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.


Can You Name the Seven Ancient Disciplines?

For those unaware, Phyllis Tickle taught at Mars Hill this past Sunday. What I appreciate more than anything when I hear her speak is the passion and hope always present in her words.
This particular teaching, entitled "Ancient Disciplines for the Church," begins by explaining that we are in yet another pivotal moment of change that Tickle calls The Great Emergence, the same name unsurprisingly of her forthcoming book. She then gives a quick recap of the 500 year cycles that have characterized Church history:  Great Reformation, Great Schism, Gregory the Great/Birth of Monasticism, Great Transformation (Judaism to Christianity), Babylonian Captivity, and the end of the Age of Judges.
Is there a connecting link between all these changes?  According to Tickle "there's something about religion that wants to institutionalize...more programs, more buildings, more doctrine, more people to police the doctrine...until what began as a faith of the heart becomes institutionalized and intellectualized, and ceases to say to your body and your whole life 'I believe in Jesus Christ, and I live it out,'" thereby causing the next cycle of change to erupt.
A point she also emphasizes is that the original version of what was before is never completely erased.  In other words, Roman Catholicism still exists today in spite of the Reformation.  (To me, this point is her subtle way of stymieing misconceptions about the emergent church as a power-hungry attempt to overthrow what has been our current normal state.)

She goes on to illustrate that one aspect of the new thing being born is always about rediscovering what had been lost.  In our current case, that means rediscovering what got lost as a result of the Reformation.  Because though the Reformation rightly reminded us that Christ is now our high priest, "it must not be forgotten that to be followers of Christ...we must bear not only the wonder of this story in our minds and in our memories, but also...in our bodies," which leads to the crux of her message:  an outline for our Western, Reformed ears of the Seven Ancient disciplines--communion, tithing, fasting, fixed hour prayer, keeping the sabbath, keeping the seasons of the liturgical year, and making a pilgrimage.
It is much more enjoyable to hear her speak it, so head over here.


Jesse said...

Very cool post Greg - I've heard that her upcoming book is one of the best in regards to a balanced historical look at the significance of the emergent church. Andrew Jones (Tall Skinny Kiwi) puts it high on his list.

I definitely check out this podcast - thanks for the tip!

Jesse said...

This was a great podcast! Phyllis Tickle is such the "grandmother" of emerging churches - I was really intrigued by her description of fixed hour prayer. This is something I have been exploring recently using her book on "The Divine Hours." Basically, these are pre-scripted prayers that Christians across the world pray at fixed times of the day - morning, midday, early evening, and before bed. I've been trying to practice this regular prayer, and have found a lot of benefit when I do, but it's also hard to work this into a typical American daily schedule - I was wondering if anyone else has ever tried fixed hour prayer, or would be interested in practicing it together as a sort of spiritual discipline experiment?

Anonymous said...

I agree. Great podcast. What a speaker is she is. If anyone is interested, there is a podcast of an interview with her on The Nick and Josh Podcast. These guys were one of the fist (if not THE first) emergent podcast. Nick was living in Birmingham when it started. I met him a couple of times at Birmingham cohort meetings.

The Tickle interview is from July 2007. You can find it in the archivies at www.thenickandjoshpodcast.com.

A lot of the same stuff that she repeats at the Mars Hill talk, but some good extras in there. Since it's an interview and not a prepared speech, I think you get a lot more of what she's thinking.

Greg Lyons said...

Jesse, I am definitely interested in trying this out. Perhaps you could post a couple of the pre-scripted prayers?
Adam, I found out about the Nick and Josh Podcast earlier this week and consequently downloaded a bunch of them. Not only are they frickin' hilarious, but their roster of guests is quite impressive. So far, I've listened to the ones with Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones and Julie Clawson. I can't believe you actually knew one of the guys in Birmingham.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in doing the prayers, as well.

e3 said...


more info here.

Greg Lyons said...

Wow, great website! Thanks a lot for the link!

Pastor M Jones said...

She is an anti-God quack. I've rarely heard someone who is so against what God's Word teaches. Props given to the fact that she is passionate about something, but please do not call it Christianity.