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.


Upcoming Events

Obviously, Peter Rollins will be in town this weekend - so if you happen to just be dropping by the blog, please join us on Sunday!

But a few other events have come up as well that we'd like to invite everyone to:
  1. Trinity Lutheran Seminary's Winter Ministry Institute, February 19-20, which will be discussing "Change Happens! Emergent Church for an Emerging Future - Faith Communities in the Post Modern Era" and feature emergent leaders from Jacob's Porch in Columbus, Karen Ward from Seattle, as well as leaders from Pittsburgh and Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The cool thing is, it's right here in town!!
  2. Phyllis Tickle will be in Cincinnati, March 7-8, at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, discussing what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century.
  3. **Just added** - Columbus Huddle - hosted by Jacob's Porch (I think) - Aug. 11-14
So mark your calendar (and notice that COEC calendar has these dates marked as well), and let us know if you would like to attend. I'm sure carpooling and other plans will be made closer to the event dates.


I am pleased to announce....

The "official"COEC Podcast! Or, for right now, xml feed that you can subscribe to, or download the most recent .mp3 of our discussion session or whatever else we feel like recording. The podcast address (for now) is:


I have posted the discussion from last Sunday. Perhaps if we regularly post the discussions, we can use it as a follow-up discussion on the blog. Also, it sounds like we'll be able to record the event with Peter Rollins this weekend, so I'll try to post that as well.

Here are some different ways to download the podcast:
  1. In iTunes, go to "Advanced" then "Subscribe to Podcast" then input URL
  2. Subscribe to the URL in your RSS reader or Google reader, etc.
  3. Just type the URL into your web browser and click on the file you want to listen to.
Right now, I am using a free MobileMe account from Apple, but it only has a 60 day trial and about 20GB of space (which would allow for about 20 episodes). If anyone has ideas for inexpensive and large online storage options, let me know.

Of course, if you have other input, questions, suggestions, or problems with the feed, just let me know!!

Reflections on Rollins

I've been surveying a lot of Peter Rollins lately, in part because he has been putting a lot out on the web, and also in anticipation of him visiting the cohort next week. I just watched the YouTube video above, and it reminded me of several themes and questions I've been rolling around in my own head an in my classroom for a few months now.

Last year I read a chapter of Shane Claiborne's "Irresistible Revolution" with a senior class, and we came across the question he takes from Tony Campolo, "Would you still be a Christian if there was no heaven or hell?" I find it to be such a compelling question - one that strips away all of my ulterior motives and gets the real heart of what I am doing as a Christian, and more importantly, why I am doing it.

When I read "Fidelity of Betrayal" last May, I was fascinated by the idea of God being an event that shakes up my world and causes me to desire more and to desire to explore. Rollins talks about God as the eruption of a volcano - he says, "Revelation enters our world as a wound of unknowing. It ruptures our present in the guise of an eschatological 'to come.' ... we do not encounter a revelation that makes God manifest, nor a revelation that places God at an absolute distance; rather, God's distance is maintained in overwhelming presence." (pgs. 121, 123)

In the YouTube clip above, Rollins compares this idea to a ship in the bottom of the ocean - the ocean contains all of the ship but the ship only has part of the ocean. I also think about the overwhelming presence of the mountains we saw in Utah - they are right in your face, right in front of you, but yet their magnitude makes them feel so far away, so distant and other worldly. Even when you are literally on top of the mountain (wondering how your little snowboard will carry you down), you are most in awe of the magnitude, and you feel the most overwhelmed.

When I listen to and read Rollins work, I'm challenged to think about God more as an encounter, a relationship, a living and inspiring being, and less like the list of doctrinal ins and outs that separate and make me better than the person next to me. It also makes me think of a God that is much bigger than my experience; a God that is rupturing all over the world at any given point.

Now playing: Thursday - Between Rupture And Rapture


Are we guilty of "Social Loafing"?

A new term to me, but probably not to anyone else who took psycology or something like that, I wonder if our group ever suffers from social loafing. Basically, it says that when we are in a group our productivity reduces greatly beacuse we can (and do) fade into the crowd. I think our Peter Rollins event has pulled us out of this, if we were in it, because we gave members individual tasks that they were responsible for. So far our management of this event has been awesome and, as long as the weather allows, it should be a wonderful event that will be a testament to what a small dedicated group of people can do. Let's hope we can keep this motivation going into the spring!


The Vatican on YouTube

The Vatican set up a YouTube channel this past Friday for Pope Benedict to spread teachings and doctrine through the web. (news story here, website here.)

In one of the video sermons, Benedict says, "wise use of communications technology enables communities to be formed in ways that promote the search for the truth, the good, and the beautiful, transcending geographical boundaries and ethical divisions."

While I certainly agree with this point and overall like him quite a bit and enjoyed reading Jesus of Nazareth, something about this bothers me, but I'm not sure why. In a conversation this past weekend with a Catholic, I realized that, while I greatly respect the Catholic church, I am now very opposite them in many ways - far more so than many Protestants are. My distrust and dislike of institutions and religious authority (still very much a part of Protestantism) makes me wonder if actions like this will undermine any attempts that might be made by lower priests towards reforms.

On the other hand, Benedict is a global figure and often is able to describe the love of Christ in a lovely way, so I am glad that through these actions more people will hear the message all over the world.

Does anyone else have thoughts?


Celebration of the Faithful Ideas

Hi everyone,

We are hosting a Celebration of the Faithful this Sunday for some people from other cohorts. We talked about having it include elements from past celebrations. Please comment below if you would like to see a certain element be a part of the celebration and we can piece something together. Thanks.


Lost Season Premiere Party

Come join us for our super-fun event of the month, a Lost season premiere party starting at 8:00 (show starts at 9:00). Don't worry if you haven't seen the show...it's easy to follow....okay, not really but we'll fill you in.

We'll be at 1270 Courtland Ave. Anyone is welcome.



an open-ended, participatory,        
(meal to follow)                  


Sharing the faith journey together

I really appreciated the stories peopled shared regarding their faith in 2008. The common themes of discovering a new faith, leaving the old behind, struggling to really understand what is going on right now, and feeling like you are on a journey being called seemed to describe my faith as well. It reminded me of the prayer by Thomas Merton that I posted on my blog, but that I'll re-post here:
"My Lord God I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that my desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."
It seems like this describes where many of us are at. But as I was driving around town this evening, I thought about how cool it is that we have found each other as we walk down this road together. I thought of the image of travelers, each on their own independent journey, walking down the path and uncertain of exactly where they are going, but then along comes another sojourner from a slightly different, but similar direction. And as the conversation ensues, the two find they have a lot in common and are headed the same way. And then another traveler comes along. And soon, they are talking and sharing, carrying each other's packs for a short distance if needed, and becoming really good friends.

Who knows what exactly is ahead of us, but I know that I am so thankful for each person who is making this journey alongside of me. Your presence is often what gives me strength, your stories remind me that the journey is worth taking, and our shared experience is something really amazing.

When we were in Guatemala visiting our sponsor family, I told them that Kellye and I have their picture on our refrigerator at home, and that we value our family a lot, and that we consider them to be a part of our family and so we pray for them and love them like our family.

And they said they do the same for us.

I didn't quite catch the power of it in that moment, but tonight as I was thinking about traveling the road of faith together, I thought about how amazing it was to know that there were people across the world who prayed for me, who loved me like family, and who someday we would be able to look back on the journeys we've taken separately and together, and remember the good and the bad times as we enjoy "the promised land" (like Adam prayed tonight). I know that one day "the road" will lead us all apart from one another, but I also know that I am so thankful for this time we are sharing together.

I read another poem this that reminded me of some of these similar ideas, so here it is:

"I am being driven forward
Into an unknown land.
The pass grows steeper,
The air colder and sharper.
A wind from my unknown goal
Stirs the strings
Of expectation

Still the question:
Shall I ever get there?
There where life resounds,
A clear pure note
In the silence."
- Dag Hammarskjold