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.


Also, in case you were wondering...

"The emerging church isn’t dead. It’s just finally wrestled with the angel and won. It’s shedding it old image, the one that got people so riled up in the first place. The conversations won’t ever go away because in the end, we’re looking for what it means to be human. We’re looking to discover the reality that Jesus was trying to present, one of infinite grace and beauty, stark reality of the kingdom of God in our midst, and a renewed sense of possibility for the restoration of the world.

This is from the recent "State of Emergence" posted by Emergent Village, written by Jonathan Brink. 

If you are interested...

A friend from my "old days" in Grove City Vineyard is blogging about why the missional church plant he has been working on in California has not gone the way he envisioned. There are several really interesting things he says. In my opinion, he is cutting through to the root of what following Jesus' teachings in a committed community really looks like. Check out some of the "Pastoralia" posts here and here

One quick quote:

"It's easier to build coalitions for restoring former glory than it is to lead people into the uncertain possibilities of what could be. I'd rather fail at the latter than succeed at the former." 

Also, at the end of this post he talks about the challenge of leadership plurality.

One reason I think this is relevant to the cohort is that, while we don't spend a lot of time talking about being "missional" or being some sort of "church" - I truly believe that we are doing a new kind of Christian thing in Columbus. We have chosen to live out our faith in a different way for different reasons. We are experiencing the pros and cons of our decision every week. Kel and I talk about it all the time. You probably do too. We may not always realize it, or talk about it, but we are pushing into the future of Christian faith in bold new ways.


POINTLESS Christmas Party

Sat. Dec. 18
179 Bridgeport Way
Delaware, OH 43015

Meats, drinks and table service provided

PLEASE BRING: side dishes, desserts, appetizers and any "special" drinks you may want to share.

PLEASE RSVP: # attending and dish(s) bringing.

GIFT EXCHANGE: $10.00 (OR LESS!) limit. Gender neutral. Per Mary "something nice not junk" (please direct inquiries about definition of "nice" to Mary) Home made or hand crafted welcome.


Sunday Mass 9:00 a.m.

Sunday, December 12 Mike and I are planning to attend the 9:00 a.m. St. Mary's Catholic Church Mass at 684 South 3rd Street in German Village.

We would be very happy to have you join us.



Is the Cohort "Pointless"??

I think this is an incredibly insightful and thought-provoking post from Dan David Hayward, aka naked pastor. He describes the church as being "pointless." A selection from the post (with emphasis added):

If a church has vision and is goal-oriented, then it has deviated from its healthiest self and will impose burdens on its members. It will have become something else… like a lobbying group, an activist group, a missional group, or something other than just a church. It can still call itself a church. But it should admit it has opted for a utilitarian identity rather than just accepting its identity. A church will have to choose to be utilitarian or just be. It can’t be both.
In other words, churches should be pointless. Pointless like my family is pointless. My family is not without its problems and issues, but it is a vibrant, rich, joyful and dynamic community. But it is completely pointless. It doesn’t mean things don’t happen or that we haven’t had an affect on others or the world. But we are pointless. We’re not even intentionally pointless. We are just pointless. And I love it for that. That’s why I love to go home every day and just be, just relax, just love and be loved.

What do you think? Should church be "pointless" as Dan David suggests? This is very contrary to the contemporary idea that each church should find its identity, its mission and its purpose. But part of me really resonates with what Dan David is saying and I think he is on to something. I think he is describing that indescribable aspect of the cohort that makes it so valuable - we don't have to work at it. We don't have to force it or make it "something." It just is.

Are we pointless? Is that a good thing?


Celebration of the Faithful: Advent Conspiracy

Hi everyone -

Tonight (12/5), Kristen is hosting the Celebration of the Faithful at 5:30pm. We will be looking the Advent Conspiracy - a movement that began about four years ago by a few pastors who felt that the true meaning of Christmas (love, worship, excitement) was being hijacked by consumerism, business, and stress.

We will be celebrating with food and fellowship, and will be discussing the four principles of Advent Conspiracy.

If you want to come and have questions or need directions, feel free to email Kristen at kmkuzmick@gmail.com.

Hope to see everyone there!


What the hell??

Although the title of this post is a poor attempt at a joke, this Sunday we will be having a serious discussion about the theology of the afterlife, specifically the reality of hell and the implications of the traditional doctrine of hell as taught by the evangelical church.

Kyle Porter, who has done some great blogging at "Thoughts in Pencil," will be leading the discussion and sharing with us some of the information he's gained by examining the issue on his own.

This will be an open discussion and a chance to share questions, doubts and uncertainties about this difficult issue. Perhaps no other issue has the potential to be as divisive, challenging, and involve such serious ramifications. So while we will be respectful as always, we also want to present the opportunity to be real with ourselves and each other about what questions we may have.

We will meet at 3pm at the Global Gallery in Clintonville. (3535 N. High St.)

LOCATION CHANGE: Because the community room was not available at the Global Gallery, we have changed the location to Cup o' Joe in the Short North, 600 N. High St. (right on "the cap"). I think there is a parking lot just a little bit north, and meters are free on Sundays. Time is the same.

If you have questions or need more info, feel free to contact Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com, 557-5768)


Advent Quotes

Here are the some of the quotes I shared tonight from the book, "Bridges to Contemplative Living: Advent and Christmas"

"We cannot serve two masters. We cannot listen equally well to the Good News of the Incarnation and to the clatter of a secular season of pious sentiments and credit cards. We cannot equate a financial quarter of accelerated commercial activity with the Church's Advent call for repentance. Advent disposes us to conversion and single-mindedness. We are called to attend to our deepest needs and hopes: to realize the mitigation of human suffering through daily deeds of compassion for and service to our neighbors." - Jonathan Montaldo

"If Christ is the revelation of the whole meaning of humanity, if the meaning of human life is solely and entirely to be found in the fact that I am a child of God, then everything in my life becomes relevant or irrelevant in proportion as it tends to my growth as a member of Christ, as a child of God, and to the extension of Christ in the world of humankind through his Church." - Thomas Merton

"I am at that time of day when I am free, free to find and love myself...and God. All the things that have been pulling at me for years, demanding my full attention, such as the endless responsibility of trying to right the injustice of chronic poverty, have suddenly vanished like a poorly constructed building in Haiti toppled by an earthquake. I am at a kairos time of day, a time when I can give myself a chance to let go of everything I know in order to be carried along by the flow of all I do not know, the very flow of the mystery and true reality of life....Oddly enough, say all the saints and mystics, God is already there. It is I who am missing, hidden in the rubble of my own life, buried under the weight of my countless faults, failures, mistakes and illusions. Now is the time to cast off the burden of the past with all its missteps, concern for the future with all its sudden uncertainty and seek to see the face of God in this present moment, in this kairos time of day." - Gerard Thomas Straub


This Sunday: Operation Christmas Child

Hey everyone -

For this week's gathering we will be doing the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes again (we did this last year and had a great time.)

If you aren't familiar with the program, check out the website here. Basically, we will purchase small items to pack into a shoebox that will be sent to a child in an impoverished country that otherwise would not receive any Christmas presents.

It's simple. It's fun. It's a small way to make a big difference around the world (8 million shoeboxes were delivered last year alone)

We will meet at Kara and Adam's house at 3:00pm. We'll travel to Target (or similar store) together, purchase items to put in the shoeboxes, and then come back to the house. We'll pack the boxes together, maybe have a short reflection about Advent, and just hang out and have a good time.

There is a $7 shipping fee required for each box. Also, it can cost up to $40 for the items in each box. If you are unable to cover the full cost, please still come and hang out. We can combine items and "share" a box. It's still a fun, simple thing to do together. This is also a great activity to do with children.

Hope to see everyone on Sunday!


Celebration of the Faithful: This Sunday

This Sunday, November 7th, we will meet at 5pm at Scot and Mary's house for a "Celebration of the Faithful." This will be a time for us to gather around Scripture, worship, prayer and communion, and then to share some awesome food together!

More details about food and directions will be posted soon. If you want to come and have questions, feel free to email Jesse at schroeder.jesse@gmail.com - (we may also arrange some carpools)

Hope to see everyone there!


New Worship Songs

Sometimes I want to sing with the cohort. I love singing. I love music. I love to be able to put feelings and longings into words and melody.

But most of the typical Christian worship songs don't really fit with the longings and feelings of our group. So I often hesitate to sing together.

I found a couple of new good songs today that I think connect a little bit more with our group. I played the first one on the stereo, and I tried to sing the second one with the group today, but forgot how the chorus went (oops :) Anyway - here are links to the songs. You can listen to the full tracks on the website.

Love can change the world

Here are my hands


This Weekend

Lots going on this weekend! Here are some of the events we are going to check out:

Scary movie at the Ohio Theater.  ("House on Haunted Hill") Starts at 8pm. $5. Jesse & Kellye are going to this, and anyone is welcome to meet up with us (call/text 557-5768)

Highball Halloween" party in the Short North. Also $5, starts at 3pm but goes for most of the night. Lots of fun events and costume contests. Nick and a few others will probably drop by this event, and anyone could meet up with them.

Finally, we will be having a low-key time of prayer, communion and worship at Jesse & Kellye's house in Grove City at 3pm on Sunday Oct. 31st. Everyone is welcome. It will probably go about an hour. No food before or after. 


Volunteering this Sunday

This Sunday we are doing some volunteer clean-up work in an area where a few of us live, Weinland Park. We'll be picking up trash on a few very dirty streets and alleys. Please come join us and help make our community and beautiful and safe place to live.

1 pm at 1270 Courtland Ave. I'm trying to get a few trash pickers for us to use. You might want to bring gloves, but I don't always use them.


Restoring Evangelical Civility

The podcast from Krista Tippet this week has many connections to our conversations over the past few weeks, and the things Samir discussed. I'm just listening to it today, and will try to expand on this post later this weekend but just wanted to recommend it to everyone.

Here is the link:



Community Time 1pm this Sunday

Adam and I would like to invite everyone over this Sunday for a community lunch-time. We will have soup, and all the fixin's. Please plan on coming at 1pm. If anyone is interested in going to see Obama- we are planning on going (riding the bus) about 4 or 4:30 (it's at the oval and "doors" open at 5) and you can leave your car here and go with us if you are interested.

Remember that community time is about coming and sharing in life together- hearing about the goings on, and affirming our love and care for each other. Everyone is welcome!


This Sunday: Stories That Compost

Date: Sunday October 10th
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Schiller Park (see below for more info)
More Info: 557-5768 (Jesse)

This Sunday we'll be doing another "composting stories" gathering. We did this for the first time in June (read a description here), and you can read the stories that came out of our gathering here.

This week I thought we would focus on the story in Genesis where Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son. We'll read the story together, talk about aspects of the story we like, aspects we don't like, questions we have about the story, and then we will each retell the story and share our "retellings" with one another.

This is a low-key, easy-engagement gathering. In the past, I've found that this practice really brings the stories to life.

We'll meet at Schiller Park in German Village. Lets meet around the north section of the park, near Reinhard Ave. Bring blankets and/or lawn chairs to plan to sit outside during the discussion. Feel free to bring any snacks to share, or games (frisbee?). The weather is supposed to be great.


Reflections Upon Samir Selmanovic Event

I really enjoyed the time with Samir today. Thanks to everyone (Nancy and Bo especially) who contributed and made the event happen. Here are a few quotes that stood out to me. I thought we could kind of "open up" discussion here on the blog for any reflections or thoughts about what Samir shared.

  • We live in an ecosystem in which we need each other; we need diversity. The worst thing that could happen would be if everyone in the world became a Christian. Your identity as an individual depends on mirroring. You are a flower because you are not a weed or a vegetable. 
  • For a Muslim the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence is the best example of Shariah law that has ever existed. 
  • We refuse to distinguish between good and bad (when thinking about Muslims). We just want everyone to be bad.
  • We need the Other, because if there is no other, there is no us. 
  • As Christians we want Samaritans, tax collectors and lepers, but we are stuck with Muslims, immigrants and gays. 
  • We need more extremists because the ones we have are shallow. We don't need extremists who resolve the tension of their beliefs with one violent act, but rather will live an entire life of tension. That is extreme. Mother Teresa is an extremist, not a suicide bomber. 
  • The Other may critique us, and they might be right. There is something in the non-Western world that the West needs very much, but we are afraid that we actually need it. 
  • The Other is there precisely so we can tell them who you are. If you do not share your treasure with the other, you do not respect them, as if they cannot say "no." 
  • God is a stranger - If we don't welcome the human other, how do we welcome the divine other?
  • We cannot fulfill the practices of our faith without other religions. 
  • The good news must be news and it must be good. Sometimes, the good news could be better. The Presence of God in the Other is good news. 
  • How can I have a religion that explains the existence of most of the world and life as a mystery or unknown?
  • Jesus doesn't scare people. Our ambition to manage and control Jesus scares people.


This Sunday: Samir Selmanovic in Columbus

This Sunday is a very exciting event, and we would love to see as many people as possible.

Samir Selmanovic - author of the book "It's Really All About God," and leader of inter-faith dialog and community at Faith House Manhattan - will be visiting the Central Ohio Emergent Cohort.

The event is from 2-4:30pm at the Ohio Union, in the MultiCultural Meeting Center Room. As you enter the first floor the Union from High St., the Information desk is on your left. The MultiCultural Meeting Center room is nearby the information desk, on the first floor. There are several parking garages nearby.

We have worked really hard to make this a free event so anyone can drop by and hear from this inspiring author. However, we will be taking a collection to help offset the speaking fee and travel costs for Samir.

If you want to learn more about Samir's work, visit his website, or read some of our older blog posts here.

Again, this is going to be a very exciting event, a chance to hear from a fantastic speaker in a small environment, to ask questions and join in conversation, and to hear about the exciting things happening in InterFaith conversation and action around the world.

Hope to see you there!!


Guys Pizza & Poker Night

Hey fellas -

This Tuesday night (Sept. 28th), 7:00pm we'll be hanging out at Nick's house. We'll order pizza, maybe smoke some cigars, play some Xbox, drink a few beers, and try to play a good game of poker.

All guys are welcome to join - even if you aren't a good poker player (none of us are!!) Also, we haven't determined the "buy in" or anything, so don't worry if you are low on cash. We'll pay for the pizza, and spot you in the poker game. The main point is just to hang out.

If you need directions, or more info, you can text/call Jesse at 614-557-5768


This Sunday: Discussion

Hi everyone -

This Sunday, September 26th, we will have an open discussion at the Global Gallery cafe in Clintonville (our usual public meeting spot). We will meet from 3-5pm, and discuss some more aspects of Samir Selmanovic's book "It's Really All About God," as well as some details about the event coming up Oct. 3rd.

Everyone is welcome to join in on the discussion, even if it is your first time attending the group. We'd love to see you there!

Feel free to post questions in the "comments" section of this post, or email schroeder.jesse@gmail.com


This Sunday

Community Night / Fire Night

Sunday night, September 19th, from 6:30-8:30pm, Jesse & Kellye's house in Grove City.

Community night is when we give everyone a chance to share and give an update about life. In response, the group offers affirmation, encouragement and love. This week, we'll have an outdoor fire, roast hot dogs, have side dishes, and do marshmallows and s'mores.

Everyone is welcome. This is a great night to hang out and get to know everyone, even if it's your first time visiting. If you have any questions, call Jesse at 614-557-5768, or email schroeder.jesse@gmail.com

Cohort Family

I love that our cohort is a family and has family in it. I took this picture yesterday at a family birthday gathering (Jon Eades' 30th).

Adam and Henry just look like such natural father and son. Had to share it.


Convictions and Unity

In light of our awesome discussion on Sunday, I want to pass along this newsletter from DF in B'ham. Greg Newton comments on how the journey that the community has travelled allows them to share goodness with others. I like this paragraph:

"God has taught us to not judge one another, but to respect others who follow their own conscience. We do not impose our convictions to achieve unity, nor do we lack convictions. We’ve learned that the Spirit’s work of unity allows us to be together despite what is humanly irreconcilable."

The rest of the letter can be found at the bottom of this post.

For me, a good question remains: How does this attitude stretch beyond others who follow Jesus? Sure, there will be differences between those who claim Jesus. And it is foreseeable that these differences can be overcome and that the Spirit can work toward unity. But what does unity look like with those who have a completely different paradigm that does not involve Jesus?

love to all,


The entire newsletter from Greg Newton at Disciples Fellowship in Birmingham, AL:

Being in a “good place” as a community gives us something valuable to share. Before the Gospel can be shared, it must be lived and experienced. If Jesus was right (and he was) about being known for a God-emulating love for one another, then that love has to be lived and practiced before there is the possibility of sharing any good news.

As I’ve bee saying recently, I believe we been brought by God to a good place from which we can authentically speak about the love of God, not only his for us, but as the love which we strive to have for one another . . . and the whole world. Our acceptance of one another is a result of God’s love. Our desire to be transformed from who any of us are so we may become more like Christ, is also a result of God’s love.

On our long journey to this place we have left faith in our own obedience to God’s commands, for faith in the obedience of Jesus. Faith is no longer possessing all the correct doctrinal positions on a set of questions, but is trusting in God to do what we cannot do for ourselves. Worship is no longer a time set apart to correctly carry out a set of instructions so God will be pleased, but a time to engage in a transforming focus on God, which then sets the context for how that worship is continued through all the activities of our week.

God has taught us to not judge one another, but to respect others who follow their own conscience. We do not impose our convictions to achieve unity, nor do we lack convictions. We’ve learned that the Spirit’s work of unity allows us to be together despite what is humanly irreconcilable.

Through God’s work we’ve been able to lay down the doctrinal and spiritual baggage that we had acquired and may now help others to do the same. We’ve lived enough of the Gospel to know what it means to speak about God’s goodness, and to invite others to taste and see that God is good. We confess that we are only beginning to live out God’s love. Even so, the potential of this gift of love is tremendous . . . goodness to be shared.


Guys Monastic Retreat in December

Hi all. We've made arrangements to have a monastic retreat for the guys in December at St. Gregory Palamas eastern orthorodox monastery. The monastery is located near Wooster, Ohio and some of us (me, Nick and Jesse) went and visited there about two weeks ago to check it out and meet with the Abbot. He was very welcoming to us and we had a great time talking with him while we were there. Although I don't know much about it, Eastern Orthodox theology seems to be a really refreshing perspective on faith and the Abbot had a great way of explaining it to us.

Besides the abbot there are six or seven other monks that stay there and work and observe the different prayers throughout the day. We've arranged to stay with them from monday December 13th through wednesday December 15th, dates which are designed to be after the OSU quarter but still well before Christmas (apologies if these dates aren't so good for you!).

Although the Abbot may give a talk once or twice, the retreat won't be officially led by the monastery, i.e., we'll have the freedom to set our own agenda for free time and discussion so long as we pause to attend the prayers. If you're interested to come and you haven't already told me, please send me an e-mail at chrisorban@yahoo.com. There's no set cost -- just a donation of whatever you can or feel led to pay.


This Sunday 9/12/10

Sunday, September 12, 3:00pm Global Gallery 3535 N. High St.

Discussion about Samir Selmanovic's book, "It's Really All About God" (see previous posts for some introductory ideas).

If you haven't read the book (or even heard of it!) that's OK. We will most likely read a chapter, or short sections, together. It's easy to read and understand, and brings up some great questions for us to consider together.

As always, everyone is welcome. First time visitors or long time friends. Hope to see you there.


More about "God"

Here is a link to a .pdf of the Introduction of the book:

Here are some videos to introduce you to Samir's book:

It's Really All About God - An Intro

This Sunday, Sept. 12th we will discuss the book "It's Really All About God" by Samir Selmanovic, in preparation for his visit on Oct. 3rd. This is a book review I wrote a few months back. You can read it for an introduction. I'll try to post more resources soon. - jesse
By far, the most compelling chapters of "It's Really All about God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian" are the Prologue and the Epilogue. In the intro, Selmanovic grabbed my attention and piqued my interest with the story of a Wiccan woman praying for evangelical pastors, a selection from the Sufi poet Rumi, and challenging questions like, "Is a God who favors anyone over anyone else worth worshiping?"

At first, it seems that Selmanovic is preparing to deliver a comprehensive theology of religious pluralism. He states that,
"the presence of the other in all its beauty, fragility, dignity, and need is demanding our answers. If God created all humanity but gave life-giving knowledge - usually referred to as 'revelation' - to only some of humanity, could God in any meaningful sense be though of as the One God and not only as a god?...To say that God has decided to visit all humanity through only one particular religion is a deeply unsatisfying assertion about God." (pg. 9)
But even in the prologue, the author quickly moves away from an academic approach and instead invites the reader to ponder his "reflections" (as the subtitle of the book says). He offers many questions, ideas and snippets to challenge the reader to seriously consider his premise: "For religion to recapture human imagination, the theology and practice of finding God in the other will have to move from the outskirts of our religious experience to its center. The heart of a religion that will bless the world is going to beat at its edges." (pg 13)

It is literary images like this last one - "the heart of a religion beating at the edges" - that are, at first easy to read, but jar the reader enough to go back and read them again, wondering about the significance of such an idea. Throughout the book, Selmanovic has the gift of putting into words the back-of-the-mind and deep-in-the-heart intuitions that many believers share, but have a hard time expressing (for one reason or another).

As previously stated, this is not an academic book. The typeface is large and generously spaced, and most pages have text boxes with short selections from the chapter. Most chapters begin with a personal story from the author's childhood or background in Yugoslavia. Initially, I was surprised and bit frustrated to have to read through these anecdotal accounts. I wanted more content and less fluff. But eventually I realized that the writing approach was intended to demonstrate several key points of the book.

First, the author successfully shows that he came as an outsider to Christianity and even religion at all. The stories of his family disowning him because of his faith and literally kicking him out of their home successfully provide a sort of "street credibility" to his later pronouncements about religious life. He can talk about "the other" because he has been "an other" in more ways than one. In a world often filled more with speculation than actual life experiences, I began to appreciate these stories because they made me realize that the author is not only offering a way to live that could be better, but he has actually lived this way for most of his life and now is sharing his experiences.

Second, by including personal stories in each chapter, another key point is subtly underlined again and again: This theology of "finding God in the other" can only be a reality in as much as it comes to life every day in each of us. It cannot be theoretical, it must be experiential. The personal stories of the author are a continual invitation to the reader to realize that my everyday life is also an experience of "finding God in the other," if I choose to live it that way.

Finally, while this book is not a self-proclaimed "emergent" book (published by Jossey-Bass, and not in one of the EV book series; it also sports no endorsements from any of the typical EV leaders), I think it goes as far as any emergent book written thus far in helping to explain what an emerging Christianity must (and does) look like. It is not a book solely considered with a theology of religious pluralism. Instead, the chapters address such topics as "The Secret of the Ordinary" (chp. 2; akin to "Transforming Secular Space" in Gibbs/Bolger), "The Blessing of Atheism" (chp 7; reminiscent of "a/theism" in Rollins), and "God Management Systems" (chp. 3; similar to the "New Kind of Christian" series by Brian McLaren). In short, the book aims to be as comprehensive as its title, attempting to offer a new way to understand how we understand and live with God, engage other people and their religion, and experience spirituality in a postmodern world.

Report from the "Scheduling Meeting"

Hi everyone -

We had our "scheduling meeting" tonight and put some activities and gatherings on the calendar for the next few months. There's a lot of good stuff to look forward to, so please look at the cohort google calendar here or at the side of the page. Here are some highlights to let you know about:
  • We are still planning to have Samir Selmanovic come on Sunday October 3rd. More info on that soon.
  • We are looking for different meeting spots, either homes or public (such as libraries, parks, etc.). We have open dates on Oct. 10th, 30th, Nov. 7th, 21st, and Dec. 19th. Here is a link to a Google Document that describes what we plan to do on those dates, and what type of gathering location we need. Please "sign up" by responding to this email to let us know what date and location you will take.
  • Three new activities. Each of these obviously isn't for everyone, so just plug in where you are interested:
    • Beth Moore Bible Study - Any women interested should email Kellye (schroeder.kellye@gmail.com) Let her know what Beth Moore studies you have done in the past (if any), what you might be interested in, and what day of the week you might be available.
    • Some of the guys are planning to go on a three day retreat to the Orthodox Monastery in December. In preparation for that, we will try to read the book "Father Arseny: Prisoner, Priest and Spiritual Father." This was recommended by Father Joseph from the monastery. We will probably try to have a low-key hang out / discussion about this book before the retreat.
    • Guys Pizza & Poker Night - Weekday evenings, BYOB, no previous poker skills necessary. Just a chance to hang out and get to know each other a little better.
  • Finally, there is some interest in doing a "cohort cabin" excursion again (more info coming soon)
In general, this is an exciting time for the cohort. We love having everyone involved with planning discussions and gatherings, so feel free to jump in with ideas. You can comment on this post if you have a topic in mind, or send an email to any of the addresses listed on this page.


"Emergent Faith"

This is just a general question/thought/pondering I've had the last few days.

"What does an emergent faith look like?"

What might it look like? What is my emergent faith? What is our emergent faith?

We have spent several years talking together about our hurts, our doubts, our uncertainties, our questions. We also share our hopes and dreams. We share a lot of love together. I wonder what it would look like for us to share more of our faith together.

So, just an open-ended question: What is your emergent faith? What are the different aspects of it? What do you do? What do you have faith in?


Party Saturday, No Discussion Sunday

This Saturday will be a going away party for Zack and Eve at 1270 Courtland Ave. 6:30pm, and everyone is welcome to come even if you've never come to a cohort thing it would be a good time for you to meet people.

It was mentioned over the e-mail list that it might be good to postpone the heaven/hell discussion that was planned for this Sunday. It looks like it's no longer on the calendar so I'm assuming it is postponed. If you aren't on the e-mail list make sure you sign up here: http://groups.google.com/group/columbus-emergent?lnk=srg
There hasn't been a planning meeting in a while, and so it seems the meetings have been a bit chaotic recently. If you have something you'd like to do feel free to just plan it, post about it and add it to the calendar. Don't be scared to take some leadership, people will show up. If you need help posting to the calendar or blog or help planning a meeting send an e-mail to the e-mail group: columbus-emergent at googlegroups dot com (after you've joined with the above link). Sorry for all the recent changes and cancellations.


Celebration this Sunday

Hi everyone, as you can probably tell from the calendar, I have volunteered to lead a Celebration of the Faithful this Sunday at the Zack/Eve/Nick mansion (1270 Courtland Ave.). As usual when I lead we will be singing some odd things, and trying in some way to reconnect with our faithful brethren from the past millennium. I'm excited about it. I want to try to start as closely to 5:00 as possible to allow plenty of time.

We will also be doing a pot luck dinner after the service. Please comment what food you want to bring.

Anyone is welcome, even if you have never been to a cohort event before. We love new friends!




Zack and Eve were not able to make it back into town from visiting Cleveland. Therefore, we have changed the location to Chris and Julia's house. 216 E. 9th Ave. Parking is on the street. Call 557-5768 for questions.


I miss everyone!
It's been two Sundays of not seeing our friends in the cohort, and Kellye and I miss seeing you guys! As I think about the cohort, my heart really longs to just connect with everyone this week in some meaningful way. So here is an idea....

Let's come up with some questions. They can be simple, vague, funny, serious, spiritual or otherwise. For example: "What do you love most about God?" "What is one experience you have had in the past few months that you will try to remember forever?" "What are you most afraid of right now?" Etc...

I have an idea of how to arrange these questions in a format that we will all take time to reflect and answer silently. Perhaps in a "stations" like setup, or maybe by passing the questions around the room in a circle. I'll work on it....

But basically, we'll write down our answers, and we'll all read everyone else's answers, and then we'll just connect. We'll share. We'll ask follow up questions. We'll pray for each other. We'll sing some songs together. We'll share communion. I think it'd be nice.

So - This Sunday (Aug. 15) - Zack/Eve/Nick's house (1270 Courtland Ave.) - 6:30pm - Eat dinner beforehand, but we'll have Guatemalan coffee and a dessert to share -

If you think of a question you'd like to ask, post it in the comments section. I'll prepare the format. Let's come together Sunday evening planning to connect, share, and spend some quality spiritual time together.


A Shockingly Premature Book Review

I just picked up a copy of God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World and Why their Differences Matter by Stephen Prothero at the local library. It was published just a couple months ago. I have only read the introduction thus far, but already I am fascinated by this book. I will likely want to do a discussion on it at some point, so I thought I would go ahead and post this if anybody else wanted to read it and maybe plan one with me in a month or two.

In this book Prothero attacks that notion at that all religion are the same, or that all religions lead to the same God. This is simply not true, he writes, because all of the religions address different problems, use different methods to solve those problems, and follow different examples. By ignoring these differences, as is so common in secular and even most religious societies, out of a desire for peace we are only promoting ignorance and disrespecting the religions themselves. He rightfully sees religion as one of the primary motivators of human actions and to ignore or purposefully misunderstand them makes it impossible to understand the world or address global issues.

Here is a long sample of his writing, taken from the introduction, that I found illuminating:

There is a long tradition of Christian thinkers assuming that salvation is the goal of all religions and then arguing that only Christians can achieve this goal. Huston Smith, who grew up in China as a child of Methodist missionaries, rejected this argument but not its guiding assumption. “To claim salvation as the monopoly of any one religion,” he wrote, “is like claiming that God can be found in this room and not the next.” It might seem to be an admirable act of empathy to assert that Confucians and Buddhists can be saved. But this statement is confused to the core, since salvation is not something that either Confucians or Buddhists seek. Salvation is a Christian goal, and when Christians speak of it, they are speaking of being saved from sin. But Confucians and Buddhists do not believe in sin, so it makes no sense for them to be saved from it. And while Muslims and Jews do speak of sin of a sort, neither Islam or Judaism describes salvation from sin as its aim. When a jailer asks the apostle Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” he is asking not a generic human question but a specifically Christian one. So while it may seem to be an act of generosity to state the Confucians and Buddhists and Muslims and Jews can also be saved, this statement is actually an act of obfuscation. Only Christians seek salvation.

After the introduction he has a chapter discussion on each of the eight most important religions trying to dissect the differences between them. They are, in the order he ranked them as most influential in the world right now, Islam, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Yoruba, Judaism, Daoism, and Atheism.

It seems like this will be a fascinating book, so if you are interested pick up a copy at the store or library (I had to wait a month after ordering it from Columbus Public because it was just published). I will post some more thoughts once I have read more of it. Finally, I heard about this book on the Colbert Report in June. Here is the interview if you want to find out more. It is pretty funny.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen Prothero
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News


Jesse and Kellye in Guatemala

Just a reminder that Jesse and Kellye are in Guatemala right now with a group of students doing a short term mission trip. A lot of you have sent them donations and materials to help make this trip happen. From Jesse's updates it sounds like their short time there has already made a big impact on the students, and they've gotten a lot of work done! If you are a pray-er keep their team in your prayers because these trips can be really challenging, but also very life-changing for the students.

Also unrelated. I'm planning on going to the U2charist this Sunday at the Dublin Irish Festival. If anyone else is planning on going, and would like to carpool let me know in the comments.


Community Time Cancelled

Edited Sunday afternoon at 2!

Ok, I don't like to do this, but...

Lots of people are out of town, and the few who were planning to come have cancelled. That alone isn't enough to make me think of cancelling, especially this late... but I also woke up at 4am with a horrid headache that isn't really gone.

So all of that being said, I'm gonna say it's cancelled. Or at least we won't be coming to be the welcoming committee. :) I really *hope* our guess is right, that nobody is planning to be there.

Love yas. See you next week? (If somebody schedules something.)

This Sunday's community night will be kind of a community afternoon, at 7121 Muirfield Dr., Dublin. (That's St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, who offered to host us this week.) We'll spend some time sharing and supporting one another, and getting to know each other.

We'll bring light snacks (after I check and make sure it's ok to have food.)

Would love to know who's planning to come, but of course, don't stay away just for lack of an Rsvp. Also, as always, everyone is welcome to join us.

[Note: We don't have stuff scheduled for upcoming weeks. Dunno if there will be a planning meeting, but until then, please jump in and choose a Sunday to make something happen. If you don't know how to add stuff to the calendar, I or other folks would be happy to help.--A.]


Is it ok if I Try to Clarify a Little?

Yesterday I met with Angela and Tracy for coffee. The recent comments on the blog post had frustrated and confused me. Angela had not felt genuinely heard and I wanted to understand why.

After some rough starts in connecting, Tracy helped me with perspective. My statement, “I like things the way they are right now with the Cohort. I don’t really want things to change” really frustrated Angela and Tracy.

Tracy said, you probably feel like you don’t want change because you are in the midst of so much stress right now; you can’t even consider any more change. And I sighed and said, Exactly. He said that is totally understandable, but what Angela and I really want to hear from you instead of “I like thing the way things are” is what are your values and priorities in the context of the Cohort. How is the Cohort meeting your deepest needs Nancy? Is there anything you don’t like? I believe this is what Angela and Tracy are longing to hear from each of us.

My specific answer to that question of how the Cohort meets my needs is that I value deep connections with people and so I have with intention begun to seek out more one on one times with many of you. I’ve had coffee with Eve, Julia, Chad, and Jane. I’ve met Nick for lunch. Mike and I took a meal over to Adam and Kara. I helped cut out fish with Jesse and Kellye for the Guatemala trip. I met with Angela and Tracy for coffee yesterday. Each of these times, I was essentially saying what can I do to show you that I love you? How can I give to you and of course out of this I have received so much back in return. For me, this is a very deep need met.

Further, I still have a need to talk about where I am spiritually and about some of my old beliefs. While I was cutting out fish, Jesse and Kellye let me spend two hours dissecting statements like, “God won’t give you any more than you can handle” and what does grace really mean for me now and what does “God is in control” mean?

It was awesome let me tell you. I probably completely wore them out and I said, wow I was really selfish there. They just laughed and we got a lot of fish cut out.

If I understand Tracy and Angela this is what they want us to share in a discussion together. Angela wants us to say and she wants to be able to say “this is what is really meeting my needs and this is what is not. This is what I like and this is what I don’t like. These are my values and these are my priorities. What do you think of this idea? What are your ideas? What is really working for you and why?”

Angela, please feel free to add or correct me.

The other thing I want to say that I completely misunderstood this… I thought Angela and Tracy wanted to duplicate The Refuge and wow I was really wrong about that. Actually I was about as wrong on that as I could have been.

I’m very sorry about that and while I still may not be getting it exactly right, please know I want to.

So in an effort to collaborate, please come today with those thoughts in mind. What do I really value? How has the Cohort deeply met my needs so far and what are my stories? What bugs me about the cohort?

Lastly, if anyone has a couple folding chairs they could bring, that would be awesome.



Doesn't sound like a real collaboration to me, if folks come in already knowing the outcome they want.


Discussion and Planning Next Sunday

This Sunday we will meet to discuss future direction and ideas for the Cohort. We will meet at Nancy Jarosi's house in German Village (750 South Lazelle Street) at 2:30 p.m. until 5:00. In the first half hour we will share communion and a time of prayer and then move on to the planning discussion.

As you go about your week, Jesse offered some great questions for us to consider:

1. What do we value?

2. What are my spiritual goals?

3. How could the Cohort help in my growth?

I'm very happy to host this Sunday. If it is nice outside, we can think about walking down to Schiller after the prayer and communion portion. We'll see how that goes.



This Sunday, July 18th Zack and I are going to be discussing our mini trip to Cambodia. It'll be at Global Gallery in Clintonville on N.High St. We'll start at 3pm and it will go to about 5ish.


Wednesday Night

We'll be doing our little church-but-not-church experiment again this Wednesday. Plenty of food, friendship, and nobody to tell you what to think. It's really just a place to share with other folks who are on this path of loving God & loving people.

Whether you're needing support or you have plenty of hugs to spare, you're welcome.

6:30 pm
1884 Woodette Road
Rsvp if you can, but don't let it keep you away


community night

Sunday is community night at Angela & Tracy's. We'll provide simple food. You don't need to bring anything unless you feel like it.

RSVP, but if you can't for whatever reason, don't let that stop you from coming. :)

This is a short post cuz it's late. If I missed anything, let me know.



In case you missed it...

Zack and Eve are doing some awesome stuff in Cambodia - you can check out their blog here:


Right now they are just touring the country for about 2 weeks, meeting people and getting a feel for possible ministry opportunities. They will be returning in September for about about 2 years. You can support them here


4th of July gathering

UPDATE: Upper Arlington had their fireworks display last night. Clintonville is having a firework display tonight, but that would not be within walking distance of our house.

We will be gathering at Adam and Kara's house on Sunday, July 4th at 6:00 PM for a cookout. We will have some hot dogs and hamburgers, but please bring a side dish, fruit, or dessert as well as more meat of your liking. Also, if you prefer something besides water or tea to drink, please bring that as well.

Those who are interested can walk from our house to see the Upper Arlington firework display at dark. Please let us know if you plan on coming. If you need our address, please email me at adam.f.newby@gmail.com



Re-tellings of the "Feeding of the 5,000"

We had a great gathering today! Thanks for those who followed the time change and made it to the Global Gallery to read, discuss, and retell the story of the feeding of the multitude (Luke 10, John 6). The re-tellings were really fun. I was able to collect a few, and others were written in journals so they will have to share on their own time (Andrew! Kristen!) But I did type out those that I could, and thought I would share them here:


"Outings with a large group of kids is not always easy, but as a teacher, its something you have to do. Do I have them all? Where are the lunches? Are they safe? These thoughts all ran through my mind as we became consumed in the crowd waiting to hear more from this man Jesus. The kids don't really know who He is or get his role in their community, but they don't really need to in their minds. He's interesting and unknown so they're intrigued - especially Michael. Meeting Jesus was all he talked about and as I did a quick head count, I realized he was gone. As any good teacher would, I began scanning the crowd and as I almost began to panic - there he was. He had pushed his way all the way to the front, practically standing at Jesus' side. What a pesty little kid, but bold you had to admit. Suddenly, he reaches into his bag and pulls out his lunch sack and offers it to a frowning friend of Jesus. He was offering them his food, and I thought about how insignificant that small amount was but what a big sacrifice that was for Michael, who had so little to offer coming from a poor family. But he was willing. Who could have guessed how his view of life changed with the feeding that followed. To some, it was just a free lunch; to Michael, having a small role in something so out of the ordinary. I knew he would never be the same." - Kellye Schroeder

"I was prepared. I thought ahead. I knew Jesus would talk for a long time. A LONG time....So I brought a lunch - a good sized lunch that would last me for the whole day. I didn't want to be hungry. I was smart about it.
But everyone else got caught up in the excitement, the aura, the emotion of Jesus and his miracles. I mean he was healing people right in front of our eyes! More and more would join the crowd, whether because they needed to be healed themselves, or they were adventure junkies - looking for a great story to tell their family and friends back home.
The crowd got bigger. We got further away from the city. And very few people had food or water. But I did. I was prepared. And I didn't plan to share. I was taking care of myself, like my mother had taught me. And I knew - no matter what happened to these other people - at least I would be OK.
Panic started to set in. People began to wonder about food, and looking to Jesus for direction. I can't be sure, but I thought I saw him get a little nervous himself. He held a little pow-wow with his disciples to come up with a plan. I snuck closer to hear what this genius Jesus - who hadn't htought about stopping his sermons for a lunch break - was going to come up with. I heard a disciple say, "But NO ONE has food!" I smirked, "Well I have food." They turned to me, saw the bread and fish I was munching on, and quickly snatched it out of my hands and showed it to Jesus. Before you knew it, wizz bang pow, there was food for everyone. Another miracle. Whoop dee doo.Everyone was glad to be eating, but no one realized it was my food they were eating! No one even asked my name.
Don't get me wrong. I'm happy people got to eat. I think it was cool what Jesus did. I'm impressed, and I'm going to check out another sermon sometime. But I just wish I would have gotten some more credit or recognition. I mean, without me, and my food, there never would have been a feeding of the 5,000." - Jesse Schroeder

"And Phillip said, 'Why did you ask us the question when you already knew what you would do?' Jesus said, 'Think about it. I asked the question so you would be part of figuring out the answer. First you used logic....but discovered it is too costly to buy bread for all of these. We don't have the money. Then you saw impossibility. There is a boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish. What is that among so many? Then you saw possibility when I said, 'Make the men sit down.' You believed.
I asked the question so you would be a part of finding the answer." - Nancy Jarosi

"Jesus mopped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. The day was warm and he was tired from healing so many. They just didn't get it. He hadn't come to fix all of their problems. He had come to show them the reign of God, to show them how to join with him in bringing it to life. His gifts were meant to empower them, to inspire them to become givers. Yet they were so young. Like their ancestors, every gift led to a demand for more. Why couldn't they see?
Jesus groaned as he saw the multitude crest the hill. Here they come again. Even so, his heart filled with love. They were his people. Perhaps something new would show them - a miracle of community, of sharing, or offering what little they had to the reign of God.
He looked at the disciples. Something they got. Often they didn't. Peter looked poleaxed as the crowd came on. Dub as a rock - God love - but a heart of gold. There was hope for him yet.
"How can we feed them?" He asked. Would they get it this time?
Blank looks showed back. One small boy offered his lunch.
Jesus sighed internally as his followers smiled at the boy. "The reign of God is like a child's heart" he thought. "have them sit." he said. "Let them gather."
He paused to connect with God. One day, all would know this relationship. He gave thanks. And he was grateful. The boy would understand. He blessed the lunch and watched as the people were fed.
Soon a ruckus arose. Rumor echoed through the crowd. They wanted to make him King again. They didnt' understand what that meant. Didn't understand that he already was a king in God's reign. Another gift. Another demand that he do everything for them. Quickly he gathered the food and slipped away. The boy would understand. And he would continue loving the rest of them until they did as well." - Chad Johns


This Sunday: Stories That Compost

**Note: Time Change - 1pm -3pm*** (same location)

I would like to lead the group in a participation of the "Stories that Compost" activity that Nancy and I did at the TransFORM conference. This is an easy, low-key activity that is high on participation and was really meaningful for me.

We will read a well-known story from the Bible, and then ask the questions: "What do you like about the story?" "What bothers you about the story?" and "What questions do you have about the story?" Then we will all individually re-write the story, and share our re-writes together.

I will also try to bring some examples from the Stories that Compost website/project.

Let's meet at Global Gallery in Clintonville from 1-3 pm - See everyone there! If you need more info, feel free to email me (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) or call (614-557-5768)

As always, newcomers are always welcome!!


Celebration of the Faithful

Sunday, July 20 7pm

Come meet at Jesse & Kellye's house (2406 Altenburg Ct. Grove City 43123) for a fire with roasted marshmallows and stuff. We'll be bringing bread & wine for a relaxed communion, but won't have anything special scheduled.

Bring some board games for a backup in case its raining. Everyone is welcome to hang out as long as they want.

Call 614-557-5768 if you need directions or have questions.


Buddhism Discussion

Sunday, June 13
3-5 pm, Global Gallery in Clintonville

Tracy and I think of ourselves as both Buddhist and Christian. We'll share some of what that means to us, and then open up for discussion about what Buddhism is, and how it might (or might not) fit with a life of following Jesus. We'll have books to browse, and practice a few minutes of sitting meditation as well.

Whether you've met with us before or not, you're welcome to join us. We love to meet new people! If you have questions, please email angela.harms@gmail.com


Where Do I Even Begin?

I remember when I started questioning my beliefs and everything kind of fell apart. My immediate goal was to replace my theological foundation with another religion, system or something solid again.

But now several years have passed and I realize I don’t want to replace my old belief system at all. I actually do want to rebuild and reconstruct the beliefs I once held, loved and trusted.

The loss of my beliefs happened so quickly—things started disconnecting and unhooking and collapsed. But rebuilding takes much time and patience and the problem is my beliefs don’t look the same as they used to. Step 1: I look at a belief and see how it interconnects with another. Step 2: Realize they don’t fit. Step three: Put that belief down for a little while and try another. Step 4 Wait—ok I think these may fit together. Step 5 Start over with step one again.

I haven’t felt loved by God for a while. In the past I have experienced God’s love through a variety of ways…music, nature, loving others and being loved by them, reading the Bible, reading books, hearing from God, being led by God. After all God IS love.

Those things aren’t working like they always did. That probably doesn’t make sense. But it is as simple as this…

I don't know how to feel loved by someone I do not really know.

This is a rather heartbreaking thing to admit. All the while the prayer of my heart is…Teach me who You are. Show me that You love me.

I believe it will come. Thank you for being a part. I need to hear how you are doing it. I will add to Jesse’s questions in the post below. How do you know you are loved by God? How do you know who God is?


A challenging "assignment"...

A friend who keeps a great blog recently sent this in an email. I thought it would interesting to get responses from the cohort.

Post your answer in the comments, or write a separate blog post.

I'd like to invite you to participate in a new series called "3 Simple Questions About Jesus." Here's the premise:

You've just met a young American adult who is utterly irreligious. They were raised by agnostic parents, their family never attended any kind of religious gathering, and - although they understand what "religion" is and have been exposed to different religious practitioners - they don't really know anything about Jesus Christ or Christianity. But they're curious, so they ask you three simple questions:

1. Who is Jesus Christ?

2. What has he done?

3. Why does it matter?

I would love to get your simple, sincere, and conversational response in 300 words or less. You can respond with historical facts, theological musings, parables, or tell a story - whatever best represents your honest response.



This Sunday will be a discussion held at Kristin's and Andrew's. 2017 North Fourth Street. The theme is L'abri which is an intentional community and Christian hospitality center where I spent 6 months a few years ago. Its name comes from French meaning "Shelter" It was a place where I encountered people of faith who were -non-defensive and immersed in reality. The staff extended hospitality to me without agenda and allowed me space to ask questions and explore my spirituality.

I not only wanted to share a taped lecture that made a big impact on me while I was there but also give you a little taste of what L'abri is like. L'abri has intersected the lives of people in the cohort --Chris and I have been to the English L'abri, Kristin and Andrew plan to go a few weeks this fall to Canadian L'abri and Rachel who joined us last week spent some time at Dutch L'abri.

So without further ado...Join us for the lecture at 3:00. Its entitled "Difficult Forgiveness" by Brett Gray and it explores the philosophy of forgiveness especially through the thinkers Derrida and Paul Ricour. Though this might sounds a little daunting, Gray is extremely engaging and breaks down the ideas to not only make the topic accessible but offers some profound insights on a subject which he says is "at the center of what it is to be a Christian and Christians may have nothing better to offer this difficult world"

But if the idea of listening to a hour-long taped lecture is a bit much..please feel free to just come to the dinner/discussion at 4:30. It will be a potluck with a twist. In the communal spirit of L'abri we will all be preparing the dinner together so bring the ingredients to your favorite side dish and assemble it there. Kristin and Andrew are making a stew. Let us know in the comment section what you would like to make.

The discussion around the meal will be based on the theme of forgiveness but not so specific to the lecture that those who haven't heard it can't join in. "What do you actually do when you forgive someone?, Do forgiveness and forgetting go together? What about the voices of those who have been oppressed? Does forgiveness silence their stories?"

I am also attaching the link to the lecture here for those who would like to listen to the lecture in their own time. (Its not as long as it looks as a large portion of the segment is the questions at the end which you don't have to listen to)

Kristin, Andrew, Chris and I have had fun planning for this and we are really looking forward to sharing this time with all of you!

~Julia Orban

Little church experiment, week 3

So, maybe somebody's curious? I've been in a quiet, not-thinking-just-doing kind of mode lately. But I have to say I'm beginning to have a reaction forming in my gut or heart. Thought I'd share it.

This little thing is starting to feel like a mid-week refuge, like a holy space... a place where—can I say it? I'm loved. Or I'm reminded, in a tangible way, that I'm loved all the time. I'm feeling nourished.

I hope other folks are, too.

Grateful. Thank you.


Marketing Small Churches??

A recent article talks about how "Small Churches are the Next Big Thing." Its actually a comment on a book recently written that predicts that people want "intimacy...not production values."

I appreciate these comments, and I also appreciate that the author of this article points out the danger of marketing a small church as 'better' just to get more people to come.


Community Night This Sunday

This Sunday we will be having a "Community Night." This is an evening in which we give each person who attends an opportunity to share a little bit about what is happening in life as of late. The point is to listen intentionally, to provide space to be challenged and encouraged by one another, and to grow closer together as a community.

This week we will have some special guests: Missionary friends from Papua New Guinea. They will share briefly about their work, and if anyone is interested, they can speak more with the missionaries after the gathering.

A few bits of instruction/information: Please respond to this blog post to say that you are coming. This will allow Julie and Chris to get an accurate head count so they can provide the right amount of food. You don't have to bring anything for the meal; you are simply welcome to come as you are.

Second, we have had several very long community nights in the past. So this week, we will be trying to keep everyone's time of sharing to an appropriate length (about 10 minutes or so).

We will start meeting at 5pm, and aim to be done at 7:30pm. We are meeting at Chris and Julie's house. You can call Julie's cell phone for more information. (937 572 2751)

Everyone is welcome- even if it is your first time. In fact, this is a great first meeting because it provides a chance for us all to get to know you. See you Sunday afternoon!


Update - Wednesday Gathering

We're getting together again this Wednesday to see what "church" turns out to look like. Everybody's welcome to come feel it out with us. Free food, real acceptance, nobody to tell you what to think.

(Anybody who wants to is welcome to come and take part in whatever sort of leadership or planning evolves from it, too. Contact Zach, Eve, Tracy or Angela for info.)



We have gotten mixed responses to MOMO2, and I'm not sure many are planning on attending, so I am going to go ahead and cancel that part of it. We can all plan to meet at the Newby's house at 6:30-6:45 and have a LOST party (the second one for our group :) Bring snacks if you'd like.


Change of Plans- SUPERFUN this Sunday! MOMO2 and LOST!

We have decided to make a little change up in the schedule for Sunday. We had a superfun night scheduled for next week, however we are going to have that this week, and have community night at Chris and Julie's house next week. This week we will meet a MOMO2 at the corner of Olentangy River Rd. and Ackerman (near Buckeye village) for some superfun. I have never been there, but on the website it says they have bowling and have "private rooms" you can reserve for Karaoke. We will meet there Sunday at 5, and have lots of superfun.

Then we will go to Adam and Kara's house at 7 for LOST. If you are not into lost, then you can also just stay at Momo and keep having superfun. :). We will not be providing a meal, so plan to eat beforehand or you can grab something on the way to Kara and Adam's. We will probably have snacks- bring some to share if you'd like.

Here is the website for MOMO2:

Please post if you are planning on partaking in the superfun. Also, if you need directions to Adam and Kara's let us know.


Wednesday Church 6:30pm

So this Wednesday will be our first experiment in having a regular mid-week "church". We will meet at Tracy and Angela's house for food, and then share some of the ways in which we experience the Kingdom of God or catch glimpses of it in song, scripture, prayer and interaction with each other. Check out Angela's description here for more info.

To be clear this is not an "instead of", but rather an "alongside of" or in addition to regular cohort meetings, and we'd like to continue active involvement with the cohort.
For some of us the cohort is our only place of "worship" or "church", and we've been craving a bit more worship, and spiritual involvement similar to the Celebration of the Faithful events. We'd also like to have a safe place to invite others who are interested in spirituality, but not as much intellectual discussions. Everyone is welcome to come, but don't feel obligated to if you are too busy, don't feel the need or are worshiping somewhere else.


An Open Invitation...

...to "See" and "Receive" (an evening of peace, rest, and participation)

Whenever I have the privilege to visit the ocean, see a waterfall, or gaze at the stars on a clear evening, I am struck by the fact that these natural wonders are always there. Constantly, whether I am aware of them or not, the ocean waves continue to crash, the waterfalls continue to flow, and the stars continue shine (even through the bright day when I can't see them). {The picture to the left is from last year's trip to Costa Rica.}

Maybe its a worn-out metaphor, but I think its a good reminder: God is always there too, we just have to take time to notice it. We have to stop, listen, breathe, look around, and notice God. We have to "see" spiritually.

And we have to "receive" spiritually too. We breathe in deeply. We try to listen for the voice of God. We receive a sense of peace, of contentment, maybe even a touch of joy.

I want to invite everyone to a time of "seeing" and "receiving." We will attempt to rest, to notice God's presence around us, and to receive what the Spirit has to offer us. There will be singing, listening to/reading sections of Scripture, some participation and then taking communion together. Followed by some good food and hanging out with friends.

I hope you can join us. Even if it will be your first time, or we haven't seen you in a while.

Please join us, Sunday night at 5pm. (details here)


Sunday's Meeting - Celebration of the Faithful

This Sunday we will be having a "Celebration of the Faithful." This will involve some form of worship (probably some singing), reading selections of Scripture, prayer, and participating in the Lord's Supper together. Jesse & Kellye will be leading this part of the gathering.

Regarding food: Everyone pitches in for a great dinner! We will have a small backyard fire, and have the grill going as well. We will provide turkey dogs, brats and buns. Any other meat you might prefer, feel free to bring. Please comment/post what side dish, dessert or drink you will be bringing to share with everyone. Thanks!!

As always, everyone is welcome. Especially first time visitors! Feel free to contact Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

Jesse & Kellye's House (google map link)
614-875-9736 (house phone number)

Totally not starting a church

I want to let y'all know that Tracy and I have been itching for something a little church-like. I wrote about it on my blog, Follow the Love. Here's a snippet...

This is a post about how we are definitely not starting a community church. We are definitely not. More below…

Tracy & I have been away from church for a long time. We have a beautiful little group of friends, a cohort, that meets every week and goes a long way toward keeping us sane. This group is as close to a real church community as Tracy and I have gotten, and we’re grateful. But something’s been nagging at us. We’re finding ourselves pulled toward creating a space — what Anthony Smith has called “kingdom space” — where followers of Christ can…

… encourage each other
… share food with each other
… celebrate the kingdom together, share joy, peace & gratitude
… listen to each other with love
… support each other & share sorrows as well

In other words, to dwell in the kingdom together.

If you've been itching for something similar, please take a look at the description (here) and give us some feedback.

<3 Angela


Here are some pictures from the Newby Baby Party last month:

And here's our little cohort at the TransFORM conference in D.C. a few weeks ago:


Incarnational / Missional Community (followup from TransFORM)

Seven of us went to the TransForm conference in DC last weekend. We'll talk about what we learned there, and what we're excited about. And everyone will have an opportunity to talk about what Incarnational and Community mean to us.

If you'd like to get an idea of what the conference was like or some thoughts for the discussion I found a recording of the Saturday morning session which most of us missed (the speaker doesn't start until like 40mins in).

We will be meeting at Global Gallery on May 9th at 3:00pm in Clintonville.


Transform Conference, Labyrinth?

Because many/most of our group is going to be at the Transform Conference in DC our numbers will be down. We have on the calendar an option to meet and go through the Labyrinth in the Chadwick Arboretum (OSU Campus) if there is interest. Please contact me (Kara) and let me know if you are interested. Otherwise we will just plan on not having a formal gathering this week.


It's a Baby Party!!

For this week's Cohort meeting, it's a baby party! Little Henry Newby won't be here for a few months yet, but we'll meet to celebrate him anyway.

Kara & Adam want this to be about *people*, not presents. So, your presence is your presents. Heh. See what I did there?

But I happen to know that they have a really interesting gift registry at http://www.alternativegiftregistry.org/view_registry_public.php?registry_uid=4821, so if you're inclined, take a peek. But no pressure at all!!

Plans for Food: Everyone please bring an appetizer-type snack to share. Please comment to let us know you are coming, and what you might be bringing.

There will also be fun games and a blessing for Adam, Kara, and baby Henry.

Location/Time: Zack & Eve's House, 3-5 pm, Sunday April 25


Celebration of the Faithful April 18th

Sorry to mess with the schedule everyone but this COTF will be meeting and joining in with the Parade of Tears with Ohio State's "Price of Life" campaign. Jesse posted a description of the event in the previous post. The event is to raise awareness, I see our role as teaming with the community at large and standing for those victimized by slavery. We will meet at Zack and Eve's house at 1270 Courtland Ave. Columbus at 2:30pm and walk over to the Student Union to meet up with everyone at 3pm. (If you'd like to meet us at there, we'll be on the south side of the main stairs near the High St. sidewalk - not sure how crowded it will be).

I will have notecards for everyone on things to think about and pray about during the parade if you are interested. Also, since we've had quite a few foody gatherings lately there will not be a meal with this Celebration.


Anti-Slavery Event NEXT Week

**NOTE: I mistakenly thought the event was this week - it is NEXT week **

There is a week-long event at Ohio State focused on human trafficking (or better put, modern day slavery). Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to a lot of the featured events, but there are lectures throughout the week and a lot of different opportunities to get involved, learn about the issues and lend your voice to make a change in this really important area.

If you live in the central Ohio area, consider spending a few hours on campus to get involved and get educated. (schedule of main events here)

Lots of details here at the Price of Life Website
Some quick facts are on this site.
Below is a short video from the website that has some more information.

The Human Wrong initiative to stop child slavery from World Vision Advocacy on Vimeo.