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.


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


NancyJ said...

I want to also echo my thanks and how grateful I am for each of you. Jesse, thank you so much for your post.

For the past week and a half I have been overwhelmed with a complete loss of faith and hope that I could really understand God or God’s direction and will for my life and wrote the following…

Who am I to think I can know a destiny designed by God?

I am weary of this chase.
Give me another
that does not require my life’s breath and blood.

This one has me dying too often.

Wanting to give up led me to complete darkness and hopelessness. Gone was my desire to fight for anything.

After days of wrestling and a lot of tears, I came to this conclusion…even if I am completely wrong in what I believe God has planned for me, let me be wrong! I still choose to follow Jesus completely and wholly, even blindly in the only way I know how—with all of my heart.

The words by Thomas Merton as well as the poem you shared were so helpful. I am not the only one to feel hopeless and in the dark at times. Thank you.

catd said...

I am hoping that someone can point me to these stories. I thought I had them book marked but, alas, they are gone! I really want to share a couple with someone I am doing spiritual direction with that is on the same kind of journey. Thanks to anyone who can help.

Greg said...

Here is the link on the emergent village website which contains links to all of the stories: