The gathering I've been talking about, TransFORM, is free, and sounds like it's going to be amazing. Tracy & I are planning to go, and would love to have company on the trip. Let us know what you think!
Over the past month of so, many in the group have shared serious concerns. Various job situations, upcoming decisions, family concerns, etc. I would like to offer a time to pray for these things, and anything else that might be going on.
So, this Wednesday night (March 31) starting at 7pm, meet at our house in Grove City. We will have time for reflection, maybe some singing, and then a good chunk of time to pray for each other, perhaps share words of encouragement or Scripture that will speak into each others' lives.
If you can't make it, we'll miss you. Feel free to email or post a comment with any concerns you may have that you would like remembered.
Right now, I'm scared. And I know this is part of the path, part of the learning. But still, scared. So I want to share it with you guys, and not carry it alone. Prayers are welcome, my silly theories about theology notwithstanding! ;)
This Sunday, we will be meeting at our house (Andrew & Kristin's) starting at 4:00 for a closer look at the life of Jesus. We are going to try something artistic and expressive, so bring your creative juices and check your inhibitions at the door.
Following will be a potluck with an entirely logical theme of the color red.
It was suggested that we discuss some of the ideas from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "The Cost of Discipleship" on Sunday March 28th. If you haven't read it, this is a very challenging book. Bonhoeffer writes in a very "point blank," "no bull" and "straight up" manner. A lot of what he says reminds me of what emergent folks are saying now, but I think he also levels some serious challenges that emergent folks should consider.
To prepare for the discussion, you could read the book online here (thanks for the link Angela). You could also download the audio book for free here, and listen to it on your way to work or as you walk around in the beautiful weather. Or I have a copy that anyone is welcome to borrow, and I'm sure the public library has several copies as well.
I especially am drawn to chapter 3, "Single Minded Obedience," but as always, anything is up for discussion.
Posted this update about our ministry a few days ago, and thought I'd share with y'all... Here's a snippet...
Last night we walked a few blocks through our neighborhood to go to the kinda-monthly meeting of the Neighborhood Association. As we approached the street that leads into the neighborhood, we saw a group of young people. I said to Tracy, “Better call the cops.” This, you might have guessed, was a joke. Let me explain.
See, last month at the Blockwatch meeting, we (PineHillians? Pineys? P-Hillz?)… we were told that if we see a group of more than about 4-5 young people, we should call the police. Yes, indeed. We must call the police and report suspicious activity.
As we got close to the kids, and approached them, I noticed a little one in a stroller. (A teen-age-type was pushing.) One of the kids said to us, “Don’t worry. We ain’t goin’ rob you.” [more on the Radical Love Project site]
This Sunday, March 14th, from 5-7:30pm, we will be meeting at Chris and Julie's house for a "Celebration of the Faithful." This is a gathering that brings us together in worship, celebration of the Lord's Supper, reflecting on Scripture, and enjoying some great food together!!
Everyone is asked to bring some food for the shared meal. This time the theme is "Spring." Please post what food or drink you will be bringing so we can try to have a balance. Thanks!
The Celebration is different every time; and every time it is a blessing. Please join us, even if this will be your first visit to the cohort.
So a couple of weeks ago at the coffee shop we watched a video about the homeless, it was cool and informative, I came away with some fresh perspective on some related issues. Specifically panhandling...which is the most likely context for me to cross paths with the homeless. Parts of that video resonated with me very strongly...and I should have known Papa would be bringing those things to bear soon. Well today was my day.
Cruse in' to work this afternoon I got off 270 at the Easton exit and approached Steltzer Rd. There are 2 left turn lanes there for traffic that wants to head south on Steltzer, that's what I have to do to get to work. I get in the curb lane generally because that's the path of least resistance if one is going to FedEx. It's about a quarter of a mile to Steltzer from 270...as I came off the ramp and onto Easton Pkwy aiming for the curb lane I saw "him"...ominous black clad figure holding cardboard sign. I reflexively jerked my vehicle toward the outer left turn lane so as to avoid "him". In a flash I remembered the aforementioned resonations...I whipped it back over for curb service. Thankfully the light was red and I was first in line and there he was 3 feet away. I engaged him visually even before I stopped as my window went down. His expression betrayed angst, shame, embarrassment...fear? I had to dignify and acknowledge him as a person who has worth because he "is". I just wanted to deposit that into him..."hey I see you". He may have been 30. Black trench coat with hoodie and a bookbag on his back...he was not really scuffed up and disheveled as though he had slept under a bridge. I spoke to him like I would anyone whom I might cross paths with on a sidewalk "hey man" with a smile. His sign said: SPARE CHANGE. I fervently scoured my between the seats cupholders and then went for my ashtray all the while trying to keep eye contact. I apologized and said I didn't think I had much in here. But somehow I had the sense that the amount didn't matter as much as the fact that I was acknowledging his personhood. He was smiling now. I came up with MAYBE 23 cents. I said "smoke"? "Sure" he replied sheepishly, but still smiling. I'm not quite sure how it happens but sometimes cigars find there way into my vehicle...I checked my stash...DANG! EMPTY! I apologized again..." I thought I might have a cigar in here". "That's ok " he said as the light turned green. He gave me a really sincere "thank you" and then said "God bless You". "You too"! I called as I rolled away and checked the rearview to see the lady behind me hand him some change as well. The whole thing lasted like 35 seconds. I chastised myself immediately: you didn't ask him his name! Oops! But that thought soon faded.
I was keenly aware that the encounter had been "life giving" for both he and I. My heart was glowing! I felt like I had given the guy $100!!! I was so high I texted Jesse just because I had to tell somebody.
I ask God to use me to push His Kingdom forward about everyday. Most nights as I lay the carcass down to recharge I'm hard-pressed to recall anything from the day that might fill that bill. Tonight I've no doubt.
The "life" flowed because I had treated someone the way I would want to be treated if I was in their shoes.
I want to thank Angela and Tracy for sharing the video. That clip where the homeless guy spoke about being acknowledged really opened me up and gave me a strategy to arm myself with. Before I alway wrestled with the "what if this or what if that" stuff and because I was trying to figure those things out on the spur of the moment I would "miss" the moment of opportunity. I didn't have any of that today, I didn't care about that stuff. I just wanted to impart some dignity if I could.
The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007. We are an intergenerational group encouraged by the phenomenon that is emergent/ing/ence. Email email@example.com for more information, and/or join our next gathering. To receive cohort emails, join our Google group.
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