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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Discussion - December 7th

We are meeting to discuss emergent thinker Phyillis Tickle and her videos at: http://www.thegreatemergence.com/VideoDiscussion. Anyone is welcome to the conversation (even if you haven't seen the videos or ever heard of Phyillis Tickle). We will meet at the Global Gallery Coffee Shop on North High St. from 3:00-5:00.


Scot said...

Man, I'm glad I was sitting right next to Jesse's laptop because I don't think my "old" ears could have picked up the audio from those old lady videos if I had been at the far end of the table.

Just wanted to comment about the discussion. Enjoyed it. A number of things resonated with me. Like Nancy I have wrestled with the scary unsettling realization that many foundation points that used to anchor my faith life have been removed...somehow? I too am encouraged by the book that confirms I'm not a "spoiled kid" or renegade by chronicling the current events and factors of our world that indicate something is up or to borrow from C.S. Lewis that indicate "Aslan is on the move".

As I listened this afternoon it began to dawn on me that perhaps we are clamoring for some sort of group definition because we are saddled with a (modern?) need for a label so we can fit ourselves as a group into the current religious/spiritual landscape. Then I took some comfort from the thought that perhaps being undefined doesn't have to be so...uh, uncomfortable. The "old" video lady said we get to live through the current "rummage sale" in the every 500 year cycle. I don't think that is accurate. I think the changes or rummage sales are really transitions that take longer than our lifetimes. From the 30 years I've been in the "Church" I've witnessed the cross pollination she spoke about. The dynamo if you will that Evangelicals mixing with Pentecostals mixing with liturgy mixing with social justice believers has created is real. Something is happening, "emerging" from that swirl of boundary crossings. I was aware of it before it had a name or label (emergent). But we are on the front end of this transition. It would be great if things would snap into focus for us now in our lifetimes but that may be too much to expect. We may need to embrace the role of being pioneers. We are going into something new, we are not sure what it will eventually look like but we have that Spirit thing that causes us to know we are moving in the right direction. There is no playbook or "how to" manual for pioneering. It's trial and error. I want to be a part of what God is doing on earth today. I can't go back to the old way with all the security it's structure and boundaries provided because it doesn't bring life to me any more. He is on the move and is calling me after Him. Following Him brings life somehow. Even when I can't really tell anybody where I'm at, because I don't see any reference points, nothing but an empty horizon in every direction. Being in the boat with Him is all that matters.

Perhaps our role is to be stepping stones for those who will come after. As we do our best to make the world a better place by living for Him and in a way that postmodern people can connect with we are paving the way. And perhaps someday all the murkiness and fuzziness that currently frustrates us will be gone because we moved the process ahead somewhat when it was our turn. Transition is rarely painless but it can be very productive if we keep moving.

Nick Johnson said...

Scot - that was a great comment. I especially like the idea about being stepping stones. One problem I see with this 500 year phase thing is that it is putting an awful lot of pressure on us to not only live as followers of Jesus, but to also change our faith for all history.

Greg Lyons said...

Wow, Scot, I really enjoyed the hopefulness evident in your comment. It really piqued my interest to ponder a day "when the murkiness and fuzziness . . . will be gone."
Also, Phyllis Tickle would say you were right on target at emphasizing transitional periods over specific moments of change where church history is concerned. This is a view she has articulated in her book and in various talks. Still, she has compared Brian McLaren to a modern day Martin Luther. And, incidentally, McLaren recently announced on The Nick and Josh Podcast that one of the working titles for his upcoming book is "The 96th These." Hmmm . . .
Nick, certainly Phyllis Tickle is not the first thinker to conveniently categorize church history in this way. It would seem that she chooses to do so out of respect and acknowledgment of the fact that history is never so obviously delineated, a point she makes in her book. Further, she would most likely add that whether we feel an extra burden for the shape and direction of future faiths is a moot point. Her premise is that this Thing is happening irrespective of how responsive (or unresponsive) the Church chooses to be to it. To me, this point is what sets her insights apart from other Emergent thinkers thus far.