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.


Wrap-up from Saturday's meeting

I thought I would post the notes I took from last Saturday's meeting for everyone. I think because of space I will just make them a comment to this post. There are a few highlights such as the schedule for January. We are done with meetings regarding planning and things will return to normal with two additional meetings per month for those interested. For now, all gatherings will be on Sunday night from 7-9unless that ends up being a big problem. Our next discussion will by on the 6th at the Cup O' Joe on the Cap in the Short North. Greg is working on a topic and it will likely come from Peter Rollins's book, How (Not) to Speak of God. He will be scanning a section for everyone to read and will post it here somewhere.

The week after that we will have a "celebration of the faithful." This name comes from the earliest sources of the mass. For our purposes it will consist of a shared meal, some liturgical elements such as scripture and/or church father readings, possibly worship, and communion. I am planning the first one, which will be on Jan. 13th at 1270 Courtland Ave., but after that anyone can lead one and design it however they wish. I am basing mine off of Justin Martyr's writings of the second century. I'll post more about that in the future. Anyone is welcome to this meal.

The next week we are having another discussion. Someone needs to volunteer to pick a topic and location. Anyone can lead one of these and it can be based on whatever they like. This can be from a book, a work of art, a tv show, really anything. You do not have to be someone who regularly attends cohort gatherings, nor do you have to be a believer. This format is set up to discuss anything and everything. If you are interested in designing the next discussion (Jan. 20th) you can make a comment here and claim it. I'm trying to figure out a good way to have a sign-up sheet so everyone who wants gets to lead, so if you have good ideas how to do that, post that as well.


Nick Johnson said...

Okay, so here are the promised notes. They are pretty rough. I was just trying to take down some main ideas so that we could use them for later discussion.

How do we avoid hurting those that just like the discussion?
1) Stop planning and start doing.
2) Avoid language and the idea of a church – redefine the church
3) Leave open all four meetings
4) When we gather it is a church – wherever that might be, go to “home church”
5) There is nothing to join...we’re just going to do it, no need to commit.
6) There is no need for a new church, but for a loose, emergent community with regular, open meetings

What are emergent thinking and topics, and how do we apply?
1) Intention, regularity
2) Holistic – for those that choose
3) Church ending and starting becomes blurry
4) Openness – especially to issues
5) Somewhere were we can say what we actually believe
6) We cannot, nor should not, be everything
7) We should maintain our original purpose
8) We’re not presenting a stance or a Creed
9) Anyone from anywhere is welcome to come anytime
10) Not the right beliefs, but believing the right way

What will we be called?
1) Cohort

What have we become naturally
1) We get along and do things together
2) Yet, we don’t meet officially very often (we’re fallen)

How to structure
1) Large-scale structure
2) Small-scale structure is open
3) Trust the spirit

Should we set some goals for the next six months
1) Meet regularly
2) Welcome in other people
3) People coming to check us out
4) Be missional...whatever that means (always reaching out)
5) Christ centered...or something
6) Incarnational???
7) Christ will be honored here
8) Evolving

When do we meet?
1) Clear start and end times
2) Small groups often take up weeknights
3) Sunday nights? 7-9..let’s try this for a couple months

Celebration of the Faithful
1) Loosely follow Justin Martyr the first time?
2) People could volunteer to come up with something and lead it
3) Worship could be involved.
4) What to do about communion?

Super-fun Night
1) Great day to encourage people to visit other churches – we are part of a larger church

Jan. 6 – discussion – Cup o’ Joe – Greg
13- celebration – 1270 Courtland – Nick in command
20 – discussion
27 – super-fun night

Anyone can compose/design these meetings

Jesse said...

Thanks for posting the notes and faithfully updating the blog Nick!!

I was really excited after the last meeting, and have been sharing with people that the group is taking a step forward, focusing on some main goals. I guess what I took out of all the discussion were the following things:

1) We will meet regularly (which I think is great)
2) We will intentionally try to include more people
3) We will try to honor Jesus in the group, while keeping it open to new and emergent ideas

I know for myself personally, I've been going through a lot of thinking and transitions in regards to church, and this group has been an awesome outlet, one I did not expect at all. When I look back on the last year and how I've left a church, been out of church for 6 months, and then gotten involved again in a Vineyard, I can see that this Emergent group has helped me process a lot of things and helped me maintain what I think is an important focus of my Christian faith.

I, for one, am really excited and expectant when I think about the future of the Central Ohio Emergent Cohort.

Have a blessed Christmas everyone!

Greg said...

For me, the best part of the Cohort so far has been getting to know other people who think in similar ways. But, is that a help or a hindrance or both? Hopefully our goal of seeing new faces (and hearing new perspectives) will continue to be realized. I am also excited about seeing our group explore a more missional trajectory. And then there's the new Super Fun Night, I mean c'mon!

Jesse said...

Greg -

Your comment/question here has stuck w/ me since I read it. You succinctly sum up the problem of developing Christian communities - we are immediately drawn to people who think/look/talk/believe like us, which is a wonderful experience. But over time the community is stagnant, separatist, defined more by who is excluded than an inclusive aim.

I have been devouring Michael Frost's book, "Exiles" and he touched on this, by quoting Jurgen Moltmann: "Birds of a feather flock together. But why? People who are like us, who think the same thoughts, who have the same things, and who want the same things confirm us. However, people who are different from us, that is, people whose thoughts, feelings and desires are different from ours, make us feel insecure." Frost says, "This has serious implications for the church. If the church is simply a community of like-minded people inviting other like-minded people to join them, then it will always be severely impeded in its attempt to impact our world."

Therefore, I agree with Greg and others that one of our primary goals must be to welcome and include any person, regardless of their expressed beliefs, values or religion.

Moltmann again: "Accept one another 'as Christ has accepted you' (Rom. 15:7). Only this attitude can give us a new orientation and break through our limitations so that we can spring over our narrow shadows. It opens us up for others as they really are so that we gain a longing for and an interest in them. As a result of this we become able actually to forget ourselves and to focus on the way Christ has accepted us."

There is also an incredibly challenging chapter about this in "An Emergent Manifesto of Hope" called "Orthoparadoxy." If anyone wants a copy of the chapter I could get it to them (or you should just buy the book cause it's really good!)