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.


New Years Eve

Hey all, just wanted to give those interested a little more information on the New Year's Eve party.

Who: Anyone who has access to this blog or "belongs" to the cohort

Where: The home of Wayne and Ruth Ann Hamilton
19761 Powder Lick Rd, Raymond 43067 (about 10 miles north of Marysville)

When: Saturday, New Year's Eve, (12/31/11) 7pm

Why: To celebrate the new year over food, drink, cards, and games

How: My family will all arrive in automobiles. You may arrive in any style you feel comfortable with. Also,there will be plenty of children so don't bother with the sitter (Warning: My mother might "steal" any babies or small children as you walk in the door, but she will return them at the end of the evening). Pets are welcome as well, plenty of room to roam around on the property, and a few nooks to hide away inside the house and take a nap, if they so choose.

Fondue is on the menu. Cory and my sis will be in charge of that. Since my sis is involved the final menu probably wont be set until an hour before party is started (we are a family of procrastinators if you haven't already figured that out). I know there will be a cheese and a chocolate fondue, along with a fruit and veggie tray. Cory's planning on making an "adult" punch, there will also be, soda, beer, wine, and water to drink. If you want to make a finger food dish, by all means please do, but it is NOT a requirement. Also, there is a heated shop so if you have a tasty cigar you would like to fire up----that option is available as well.

If you want to RSVP (or you have a question) please do so by commenting. Hope to see ya.



Guest Blog Post: Volunteering During the Holidays

Melinda Carter contacted us and asked to be able to write a guest blog post. We were more than happy to oblige. Below is her post: 

Volunteering During the Holidays: Reflection and Giving in Columbus

As the holidays approach, there are always strong feelings of faith, love and family that seem to pervade the conversations throughout the season. In the central Ohio area, there is such rich pride taken in each city and home neighborhood for that matter. The winter season serves not only as the perfect time to celebrate the things mentioned above, but also is an excellent time to dedicate some extra resources towards volunteering, specifically with those that are homeless and underprivileged.
Taking part in chances for giving is certainly one of the most amazing opportunities during the winter time, especially with the numerous events in an area such as Columbus and other Central Ohio towns. There are also tons of great groups, churches and organizations that serve not only to give the homeless short term shelter, but also serve to fight for long term opportunities in Columbus apartments and homes for them as well. It is during the winter that food and shelter are two of the most valued things, what better way to celebrate the holidays than to help give the underprivileged the chance to have both during the season.
Those who would potentially volunteer their time have plenty of options, especially in an area such as Central Ohio where there are so many churches and organizations that serve to make a difference. Whether it’s donating simple food items or volunteering time that would be spent otherwise, every little bit helps when it comes to giving.
Having the chance to be around family also offers the opportunity to spread the message of giving during the holidays. Advocates of volunteering can help spread awareness on the importance of donating goods or services during the winter season.
Whether there’s an opportunity down at a Central Ohio church or through a community group, there are usually a constant stream of events going on that serve to help others during the holiday season. As the December carries on, a day or even a few hours of time spent lending a hand to the underprivileged can end up making a world of difference this winter.



Even though it has taken a couple days, my pride has mended. :) I see myself much more as a "conditional" dreamer (if "this" were different the outcome could be "this") than I do as a sore loser, but of course I am a biased participant. Seriously, I can't remember the last board game I played that I still held vivid memories of, this many days afterward. Why? Was it that I blindly walked into a "cutthroat" tradition, where some serious bragging rights were being defended, or that, certain competitive juices can only be bottled up for so long, or maybe it was, the "few" rule changes that occurred through the completion of just one game? I'm not sure which of those choices was more prevalent, but I will say I totally enjoyed myself! Bragging rights, competition, a game in which the rules can and will be changed, that's my cup of tea! Just by your gracious allowance of my active participation (albeit it, in my own egocentric way) I have now come to know a little more about cohort tradition, bragging rights, and this "process of becoming" a cohort pictionarian, (still a little skeptical on the rules part though). :)

I am extremely grateful to be part of a group who allows this "process of becoming" to those willing to actively participate. These ideas of "process", "becoming" and "participation" have been reoccurring ideas in my life recently. It seems like any book I pick up or any podcast I listen to has been shot through this lens of "process". I cant adequately define it, especially in theological terms, but let me say this, process is what we live in and through everyday. Our processes are what make us. Each of us has a story (the process) of our past from somewhere and understand we have a story (process) of future that will take us somewhere. What is it about our stories (processes) that brought us together; around a colorful square of cardboard, a few markers, a drawing board to communicate on, in a remote room, in a small town, on a given night?

I recently read a story of a Rabbi who was traveling that came upon a fork in the road. After careful directional consideration he decided which path he would take. At the end of this chosen path he came upon the castle of the ruling Queen in that particular territory. As he walked up to the gate, an armed centurion called out, "Who are you and why are you here?" The Rabbi pondered the question and answered back, "How much are you paid to ask that?" The centurion reply, " The Queen graciously gives me 10 denari a week for my services." The Rabbi chuckled and responded, "I'll give you 20 if you follow me around and ask me that same question everyday."

I think that in this season of advent (which means; coming, or arriving), it is most important to keep the centurion's question in the forefront of our minds. But not just that question, let's also keep the Rabbi's response close to it. Notice the Rabbi is asking for "everyday" participation. It's a great question, from the centurion, but it means nothing if its left behind and forgot about. The everyday question has to follow us through our processes. As active participants, we often crash into "cutthroat" traditions with competitive juices that are determined to change the rules, in order to distract us from our freedom to participate. This everyday question frees us from those distractions.

So, in that room, on that given night, was it just a game? Was it just another gathering in order to distract us from our chaotic lives of our individual dramas in pain, disagreement, separation, division, divorce, sickness, or the (dis)ease of our past? (At least in my case). I think not!

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people."....... Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with an angel, praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward mankind"

When God enters our world, angelic host proclaim it. When God participates he can't help but to leave behind peace. That's just what happens. Underneath (my) tradition, underneath (my) ego, underneath the (dis)ease of (my) past there IS peace. The season requires us to remember that arrival and to anticipate what it truly means to be. When God comes, peace will surely follow, but participation (being) is required.

By focusing on advent, my hope is to notice, a little more intently this year, how important active participation is. Even though it can be uncomfortable at times, even though the rules aren't always agreed upon, even if I don't get my way. The idea that God (through humanity in Jesus) would participate in this same journey of competitive traditions ---hellbent on distracting him--- in order to usher in peace for all--- this is something I can only grasp through a "participation process." The same way Jesus did.

I have only been apart of this group for a few months. When I started peace was something I didnt think much about, because I was to wrapped up in that (dis)ease of my past. It's only been through your friendships that the centurion's question was brought back in my mind. It's only been through your gifts of patience and acceptance that I've noticed the importance of the repetition of that question. These are great gifts to realize! Thank you all! Merry Christmas!

--Boys rule, Girls drool!----there's always next year pictionarians! (pretty obvious I live with a 1st grader)


COEC Christmas Party Sat. Dec. 10, 6:30 pm

The Millers
(hosts) will provide MEATS, DRINKS and TABLESERVICE.

Please RSVP by Dec. 8th and inform us if you will be bringing a side dish and or dessert. We will also need to know how many will be attending.

Gift Exchange: Optional - No parameters theme wise (ie: goofy/gag/serious/thoughtful)- $10 to $15 range if purchased -

Looking forward to lots of fun!

Address: 179 Bridgeport Way
Delaware, OH 43015


Zack and Eve Party

Hi everyone,

The Zack and Eve welcome back for awhile party is going to be Saturday at 7:00 at my house (1270 Courtland Ave). Bring a snack/drinks if you would like and a game. If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Zack and Eve, then for you this will be a great chance to meet them, so please come.

At some point some of us will head over to my show at Bernie's on High Street. I'll need to be there around 9:00ish, and my band should start our set between 10:00 and 10:30. It's a free show. Info here.



Aleli Schroeder Baby Blessing

Just a reminder that the baby blessing for Aleli Schroeder will be this Sunday, at the Schroeder's house, from 4-6pm.  We will be having light snacks, but not a meal (please let me know if you would like to help).  

There is no need for gifts, the Schroeders were wanting this to be a time for us to pray for them, and baby Aleli, and for this to be her introduction to the Cohort.  I'm sure there will be lots of ohhhing and ahhhing.  Come prepared with your best baby voice :).


Celebration of the Faithful

This Sunday, November 4, we will travel up to Scot and Mary's house for a celebration of the faithful. We will have a time of worship, communion, and a meal.  Mary is planning on making Stromboli, which is not to be missed.  She asks that we bring sides to accompany.  We will begin at 5 at 4pm (please note the change) .  We will probably be arranging a couple of carpools up there, if you are interested.  You can e-mail or comment if you need directions. Please post if you are planning on attending and if you are planning on bringing anything.  This goes a long way in helping the hostess plan.   Looking forward to a great time!!


Baby blessing moved. Secret Message of Jesus Book discussion this week

Thanks to those who came yesterday for the Operation Christmas Child packing.  I had a great time!  I just wanted to let you all know that we are changing the date of the baby blessing.  It is now scheduled for Nov 20th.  Jesse and Kellye thought this date would be better, because at that time Aleli will be officially full term, and perhaps a little better able to handle all the company.  Also, we will be having it at the Schroeder's House.  More details to come later.

This Sunday, we will be having a discussion on the book the Secret Message of Jesus.  Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether you have been able to read the book :).  It will be at the Newby's house.  E-mail if you need directions.


This Sunday (10/23) - Operation Christmas Child

from Kara's email: 


In the past we have always had an Operation Christmas Child event.  If you are not familiar with OCC, here is a link to more info.   You can also e-mail me if you want me to explain further.  In the past, we have met, left to go shop together, then came back to our house to wrap boxes.  Somehow, in the most recent planning we forgot to add this in.  I always love this event and wanted to be sure we didn't miss the opportunity this year.

So on Sunday, the 23rd, please come and meet at our house (Adam & Kara's) at 3:00pm.  We can disperse from our house to Big Lots, and/or Target and come back to the house to wrap gifts.  I will also probably put a pot of soup or chili in the crock pot if you want to stay for dinner.  Please plan on bringing a shoebox(s) to fill and wrap, money for the gifts inside and a check to Samaritan's Purse for handling (will find out the exact amount and get back to you, I believe in the past it was $12-15 per box).   

Please let me know if you are planning on coming and if you think you would like to stay for dinner.

Need directions or more info? Email: schroeder.jesse@gmail.com / text/call: 614-557-5768


Celebration of the Faithful

Hey everyone,

Let's get together this Sunday at 5:00 for a Celebration of the Faithful and a pot-luck meal. We will be at 1270 Courtland Ave. and anyone is welcome. Please post in the comments section if you can come and what you plan to bring.

Wednesday, October 5

I wanted to let everyone know you are welcome to come to my house tomorrow evening (October 5). I have been doing a lot of reading in the book of Exodus and as a result have been thinking about the vision I have of my life with God. Let's spend time praying for our present and our future.

Please come at 6:15 and so we can begin together at 6:30. Let me know if you need directions.

Hope to see you then,

Nancy J.


Celebration of the Faithful


It's our turn to host the C.of F. this Sunday and as has been the case lately once again the logistics are challenging. Lots going on for various cohort attendees and to be honest the economy impacts peoples mobility as well.

We are up to hosting but would like to hear from whoever is considering coming before we invest the preparation needed. Just being practical :/

Sunday @ 5pm
179 Bridgeport Way
Delaware, OH 43015

If we scrub the C.of F. perhaps there is the option to do something at the hospital so as to include the Schroeders...wouldn't have the same "edge" but would be community-ish:). Totally their call of course.

love to all


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I would like to invite you all to my home this Wednesday night (September 21, 2011) for prayer and study. Arrive at 6:15 p.m. so we can begin at 6:30.

I know there are many things going on and that Adam and Kara will be out of town. A guest, Rebekah Lyons, has expressed interested in the Cohort and will be joining us on Wednesday night.

If you need directions or address, please let me know.

Hope to see you there,



The Semicolon

This came in the MINemergent daily email, and I really liked it.


In praise of the semicolon

In Praise of the Semicolon
Never put a period,
or colon or even a comma
where God put a semicolon.

Unlike the settled-

or the colon's
invitation to see all

or the exclamation point's
screaming, insistent

or even the lighthearted
comma with its
sabbath pause

the outrageous
semicolon holds
us in the middle

without yielding to one
thing or the other.
It's so easy to get lost

along the way where
there is so much
pushing and pulling.

God I believe;
Help my unbelief.
Amen; Life. 

Terry L. Chapman


Secret Message of Jesus book discussion

POSTPONED. We will reschedule this event.

I hope everyone can come the the discussion on this book. I found it very good and it helped me to realize that I wasn't so far off the mark afterall! I have three books for anyone who does not have one.

There are discussion questions and guidelines in the book, so this will help keep the conversation somewhat organized. But, we can go off on our own tangents if we want. We can see what everyone thinks about how to proceed with conversation on this book. One idea would be to keep it going on the Blog site. Something like a book conversation is difficult to attempt for one evening and I doubt that everyone would want to schedule a discussion for several weeks. Then again, maybe you would. Anyway, we can keep that open and see what happens.

The discussion will be at Adam and Kara Newby's house on Sunday. If would be a good idea to have an idea of how many are going to be there. So, let me or Kara know, OK? My phone is 505-7410.


The High Life

We are all familiar with so-called "mountain top experiences," the "highlights" or "high moments" of our lives. There is a famous mountain top experience in the Bible too, when Jesus takes his disciples to the mountain of transfiguration.

What are your "high life" moments? When you think about your life, what are the experiences that were so good, you will always remember them? These experiences shape our lives in a many ways, and it can be meaningful to share them with each other.

So, this Sunday, at 5pm, at the Schroeder's House, join us for a discussion of the High Life. We'll share stories, sing a few songs, read the story of the Transfiguration, share communion, and perhaps a few "High Lifes" too.

This is a "Celebration of the Faithful," which means potluck - the theme (given the great weather and upcoming football season) is "tailgating." We'll make sure the grill is hot, so bring your favorite side dish, meat or veggie burger, or dessert to share with the group.

Please post that you are coming, and what food you will bring, so we can plan accordingly. 


Wednesday Night Gathering

I thought about the every other Wednesday idea and came up with a very good place to start (with one of my favorite old stories) this Wednesday, August 24. 
There are 8 Every Other Wednesdays from now until December.
...a little structure, a moderate amount of solid direction, definitely prayer and communion (but not necessarily every time), lessons, challenges, silence on occasion and a bit of accountability. 
I very much look forward to spending them with you.

We will meet at 6:15pm, at Nancy's House - if you need directions or have questions, you can email her at nancykj10@yahoo.com, or call/text Jesse at 614-557-5768


Upcoming Gatherings

At the planning meeting, there were two new suggestions.

1) A regularly scheduled meeting, during the week, in which we would have a low-key time of prayer and sharing communion. Nancy offered to host this, every other Wednesday. The dates are on the google calendar, and if you need directions or more info, shoot us an email.

2) We only scheduled gatherings for every other week. This is in hopes that we will be able to keep our commitments, as well as not have too much planned. For the "empty" weeks, we can certainly add in other events, watching a movie, or just hanging out. Anyone is welcome to suggest other gatherings or events around Columbus.

Keep an eye on the google calendar (to the right) to see what is coming up! Blessings to all -


Planning Meeting

I would like to invite everyone to my home in German Village next Tuesday, August 16 at 6:00 p.m. to spend a little time planning and thinking about our future. If anyone needs directions, please e-mail me at nancykj10@yahoo.com

I look forward to seeing everyone again.




We will gather to discuss "Liberty, The Perfect Law" (the definitive answer to that age old question "Why did this happen?") at:

6745 Avery-Muirfield Drive, Dublin, OH

from 6-8pm

You may want to bring a blanket in case we end up in a nearby park due to a packed house at Caribou (the Irish Festival is this weekend in Dublin:) )


Love Wins & Erasing Hell

Hi friends -

I just finished reading Rob Bell's "Love Wins" and Francis Chan's response book, "Erasing Hell." I am blogging my thoughts and responses to both books on my personal blog, here.

Just thought I'd invite everyone over to read my thoughts and perhaps share some of your own.

Has anyone else read either of these two books? Any thoughts about them?


No Gathering Sun July 24

Hi friends -

Most folks are out of town or have prior commitments tomorrow (Sun. July 24) so we will not be meeting.


Community Night at the Newbys

This Sunday at 5:00 1:00PM we will be having community night at the Newbys. Community night is a special time to come together and share our lives, our struggles, our joys and pains.
Anyone is welcome.
I will be cooking up a nice meal for all to enjoy, all you have to do is let us know you are coming and show up. Well, I guess you can come even if you don't let us know you are coming, but if at all possible, let us know if you are coming by commenting on the blog. It's just nice to know how much food to make. No need to bring anything, but if you would like you, let me know and I'll let you know what we might need. Looking forward to having some time to share together.


July 24th

Just a heads up about the gathering scheduled for the 24th. We got our wires crossed here at the Miller home and that date has been filled with a family event by the Queen. The Queen trumps all! Since the discussion of Mike's book was my suggestion I feel a sense of obligation to be a part of it:) So we need to reschedule, sorry:(
On a related point I need to get Mike's book into the hands of those who are interested. So since this summer is proving to be challenging as far as the cohort meeting consistently I'm open to suggestions about how to make that happen. I was thinking that if I got them to somebody who sees other cohort peeps outside of the cohort context and lives in a more central geographic location than I do they would have a better shot at distributing the books.

love to all


King James Bible

ANOTHER UPDATE: Due to families in town, and some people traveling out of town, there was limited response. Therefore, we have moved this discussion to Sunday July 24th. 

There will be no cohort gathering on Sunday July 10. 


UPDATE (from Jesse): Here is some more information about the exhibit:

"This exhibition should feature something to suit everyone's tastes, including medieval manuscripts, original copies of the many different English Bible translations produced during the sixteenth century, literature and art inspired by the style, language and content of the Bible." It runs until August 28th, so we could plan to check it out another time.

The Thompson Library is open from 11am till midnight. Just outside of the library is the Oval, a great place to sit in the shade of a tree and chat for a bit. We could also find a spot to sit and talk in the library if the weather is too hot.

For those who live further away, I would recommend parking on 15th and walking to the library. Other parking ideas?

We have scheduled to meet from 3-5pm. This is the only time I can make it, because Kel and I have dinner plans with family.

So in summary: Sunday, July 10, 3-5pm, Thompson Library, King James Bible Exhibit and discussion

However, if very few people are interested or will be able to make it, we should definitely reschedule. I know Nick wants to see the exhibit, and there may be a better time. Therefore, PLEASE, comment here or respond via email to let everyone know your plans one way or another. I'll check back Sunday morning and post a definite yes/no.

_____ (below is Nick's original post) ______

Hi everyone,

This Sunday our plan was to look at the free King James Bible exhibit at OSU's main library. I had pushed for this one since I am a history and old book dork, but it turns out I will be out of town this weekend and unable to make it. There is information about the exhibit here: http://www.manifoldgreatness.org/, though I think we are a 'traveling exhibit' so I'm not entirely sure how much is here, though from what we read earlier I think a great deal. Does anyone have a link to that info?

In any case, since I won't be here to head things up, perhaps this is not the best activity. Thoughts?


Doo Dah Parade and BBQ!

This Monday, to celebrate the 4th, we are going to go to the Doo Dah Parade and then to Nick's house for a BBQ. If you've never seen the Doo Dah Parade, you really should. The website is http://www.doodahparade.com/ We'll meet at Nick's house (1270 Courtland Ave.) at 12:30 and then walk to find a shady spot to sit and watch the parade go by. Afterwards we'll head back to Nick's for a cookout. Please post in the comments what you plan to bring for the cookout - meat, veggies, sides, drinks, etc.

Happy Doo Dah!


Let's talk about money

We have a money discussion scheduled for Sunday June 26 at 3:00PM. The place has not be determined yet. We will all discuss how we each budget and handle our finances.

Update: We will meet at the Clintonville Panera on High St. Directions here.

New Update: The meeting today is cancelled. Sorry for the confusion. Because of some people traveling and other commitments it is being called off. Have a good day!


The Big Move

As most of you know, I will be moving into my new home on Monday, June 20th.  I am very excited about it, but I have run into a problem.  I am going to need someone to help me with one thing.  The moving company is going to pack and more me but I need someone to drive me to the new place along with my cat, rabbit, hamster and parakeet.  What can I say, I love animals.  My entire family is either in Spain (my niece), Myrtle Beach (brother and sister-in-law) or in the laboratory somewhere under OSU working on developing new materials in the field of nano technology(My nephew, Einstein, Jr.) 

Also, the book discussion came upon me much sooner than I thought it was going to be.  I haven't ordered by books for the group.  This was very stupid on my part.  I should have ordered them immediately after we decided on the book.  I'm sort of famous for forgetting or putting things off.  I think I put this off and then forgot.  (A double MY BAD!!)  I have one copy.  Do any of you have copies?  I will put in the order on Saturday. 

I really sorry.  There's no excuse.  I messed up.

Br. Curt.


Community Night @ Miller's

Please join us for a cohort "community night" Sunday, June 12, 4pm-7pm. Community night is a time to hang out and catch up with one another about the current challenges/blessings/hopes/disappointments/etc our respective lives are bringing to us. We grow our relationships w/one another through this process of interacting. Kinda simple huh?

Mary plans to have the grill fired up and will no doubt be whipping up culinary magic as she is wont to do. So (this time) the host will provide the meats, drinks and salads. If you would like to bring some contribution to the meal we will share... "snack items" would be a good choice!

Everyone is invited. Please don't stay away if you have never joined us before. This will a perfect opportunity to connect with us:)


Our address:

179 Bridgeport Way
Delaware, OH 43015

love to all,


Memorial Day

This was printed in Sunday's bulletin from the church I grew up in and used to attend. My wife came home, much earlier than usual, (she has continued attending with the kids) noticeably irritated at her experience, in which she handed me her bulletin and said something along the lines of "Read this, you may understand why I'm home early."

Memorial Day

Do you remember---the REAL America?...
When riots were unthinkable....
When you left the front doors open...
When socialism was a dirty word...
When the flag was a sacred symbol...
When criminals actually went to jail...
When you weren't afraid to go out at night...
When taxes were only a necessary nuisance...
When a boy was a boy and dressed like one...
When the poor were too proud to take charity...
When the clergy actually talked about religion...
When clerks and repairmen tried to please you...
When songs had a tune and the words made sense...
When young fellows tried to join the Army or Navy...
When people knew what the 4th of July stood for...
When a Sunday drive was a pleasant trip, not an ordeal...
When you bragged about your hometown, and home state...
When everyone didn’t feel entitled to a college education...
When people expected less and valued what they had more....
When politicians proclaimed their patriotism, and meant it...
When everybody knew the difference between right and wrong...
When our government stood up for Americans, anywhere in the world...
When you knew the law would be enforced, and that your safety was protected...
When the law meant justice, and you felt a shiver of awe at the sight of a policeman...
When you weren’t embarrassed to say that this is the best country in the world...
When America was a land filled with brave, proud, confident, hard-working people....
When God was honored and revered as GOD!...
May God help us restore that STATE!

Is this what the rural "church" has come to?..... Why is it that young people are rejecting the church?..... And we act surprised?

Just wondered what you guys think. I have deep feelings for the people of this church, I've grown up with them, I've been taught by them. We've sang, danced, communed, dined, loved, laughed, cried, partied together. Is this truly the mindset of our "leaders", is this what all those years have come to? "......a boy was a boy and dressed like one", what's that mean?----Do you remember the REAL America?---Seriously?

Just questioning,



Fire Night- Sunday, June 5, 2011


Come enjoy a time of relaxation and reflection at the Schroeders' house (2406 Altenburg Ct. Grove City, OH 43123) from 8-10pm around the fire pit on Sunday, June 5th.

We will have s'mores to share, but feel free to bring anything else you want to roast for yourself or drink.

Looking forward to seeing everyone Sunday evening! Post if you plan to make it.


Film Discussion

So,the vote is in and it looks like we will be watching Winter's Bone and discussing.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Nick's house!

Julia (937) 572-2751


This Weekend's Gathering

This weekend we will be watching a film and having a discussion. We will meet at 7:15pm, Saturday night, at Jon Eade's house in Hilliard. We will have some drinks and snacks, but eat dinner before you come.

Change in venue: We will be meeting at Nick's house.

We are still deciding what movie to watch, but the possibilities are:

  • "Of God's and Men" (We'll watch this later, once it's out on DVD)
  • "The Mission"
  • "Heaven"
  • "Winter's Bone"
  • "127 Hours"
  • "The King's Speech"
We are working on getting "Of God's and Men" in a format that will have subtitles. If that doesn't work, we may choose one of the other options. We will watch the film, and then have an open discussion about any issues that come out of the movie. 

Hope to see everyone there! If you have questions or need directions, email Jesse at schroeder.jesse@gmail.com or text/call 614-557-5768


Local Reading Group Invitation

I received the following invitation through an email and thought I would share it with the group:

Where/When: Beginning Tuesday, 5/24, 7 pm 
What: A 12-week summer reading group discussing Marcus Borg's The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith. 
Who: The group is open to all. In fact, the purpose of the group is better served the more diversity of opinion exists. We will be discussing "core" issues within Christianity. The book may be found on Amazon.com ($9), bookstores, or at the Westerville Library.  


The meetings will happen in a home, and if you are interested in going, you can email me and I'll send you the address (didn't want to post it online w/out permission). 

Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) 


Discussion: Death of Osama bin Laden

Tomorrow we will meet at 3:00PM at the Whetstone Branch Columbus Metro Library in Clintonville for a discussion about the U.S. killing Osama bin Laden. Please feel free to share your thoughts about this matter whether they be definitive or conflicted. We have the meeting room until the library closes at 5:00PM.




This came in "MINemergent" daily email today. Some others of you might get it, but if not, I thought it went along with our discussion from last night very well (which was wonderful Adam! Thank you again)

Re-CreationGod is never finished with creation, and God is never finished with us. We are constantly being re-created and we are invited to join God as co-re-creators of the world.  This re-creation happens in our attitudes and spirits as much as in the physical world.  We re-create when we replace hate with love, hurt with healing, despair for hope.  Our prayers beckons re-creation. We join this re-creation as we ask God do anew in us what God has done throughout the centuries. We pray for sight returned, babies born, lives revived.  We seek mercy unmasked, love unimpeded, and faith remade.  We join with all creation in seeking re-creation. For we know that all creation has been groaning for remaking right up to the present time.  And even we groan to be released from pain and suffering. We wait for God to give us our full life as children, including renewed bodies; we eagerly look forward to this freedom. Doug PagittBody Prayer


Sunday May 15th, Celebration of the Faithful

This Sunday, May 15, we will meet at Nick house (1270 Courtland Ave.) for a Celebration of the Faithful at 5:00PM. Since it is Spring, we will spend some time meditating and discussing Creation, specifically the wonders of Spring and emergence of life that comes with it. Until then, open your eyes to the emergence of nature happening all around you. How do you view the relationship between creation and God? Does nature even cause you to think about God? Do we take it for granted? How well do you understand or appreciate the basics of flowers, seeds, plant dormancy, and the plant and animal life all around us?

We will have a meal, potluck style, either pre- or post- discussion. Please post if you are coming and

what you are planning on bringing.


Trash Pick Up

Let's clean up Mother Earth for Mother's Day!
We are breaking from our routine this Sunday and doing a little service project.

We'll be picking up trash in Weinland Park where 3 of us currently live, and several others have lived over the past couple years. We'll meet at Nick's house at 3pm. We will have pickers and trash bags, but no gloves if you want those. Feel free to come when you can. We should be easy to spot.

Why do we do this? There are few acts more loving towards our neighbors than cleaning the places where they and their children live. If a community is clean, people treat it with more respect and start to respect themselves more. Also, it can be rewarding and satisfying to pick up all that broken glass and litter. If you've never done it before, it is almost meditative.

Post comments or questions- hope to see you all on Sunday!


Planning Meeting

Nancy's computer is out of service right now, so she asked me to make this post. 

Please Note: Nancy is feeling under the weather, and so asked that the location be changed today. Due to other circumstances, we have decided to move the meeting to an evening this week (Tues. or Thurs.) More info to come. 

If you have a preference of what night to meet, feel free to leave a note in the comment section. 

Sunday May 1st at 3:30pm we will have an open planning meeting at Nancy's House in German Village. We will try to to put together a general plan for gatherings for the next 3-4 months (always subject to change). We will also share communion.

And if anyone would like to bring light snacks to share during the planning time, that would be appreciated too :)

Please think about some ideas to share with the group, such as:

  • A book you are reading that you would like to discuss
  • A general topic you are interested in 
  • Are you willing to host a Community Night or a Celebration of the Faithful?
  • Are there special events happening around Columbus that the Cohort could do together? (for example, we all know Nick will talk about the Jazz and Rib Fest!)
  • Is there a spiritual practice you would like to suggest to the cohort?
In general, what could we do as a group of emergent Christians in Columbus to encourage one another in our faith journey?

As always, anyone is welcome to come and share their ideas and suggestions. Hope to see you there!


Passion Week

The sanctuary at Prince of Peace
This is Passion Week, leading up to Easter weekend. This Friday, everyone is invited to the Tenebrae Service, 7pm at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (my dad's church). We can carpool, and if anyone is interested, we could hang out a bit after the service at someone's house, maybe watch a movie or play some games?

Kellye and I will also be going to the Easter service at Prince of Peace - the "sunrise service" is 8am, and then there is a 10:30am service. There is also a breakfast open to everyone at 9:15. Anyone from the cohort is welcome to join us, and you will get to meet my family and get a taste of what my childhood was like :)

However, the cohort could also go to an Easter service somewhere else. Any other suggestions of churches in the Columbus area that we would like to visit? 


This Sunday: Discussion

Hi everyone -

This Sunday, 4/17, we will have an open discussion at the Columbus Public Library Main Branch, in the 3rd floor board room, starting at about 2:30pm. (Note, the library closes at 5, so starting a bit earlier will be good. Please also note that there is parking in the garage below the library for a low cost, about $2, or you can park on the street nearby for free).

This is a very nice, quiet room, and very conducive to a group discussion. Also, I believe we could use a projector and speakers if we wanted to watch a video and discuss it. Some options:

- Video from Rob Bell: The God's Aren't Angry Anymore -or- Everything Is Spiritual
- Discuss any books or topics people are reading lately
- "Community Night" style open sharing and discussion
- Experiences of Lent 2011 - have you been fasting? what have you been thinking about? etc.
- Other topics that people are interested in?


This Weekend: Labyrinth Experience

This weekend (4/9) we will participate in a labyrinth experience together at Shepherd's Corner Farm. We will actually be meeting on Saturday (different for us), at 3pm at Shepherd's Corner, which is located east of Columbus at 987 N Waggoner Rd   Blacklick, OH 43004-9505. 

If anyone would like to carpool, please leave a message in the comments section.

If you haven't done a labyrinth before, it is a wonderful, contemplative experience. I believe that Roger has arranged for us to meet with some of the Dominican Sisters to give us a tour and talk with us a bit as well.


Sunday Night (3/27)

I had a great time with the Cohort Sunday night.  We shared some very important personal situations and are praying for a good resolution to all of them.  It is good to know what God is doing in our lives. 

We had some good eats, too.  Good beer.  Good wine.  Good friends.  What more could we want? 

We discussed having a book study.  I believe we  decided to make the book Brian McLaren's "Finding Our Way Again".  I'd like to know how many want to participate in it and what kind of format we want.  Shall we make it a blog conversation?  Or, would it be better to pick a time every or every-other-week to have a group discussion?  If we do this, what night shall it be and at what time?  I'm the man with virtually no schedule so it's all good for me.  The book will familliarize us with some of the practices throughout the various Christian traditions that can develop us in our spiritual walk and awareness.  Probably a good thing to do, huh?  :>}  One suggestion:  This is something we could do at a coffee house.  Hmmmmmm?

All of your concerens are in my thoughts and prayers.  Love you all!  Sure miss those we haven't seen for awhile. 


This Sunday: Community Night

This Sunday, March 27th, we will have a "Community Night," which means a time for each person to share whatever thoughts, feelings, events, or challenges they have experienced lately. We will meet at Nick's house at 5pm.

This will be a potluck - so please put in the comment section what item you will be bring.


Crazy little church

I googled "crazy little church columbus ohio" on a lark, and guess where it took me? Right, here.

I miss you guys. :(



Brian MacLaren is the real thing!

I hope I don't drive everybody crazy with posts.  I've just experienced something that I have never experienced before:  Brian MacLaren answered my inquiry about homosexuality on his blog page.  This is really a big deal to me and I wanted to share it with you.

I have grown too accustomed to either having to take a defensive position or an outight offensive position.  Being offensive has never made me feel very good, but I have been by churchess and politics to many times in my life to count.  Because of this, I have not been able to put my whole heart into any church or group that I have belonged to.  I have been holding my heart back with the group because it is not easy to give it all.  You all have been great and have made me feel that I am truly a part of the Cohort, not just a token Gay or something similar.  You all are the real thing and I want to say "Thanks" and "God bless you all abundantly"!   I feel like one of the most fortunate people alive, you mean that much to me. 

May we all have a blessed mission for our lives!



Cohort Book Study/Discussion?

I have been reading Brian McLaren's books like a madman!  For the most part I have truly enjoyed them and have been edified.  I've noticed his books are setup for group discussions and was wondered if the Cohort has done something like this with any of his books.  If not, would there  be an interest in doing this?  If we do chose a book to study, I would be more than happy to purchase copies for each household.

This leads me to another idea.  I am an avid "Purchaser of Books".  When I get moved into my mobile home in June, I would like to catalog the books I have and provide them to the Cohort for their edification.  I have a sister-in-law who has a masters degree in Library Science, so I shouldn't have any trouble getting them organized.  (HA HA!!)  I used to have about 500 books but a fire burned almost all of them about 30 years ago.  I've moved so many times that I have kept books to a minimum, but I plan to do much more once I am in my new home.  As it grows, I would like these books to be available to all of you. 

I also would like to know what you all think about submitting some of your own books into this library.  Everything will be carefully catelogged and lending records will be complete and accurate.  Perhaps we can ad this to a group discussion.  I will appreciate your feedback.

Br. Curt


Cartoons Talking Theology

If you haven't seen XtraNormal videos yet, this will seem very odd at first.....using computer voices and dry humor to make a point....but it does offer some interesting conversation starters -


Discussion on Worship 3.13.11

On Sunday, March 13, 2011, we will have a discussion on worship. Jesse will provide some questions to initiate the discussion, but come to share, discuss, and ask whatever you are thinking about.

We will meet at 2:30pm at the North Market in the same area upstairs. If you cannot make it but have some ideas you would love to add to the discussion, please post them here. We enjoy hearing from others in any form of contribution.

Looking forward to seeing each of you there!


Love Wins?

This video promoting Rob Bell's new book has caused quite a stir online. (BTW, note the article linked is written by our old friend Sarah Pulliam).

I know we've talked about the Heaven/Hell debate before, but I thought I'd just throw it out on here since we are supposed to be "emergent" - thoughts on this video?


And now for some shameless self promotion...

As probably all of you already know, the new band I'm in is debuting this Friday at Espresso Yourself Music Cafe on 50 West Powell rd. in Powell (thanks Scot and Mary for the connection!).

Here is a bit about the show:

Houndstooth Bindles is a brand new group playing some of your old-timey favorites, some new-timey numbers, and a bindle full of originals.

The band includes:

Nick Johnson on mandolin and stuff
Virginia Pishioneri on banjo and things
Jarod Ogier on guitar and vocal stylings
Lois Kwa on fiddle and buisness
Bill Wolfe on bass and whatnot

Come on out! We will be playing with Gary Demos at 7 pm, Bob Lyons Band at 8:30 pm, and then Houndstooth Bindles at 10.

Anyone who can tell us at the show what a bindle is gets a high five.

Cover is $4. Scot tells me they have great food. I'm going to try to be there by at least 7:30 to enjoy what look like very tasty paninis.


This Sunday

Hi everyone -

So, this Sunday we have an "open day" - previously we had planned to have a guest speaker, but that had to be rescheduled. Right now, we have the time of 2:30-5:00pm reserved at the main library downtown. This is a free reservation, but if we aren't going to use it, I would like to cancel in a timely manner. So, here are some options/suggestions:

  • Discussion session about a book/topic (at the library) - could be about anything :)
  • Composting stories activity that we didn't do last week (Jesse or Nancy could lead this) - at the library, or another location
  • Plan to go to Nick's "show" Friday March, 4th, which would be two things for the following weekend, but nothing this weekend.
  • Something else, like just having dinner together, watching/discussing a movie, or other ideas? 
Sorry we don't have things planned a little better - but the flexibility can be nice too :)


Cohort meeting at North Market

Yesterday was such a blessing!  I thank God that we have a place that we  can share our painful times and memories and, by doing so, we are able to heal all the more quickly.  We are truly blessed to feel free to expose our skeletons and know that we won't be scorned and rejected.  I pray for all Christian communities, that they may receive that love without conditions that we have here.  It would be nice to be a part of that type of ministry to our brothers and sisters in Christ that are locked into that limited heart space.  I am not sure how that happens, but I would like to have a discussion about it sometime and hear what everyone else thinks.

I forgot to bring up the Wild Goose Festival in June.  If you've checked it out, I'd like to know if you have considered going.  It sounds like it will be an amazing event!  If you haven't read about it, please do and maybe we can arrange going together. 

Bro. Curt


Sunday, February 20

In a recent post Jesse thought an idea for discussion might be to hear from our new comers and allow them to share about what ideas/topics/authors have brought them to the emergent conversation. What are the themes of emergent Christianity that are attractive to them? What parts of "traditional Christendom" are they struggling with? etc.

I thought that was a great idea and I asked Curt, Roger and Tracy if they would be willing to participate in that kind of discussion. They agreed!

Nick reminded me that Julia suggested awhile ago that we could meet at the North market. They have seating upstairs where we can get a table. Added bonus--there are all sort of tasty, local treats at the North Market, without the pressure to buy anything.

So this Sunday let's meet from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the North Market in the upstairs area.

Hope to see you on Sunday!



Beliefs. What is an emergent faith?

My name is Zack for those of you that don't know me. I'm Jesse's brother, and I love the COEC, but I live in Cambodia now so haven't been able to attend any of the meetings lately. Anyway Nancy expressed some interest in discussing beliefs in a recent comment, and that's been a topic on my mind a lot lately (especially regarding the belief in hell), and I just recently wrote this about it:

You know those pictures of the universe, the sun, and other astrological bodies. When I see those pictures I “believe” that’s what it’s like, but I also know that’s not exactly what it looks like. I know the picture is just a representation of the real thing. Maybe the image was taken using radio waves or ultraviolet light to form the picture, and that if I really looked at the sun with my naked eyes I wouldn’t see solar flares popping out. I know if I was really a zillion miles away the universe or Milky Way wouldn’t look like that picture because it’s just a mathematical model made in lab. My belief in the accuracy of that picture is also tied with unbelief, and uncertainty. If someone tried to tell me that Saturn actually has gold bands around it, and showed me a picture to prove it, I would say “No I don’t believe those are actual bands they are just clumps of rocks that look like bands in this picture.” I have some ambiguity about it of how many rocks or how close etc. but I also have a certain amount of firm belief that the picture is wrong at the same time as belief that it is right.

My belief in hell is similar in some ways. I believe Jesus, and the apostles were talking about a spiritual reality, but hell is a spiritual reality that we can’t easily see or understand. So Jesus talked about it in metaphors – a fiery furnace, a lake of fire, the trash dump, the underworld, destruction, death etc. These are all pictures of a spiritual reality that I believe exists, but at the same time I have uncertainty about the pictures, and some belief that they are incorrect. I don’t think there will be an actual furnace or a literal lake that is on fire. I’m uncertain about the specifics of who goes there, and for how long, and the technicalities of how justification works. I believe Jesus when He speaks about hell in the Bible, I also don't believe it. I believe more strongly that God is love, that love wins, and that I am to embody that love and share that love with others.

I think one of the major things I think I've learned from Emergent is more how to believe then specifically what to believe. I know Rob Bell uses the analogy of springs vs bricks in Velvet Elvis (although I haven't read the book). This also reminds me of a past post by Nancy about where to even begin.

What do you guys think? Is there a line of becoming so relativistic that you can't even speak truth? How do you hold your beliefs and convictions with humility, and passion without them becoming bricks? I've been criticized for letting my feelings get in the way of my interpretation of the Bible, but I don't see that as a problem. How do YOU believe? Where do you start? What does an Emergent FAITH look like?


Christian Privilege?

Many of us have probably heard of the term 'white privilege' which usually connotates that there are privileges in society- some blatant and others sometimes not as clear to those who get the privileges- that are inherent to only whites.

A recent blogger, who I assume is from Columbus because of what she says, wrote about the need for someone to write about the idea of Christian privilege. She also points to the hipster Christian movement in Columbus, which I had never really thought about until she pointed it out. Anyway, I wanted to see what you all thought about her post and if you think there is a need to write about Christian privilege, what might you say about it? Just as interesting as the post itself are the comments, though I have not read all of them. Thoughts?

The Next 2 Weeks

Hi everyone -

I really enjoyed our gathering yesterday, and it has been such a pleasure to get to know new folks in the cohort. I was looking ahead at the next two weeks, and have a few thoughts.

1) This coming Sunday we have scheduled to do "Composting Stories." You all know that I love this activity, but I also feel like I have "led" several of the last meetings (food discussion, yesterday's worship gathering) so I wanted to open it up and see if anyone had anything else they would like to do or talk about. We do not have a location set for next week either. Thoughts?

2) The following week (February 27) we have a room in the main library reserved from 2:30-5:00. This was originally for a guest speaker (friend of Nancy's) but they had to reschedule for a later date. Ideas or thoughts for what to discuss on Feb. 27th?

One other idea I had was to open the table up to some of the new cohort friends and allow them to share about what ideas/topics/authors have brought them to the emergent conversation. What are the themes of emergent Christianity that are attractive to them? What parts of "traditional Christendom" are they struggling with? etc.

OK - those are just some of my thoughts - feel free to share in the comments section any ideas or suggestions.


This Sunday: Worship Gathering

This Sunday we will be having a gathering that will be different from any we have done before. It will be a "worship gathering," featuring mostly music, but also some other activities such as communion. One of the main goals will be to give everyone space to reflect, listen to God, and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit, whatever that might mean. I invite everyone to come with an open heart and open mind, and a willingness to take some risks.

We will meet at 3pm, Sunday Feb. 12th, at Nick's HouseEmail schroeder.jesse@gmail.com if you have questions. 

I also wanted to share this song with everyone. Musically, it's pretty different (emo rock, or something). But I really like the lyrics and it makes me think about what we have going on in the cohort.

Why burn poor and lonely under a bowl,
Under a lampshade or on the shelf
Beside the bed where at night
You lay turning like a door on it's hinges?
(First on your left side, then on your right side, then your left side again)
Why burn poor and lonely?
Tell all the stones, we're gonna make a building.
We'll be cut into shape & set into place or if you'd rather be a window,
I'll gladly be the frame, reflecting any kind of words.
We'll let in all the blame
(And ruin our reputation all the same)
Never mind our plan making,
We'll start living......anyway,
Aren't you unbearably sad?
Then why burn so poor and lonely?

We'll be torches together! torches together
With whatever respect, our tattered Dignity demands
Torches together, hand in hand

Why pluck one string - What good is just one note?
Oh, one string sounds fine I guess....We were once 'One Note',
We were lonely wheat quietly ground into grain
(What light and momentary pain!)
So why this safe distance, this curious look?
Why tear out single pages when you can throw away the book?
Why pluck one string when you can strum the guitar?
Strum the guitar!
With no beginning, with no end
Take down a guitar and strum the guitar 
strum the the guitar if you're afraid,
And I'm afraid and everyone's afraid
And everyone knows it but we don't have to be afraid anymore

You played the flute but no one was dancing
You sang a sad song and none of us cried
you played such a sad song....such a sad song