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.


Discussion Wrap-Up

We held a discussion last night at the Cup O' Joe and had a great conversation. Jesse, thanks for leading and asking stimulating questions. We discussed, among other thing, being authentic people and authentic Christians in an inauthentic world. Honesty seems to be at the crux of it, and we are all going to try to be brutally honest with each other and with people we come across in our daily lives. Also, we discussed trying to find some service organizations to become involved with in the Columbus area. If anyone has some ideas, or other things they would like to add about last night, please post a comment.


Greg said...

Thanks for the recap, Nick. I think it is a good idea to habitually have a post-meeting blog report for those unable to attend.

Regarding service opportunities, I feel especially motivated by the notion, which was discussed, of directing our work toward an inspirational objective rather than just an opportunity to fulfill some superficial good-deed quotient.

Perhaps we could think of some ways to serve those who attend our upcoming Super-fun night for starters. In addition to the obvious (supplying food/drinks), what other ways could we demonstrate the concept of hospitality?

As an idea, what if we each created a piece of art to hang on my barren walls? :) Then we could auction them off at the end of the night, or perhaps distribute them to the winners of various games; I'm just throwing out random thoughts... Clearly, hospitality goes much deeper than taking home a door prize. Yet while one point of the evening is to have fun by engaging in one another's company, we should consider how we might make our "emergence" known.

Or put another way, how can we create aromas for our guests that don't slap them in the face but rather demonstrate how like Rollins eloquently states: "God is not revealed via our words but rather via the life of the transformed individual" (42)?

Zack said...

What did you guys think about the idea of helping each other do more intentional service things in our current environment? Since we first started the idea of being like a support and encouragement to each other has been brought up frequently and at first this honestly didn't sound like enough to me.
Sometimes when I read stuff like The Irresistible Revolution I start to feel this huge pressure to be doing more service for the poor.
However high-school students, grad students and IT people need Jesus too. And it might not be as glamorous, but I think it would be easier to show authentic care towards those people we already have relationships with. I really don't know what it would look like exactly, but the idea of doing some sort of service for people we know really excited me. Hopefully it wouldn't be really awkward and weird, but would still stretch us. I think it would also help in being authentic around friends who aren't as interested Christianity and help them see more of what we care about.

Greg said...

I think you're exactly right, Zack.

But I'm in support of doing both. Maybe we could think of our local/friendship service opportunities as ongoing regular events, while at the same time planning broader ongoing efforts to leave our impact on the problem of poverty in Columbus (or elsewhere).

Here's a list of items, for instance, that the San Antonio cohort is distributing to Austin's poor in March:

- $5-$10 dollar bills
-Tampons (travel boxes)
-Pads(travel boxes)
-Deodorant (for both men and women)
-Antibacterial Hand Wash (small individual sizes, fragrance free)
-Bus passes (money for these or, you can go to http://www.goestores.... to purchase, cost is $5-$10, this donation helps a great deal. Please ship card to 130 West Holland San Marcos, TX 78666)
-Pop-top canned food items (please nothing that requires a can opener)
-Items for First Aid Kits (Band-aids, anti bacterial ointment, etc., no bottles of Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide please)
- Blankets
-Canvas bags or Backpacks (new or used is fine, just in decent condition)
-Bottled Water
-Lotto cards

Regarding the issue of responsible shopping, here's Brian McLaren's answer in a recent Relevant Magazine interview:

Relevant: Can you expand on how business can help bring about change?

BM: As individual consumers we can help build justice for underprivileged peoples by changing our buying habits. One example is by buying through fair trade organizations such as Tradeasone.com, and by deliberately avoiding purchasing goods we know were created in unethical conditions. When you go shopping without a conscience, you feel happy whenever you get a bargain. But when you are concerned about ethical buying, you aren’t happy at all if your bargain was purchased at the expense of a young woman working for thirty cents an hour, ten hours a day, or a child being exploited in an unsafe factory that pollutes the air he breathes and the water he drinks. You’d feel a lot happier to spend a little more money if you knew that your purchase strengthened an ethical business in an ethical economy. Government policies must change if we’re to truly bring justice to impoverished nations. For example, U.S. Government subsidization of the cotton industry allows American producers to sell cotton so inexpensively that African producers can’t compete. Our tax dollars are upholding this kind of injustice, and most of us are completely unaware of it.

Jesse said...

This discussion regarding meaningful and intentional service to our immediate communities is really good. I have to say that when I try to wrap my head around it, I'm kinda stumped. My conception of "service" for so long has been doing random, good deed type activities that certainly have their place, but also have their limitations. I am really intrigued with the challenge to serve the people in our immediate contexts in a meaningfully inspirational way. Some ideas, and feel free to criticize them:

Random acts of kindness that connect with people in our context - free gas cards, windshield wiper fill-ups at gas stations, etc. However, this may be more along the lines just filling the "do good quota"

Here is another idea: "Free Books" or "Words to Share" or something similar - - the concept: Post books that you would be willing to give away to someone else, and we would create a sort of mini-free bookstore where we could circulate and share favorite books and ideas. Could easily be set up as a website and a great way to connect w/ new people.

I am also continually intrigued with the concept of art in our community. I think art is incredibly powerful, communicates at a different level than just words and ideas, and has a more holistically human impact. I'll continue to push the idea of a video, although that is a bigger project. I also enjoy photography, and writing, and would be up for contributing any of those types of art. However, I'll ask, how does this "serve" other people?

BTW - great quote Greg. A wonderful reminder for us.

Jesse said...

This was the website I referred to in the discussion on Sunday too - has some good resources:


Kristen Kuzmick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristen Kuzmick said...

The site Jesse recommended is great. If you go to it, you can sign petitions to both GM/Ford to urge them to produce more Hybrid plug-in cars and to grocery stores to carry fair trade bananas.

What better way to be stewards of our Earth than to share our beliefs through action. Thanks for the suggestion, Jesse!