellbound? video.

It seems to me a discussion needs a forum in which the participants are in agreement on basic foundational issues regarding the topic.  Otherwise it’s a futile exercise.  Unless one just enjoys hearing oneself talk.

It seems to me the topic of hell, let alone who goes there and why are parts of a greater whole.
That “whole” needs to be established and agreed upon before attempting to discuss the parts. 

Sharing opinions on a topic without an agreed upon context to me is frustrating. 

Several things were said Sunday past that from my perspective illustrate this:

- Zack spoke of other options concerning hell.   

Based on what?  To discuss those options we need to agree on context.

- Jesse “said” in so many words that he and I have shared a common experience in our faith journey and went on to point out questions that have arisen for him (and a friend he regards to be of a higher spiritual caliber) that make him question the “classic” doctrine of hell.  Here again context is an issue, I would need to probe into Jesse’s experience to determine if indeed we do share a common experience.  Only then after establishing that commonness could it be referenced so as to bring credibility to his questions. 

- Jacqui shared how interpretations of scripture different from mine informed her opinions.  That’s an admission of approaching the topic from perhaps contrary contexts. 

Nancy got the ball rolling when before anything else was said she made a point of “out of respect” so as not to offend, asking for my opinion first and foremost.  This was fine and I am not upset or troubled by it but it shows the low potential our gathering had for being anything more than gab fest.  In affect her question stated the obvious:  What Mary and I believe is incongruous with the majority and so as to keep from offending Scot and Mary lets find out where they stand on this specific topic so we know how to temper our own remarks.  Gee, thanks for looking out, but that type of environment is not conducive to “discussion”.  If real discussion is curtailed because of our presence are we justified in feeling as though we are a “wet blanket”?

In short substance and depth can only be plumbed from a position of shared or agreed upon context.  To attempt to delve into those things with out such agreement seems lame.

I think we had the (hell) cart way before the horse last Sunday.  Establishing a common context is HARD work.  Are we up for it?


- I see this coming week Jacqui is hosting a video “discussion”/ Communion.

Should we instead do some of the HARD work?  

2 weeks out Mary & I host the “discussion” of the Tim Keller book, “The Reason for God”.

    Do we want to discuss this book without a shared context?  By the way trying to cover this book in a onetime gathering is very optimistic.  There is a chapter focused on hell, perhaps we should limit our “discussion” to that alone.  If you need the book or that chapter let me know and we can try to figure out how to accommodate  you in that way.

love to all



Hellbound - again

This Sunday, the 23rd we'll meet at Eve, Zack, Chris and Julia's house in Weinland Park, 4:00ish to 6:30.   Let's take another go at watching Hellbound. When Zack and I were in Cambodia this topic was what caused us to change organizations. I feel like we scoured the subject then and frankly I got tired of hurting over it so I stopped searching for concrete answers.  It'd be interesting to me to discuss this again and with a very different group.

We'll have Mexican buffet style you can help yourself to anytime.  Zack and I will provide tortillas, beans and cheese for soft tacos.  Please bring other fillings, sides or drinks (post in the comments). I would like to begin the movie at 4:30 so we have time to discuss after, so come a bit before then to chat, grab a taco and a good seat!

Kids and babies are of course always welcome to stay in the big group but we'll have our back room open as an area to play.  I've not watched the movie to know if there's any scary imagery.

See you Sunday : )



Global Gallery Today

Thank goodness Matt called me this morning!  I lost a day or two somewhere in the week and thought it was only Friday today. 

I have space reserved at Global Gallery today at 3:00 p.m.  I have missed an awful lot of gatherings due to health and  the plan was to talk about community today.  It seems we have had various problems around getting together.  The weather has been the primary culprit.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to talk about what we want out of the Cohort and what we are willing to give to the Cohort.  I know that I have not been as much a part of our group as I should have been.  I guess that's why I have been concerned, lately.  We  are lacking in the communication aspect of community. 

I'd appreciate hearing from the rest of you so that we can address any issues that need to be discussed.  I think that we can be strengthened by having a good conversation.  I hope to see you there ready to have a coffee buzz-on.


Hunger Games...?

Hello everyone - 

Apologies for the late email.  I just wanted to get a feel for who is planning on coming tomorrow.  

After talking to a few of you, I've discovered that very few of us have done any of the reading/listening around the Hunger Games theme for tomorrow (especially those of us who were most interested in the theme in the first place).  

So I'm offering up some options .... 

For those of us who are planning to attend: 

a) we can meet at my place and discuss the theology of Hunger Games, as planned
b) we can meet at my place and discuss sometime else
c) if it's easier for those who are available, we can meet somewhere else (Global Gallery, Stauf's, somewhere with more adult libations, etc) and just hang out and catch up

So...if you're planning on joining tomorrow, chime on in.  



McLaren on Habakkuk

Good frigid morning to you all. 
Thanks to all who have chimed in on the orthodoxy piece.  It's fun to hear everyone's different perspectives again.  I've missed you all.
I've got another one for you this morning.  I just came across this piece by Brian McLaren. 
I started reading it because I love to hear messages on more "obscure" (or at least less talked about) passages.  And I had a hunch that it might be helpful for a couple friends of mine.
What I found as I read was surprising, though.  Especially near the end, I felt my own shoulders drop and an exhale of breath I didn't realize I'd been holding. 
So my hope is that there is something here that blesses you the way it did me this morning. 
Peace to you all, my friends. 


Three Reasons You're Not Too Smart for Orthodoxy

Hey friends,

I came across this blog post today. Thought you all might find it interesting. It's short and leaves lots of room for comment, so I'd like to hear yours...




Does Hell Exist? If So, Who Ends Up There, And Why? - Hellbound the Movie

So the flu bug has infiltrated the Hamilton house this week.  Haezel had it Sunday and I was down with it yesterday.  Both of us are feeling much better now, but there are two other bodies in the house.  Our fingers are crossed that it wont be extended further, we'll see how it goes.  

Anyway, the cohort meeting is planned for our house this weekend.  We are going to watch the new documentary "Hellbound?".  You can follow the link above to find out more info.  It is a great documentary on the historical reference to hell, as well as the different current day ideas of hell in American churches.  Many "popular" emergent types as well as some, lets call them "traditional" christians, make appearances in the film.  Its definitely a film our cohort should view and discuss.  

We are going to make a pot of soup, most likely pasta fazoli (which has been a hit in the past) to share.  We will plan on eating around 5 pm.  Our girls will be leaving around 530 for their Awana service, if we start the movie then, it will give us time to watch and discuss a little before they get back home.

If you want to bring anything to share that would be great.  We wont turn down extra food or drink.  

Also keep in mind that any or all of this could change as the week progresses.  Thanks.

PS ---- congrats to Jesse & Kelly on the new addition and thanks for doin it a little more "normal" this time.

The Hamilton's


Celebration of the Faithful - Out with the old, renewing perspective

So, its 2014.  This Celebration is inspired by my housemates Chris and Julia.  We'll take time to think about our 2013 on a personal level and reflect.  Then take a look at this new year.  Another theme is "surrender."

5:00 pm Sunday, Jan 19th
1414 Hamlet St. Columbus 43201

Looking forward to seeing you all!
No meal with this.  I'll have some light snacks but no need to bring anything.

If anyone can help with or needs a ride, carpool etc. post in the comments or email.


Future Happenings!

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!

Curt, Matt and I are just wrapping up the planning meeting and we're pretty excited about the things to come.

A huge thank you to Eve for sending out the email that got us all thinking and discussing what we'd like to do over the next few months, and for all of you who sent your suggestions.

Please check the Google calendar from now until the end of March, as we've included as many of your suggestions as we could fit in.  We've "assigned" [read: suggested] dates and times for all your events.  If the date and/or time doesn't work for you, feel free to swap out with someone or just adjust the calendar on your own.

Note that for each of the events that are discussing a particular book/video/podcast/idea, there is a link to the material in the calendar appointment so we all have a chance to be on the same page.

Hope to see you all next week for a Celebration of the Faithful at Eve and Zach's.


A Few Reminders

Hi friends -

This Sunday, January 5, at 4pm we will meet at Jacqui's house for a time of prayer. This won't be your typical "sit in a circle and take requests" prayer time. We have planned several interactive and contemplative "stations" in the hopes of guiding participants on a prayer "journey," thinking back over the past year and looking ahead to 2014.

Everyone is welcome, and we hope to meet some new friends as well! Email Jacqui at jacquibuschorgmail.com for her address and any more info you might need. 

Also, for all of you cohortians - we need to make some New Years plans! So let's meet on Sunday January 12th at Global Gallery on North High St. at 4pm to put a few things on the calendar.