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.

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The Faith: Ancient and Mystical

Over the last few months, one of my favorite authors has been Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk from the 1900's. I loved reading his autobiography (The Seven Storey Mountain), and now as I read some of his contemplative writings, the mystical aspects of the Christian faith are being highlighted for me. I've tried to find a few books about the modern monastic movement, and even read some (which were disappointing), and so I thought I would open this line of discussion with the group.
  • What mystical expressions of the Christian faith have you experienced that have been particularly meaningful to you?
  • How are the ancient and mystical aspects of Christianity powerful in the Emergent movement?
  • Are there any books, movies, church services, etc. that you would recommend to the group?
I also think it would be helpful to try to stay away from "I like..." or "I don't like..." but instead try to focus on what practices are meaningful to us, or are helpful in becoming more like Christ and incarnating his kingdom here on earth, today.

Have a blessed Christmas everyone!

p.s. - These pictures are from "La Sacrada Familia" which is an "in-the-works" cathedral in Barcelona - a marvelous example of the ancient and the modern coming together in a beautifully mystical expression of the Christian faith.


Greg said...

Wonderful questions. I want to read some Thomas Merton now...

My friend from Wicker Park Grace has talked about their current Jesse Tree project, which is perhaps more ancient than mystical, but sounds interesting nonetheless.

Also, I appreciated some of Rollins' related comments on pp. 23 and 24, which refer to God's hyper-presence. "While many of the communities taking part in the emerging conversation engage in highly creative forms of religious activity, encouraging a full range of sensual experience in worship, it would be a mistake to think that such openness to other languages (such as those of painting, poetry and ritual) allows privileged access to God that is inaccessible to reason. While helping to reintroduce a wide range of experience to worship, those involved in the emerging conversation testify to the idea that God can no more be contained in experience than in language...Indeed, one of the reasons why many of the communities involved in the emerging conversation engage in creative forms of worship lies, not in the conviction that opening up a wider array of sense experience in worship will lead to a more effective grasping of God, but rather in the fact that, in the aftermath of God, all our being cries out in response."

In the end, I agree that the point of it all is incarnating his kingdom here on earth, today. Well-stated, Jesse.

Perhaps a field trip to Barcelona is in order. I mean, we need to truly know what we're dealing with here, right?!

Merry Christmas to everyone.


Michael Krahn said...


I recently put up a series of posts about Thomas Merton that I think you'd enjoy at: