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.


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



We discussed taking communion ("The Lord's Supper") in our discussion of food and the soul. I think this is a very interesting conversation, and so Tony Jones' post about taking communion made me think of our cohort and how we do things.

Read his post here if you'd like. 

He highlights six things from Moltmann that should characterize the communion experience. I thought it was interesting that we basically do all six of these things already.

  1. Communion must be central to the Christian community, must be integrated into the heart of the worship service (not tacked on at the end), and must be celebrated with bread and wine.
  2. The table must be open to those of varying theological views.
  3. Baptism and confirmation must not be prerequisites for the fellowship of the table.
  4. Everyone who follows Christ is qualified to administer the sacrament, and everyone is called upon to offer and distribute the elements.
  5. Not only should the person performing the liturgy face the congregation, but the entire worship space should, if possible, be redesigned to a “‘common room’ in which the participants can see and talk to one another.’”
  6. Communion should always be followed by “a common meal, and the proclamation of the gospel by a common discussion of people’s real needs and the specific tasks of Christian mission.


Community Night

Community Night is at our house, the Newbys'. We know it's the Super Bowl, so the plan is to start at 5 (we would like to actually start at 5 if possible), and then eat about 6:30ish- and we can keep an eye on the game if you want. You are welcome to stay as long as you'd like. We are having mexican fare, but don't have any beer- so if you want to bring some, you are welcome to bring it. We will provide everything else, though. We will be talking about the different names of God and sharing. We are looking forward to having everyone over. Please contact us if you need directions. If you haven't been here before, please contact us because GPS/mapquest/google maps are not 100% accurate. Please let us know if you are coming so we can have a headcount.