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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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4.20.2008

Hungry for Justice

Several of us attended the Justice Revival that was held Wed-Fri this past week. It was a great event with powerful speakers, quality music and an electrifying atmosphere. After the Wed. night service, a small group of about six of us were talking about our thoughts and reactions. The idea came up again that our cohort should be involved with some ongoing, meaningful, relationally-based, social justice work in the Columbus area.

There are, of course, some questions and difficulties. Most obviously, what exactly should we do? How would it fit into our weekly "schedule?" What would be the goal? Who would be involved? Etc. Talking Wed. night, I think we all realized that the only way to answer those questions is to make a personal and group commitment to find out what God wants us to do.

The "kingdom of God" could be understood as the ways in which God is moving in the world around us, all the time. There are many "good" things we could do to help the cause of social justice. But the real question is, how is God moving? And how can we join alongside of him?

The answer to this question may be very simple. We might feel that God wants us to pick up trash in a park once a month. Maybe we need to collect money every week, and once a month give it to a worthy cause. Or it may be more complex and demanding, like actually opening our homes to those without homes. Or visiting those in prison. Or maybe something even more radical.

However, we won't know until we honestly ask God, and wait for his answer. So to that end, I suggest that we take six weeks - as individuals and as a group - to commit to praying about how we can join along God's work, advancing his kingdom, in the area of social justice in Columbus.

On Thursday night, Kristen and I both received a small study guide, produced by Sojourners, that "takes readers through a six-week study on how our personal conversion to Christ can be lived out publicly for the kingdom of God." You can download the intro and first weeks entries here. Perhaps if we commit to reading and working through these daily entries together, it may spark some conversation and ideas within the group. We can talk about this idea and the possibility of either making copies or ordering more booklets at the discussion on 4.27.

I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit will direct us to the area that he wants us to work in, if we are patient and persistent in seeking him.

6 comments:

Zack said...

I think this is a good idea.
Doing these devotionals seperately throughout the week could really fuel our discussions. It looks like they are pretty simple, but if we really pray about it and try to answer some of the questions in the meditation it could give us good focus.

The goal of the emerging church has always seemed to me to be, not just to free people from the religion of christianity and bad churches, but to reach out to those who aren't currently being reached out to by the church. Alan Hirsch always talks about how we have a missional God who sent His Son to us, and so we should be a missional people.
I think being a missional people, means more then just putting business cards into christian books at the library and Barns and Nobel although that's a start.

Let's be bold and brave, be willing to experiment and fail.

Noel said...

I printed this week's study, and I really agree with Zack. I think that adding a focus to this in our personal lives will really serve to fuel our group discussion, clarity and passion.
I really believe in a lifestyle that is serving the needs of others, a missional lifestyle, I guess. I think more than a missional lifestyle, I'm just on a mission. And if I'm not fulfilling the mission = I'm not living.

Jesse said...

From day one devotional: "The evangelism of the church has no power when the essence of the gospel is not lived out in the world."

Reflecting on this, I realized that our emergent cohort is much the same way. If we do not attempt to actively live the essence of what we believe, then we will be largely ineffective and useless. To only discuss, converse, debate and dialog falls short of the action, the movement, the love which brings us together.

In short, I want to be more than a group that talks about what we should be doing, and rather be a part of a group that is willing to take risks and even fail because we love the world.

Kristen Kuzmick said...

Jesse,
I was totally convicted by that statement in day 1 as well. Examining myself and the gulf that exists between what our scriptures say and how I live my life is humbling. God is continually revealing things in my life that is inconsitent with my beliefs.

I hope you're on board for discussing it more this Sunday -- and then taking some action (so we don't just become a group of people who talk about brin' the Kingdom)!

Jesse said...

One idea for a social justice / outreach thing: Free housecleaning for single parents. We could pick an area of town, go door to door with flyers and offer to set up a time to clean their house for free. Then as many people as wanted could buy cleaning supplies, show up and clean for one or two hours, and really bless a single parent who doesn't have much time on their hands. If the person thought we did a good job, we could come back every week or every other week and start to form a relationship. Just an idea - I won't be offended if God tells you it's a bad idea. :) j/k

Greg said...

Count me in Jesse. Great idea.