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.


Celebration of the Faithful

Update: Location changed to Nick's house. 1270 Courtland Ave.

This Sunday at 5:00pm we will be having a Celebration of the Faithful at the Nick's house Newby's house.  Potluck dinner will follow a time of worship and communion.  We will probably make a pot of soup or chili so bring sides, desserts or drinks please.  Please post and let us know if you are coming, and if so what you are planning on bringing.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone and spending some time with you.  Everyone is free to join in.


Book Discussion - 1/22/12

This Sunday, January 22, we will have a book discussion about The Secret Message of Jesus. We will meet from 3-5pm at the Global Gallery, 3535 N. High St. Global Gallery is a not-for-profit, fair trade coffee shop. You can get a good cup of coffee or tea for less that $3, and some snacks as well. We meet in the back room around the big table.

We have had one discussion already about Brian McLaren's book, The Secret Message of Jesus. There is no set agenda for this book discussion. However, I would suggest that every take a look at the discussion questions in the back of the book, and pick one or two questions that are interesting to you. Mark these down and bring them to the meeting as "discussion starters."

Discussions are open to everyone, if you have read the book or not, if you agree or disagree, Christian, Atheist or otherwise. All are welcome, and we try to offer an open and affirming opportunity for everyone to share viewpoints and learn from one another. By doing so, we believe that we take on a posture of humility and attempt to engage with "the Other," - both in one another, and in the Divine.


The Middle

Hi friends -

This poem came through the MINemergent daily email, and I thought it was fitting for our cohort:

Christ, the Middle 

Sean Hall


As we eat together
Have a drink together
Friends, this is our worship

Christ, the middle of every part
Christ, the core of who we are

As we talk for hours
Share the love that's ours
Friends, this is our worship

Christ, the middle of every part
Christ, the core of who we are

Living life together
Sharing dreams together
Friends, this is our worship

Christ, the middle of every part
Christ, the core of who we are

When we cry together
Laugh out loud together
Friends, this is our worship

Christ, the middle of every part
Christ, the core of who we are

When we kiss our lover
When we dance together
Friends, this is our worship

Christ, the middle of every part
Christ, the core of who we are

Say a toast together
Lift our cups together
Friends, this is our worship

Eating, drinking, talking, living life, sharing dreams, crying, laughing, dancing, toasting, lifting our cups - these are all activities we share in the cohort. And I truly believe that Christ is in the middle, the core, the center, of these activities. 

I think its helpful to remember that, to picture it poetically or imaginatively. I also wonder if there are ways that we can acknowledge the center place of Christ in our cohort? I don't believe that the Spirit of Christ relies upon our verbal acknowledgment or invitation to be present. But I think words, rituals, and expressions can be helpful for us to remember that Christ truly is in the middle of our gatherings. 

As Paul says, "In him we live and move and have our being." I believe this is fully a reality, but as the contemplatives remind us, our role is to awaken to the reality around us. How do we "see" Christ "in the middle" more clearly and more often? How do we awaken to the reality of the beauty that this poem embodies? 

This Weekend - Community Night

On Sunday, January 8th, at 5pm, we will have a "Community Night."

This is a time particularly designed to allow each person present to share what is happening in their life. What are the good things? The bad things? The challenges? The joys? Whatever the person or couple wants to share.

In response, the other people present will listen - truly listen. In some ways, our best response is simply, "We hear you." Other responses may be words of affirmation, love, or reminders of truths learned in the past.

To make the gathering that much better, everyone will bring food to share! Eating and drinking makes sharing life together so much more beautiful. For the sake of our hosts, Ian and Nikki, please post in the comment that you will be attending, and what food you will be bringing to share.

You can click on the calendar link to the right for more information, or email/call Jesse if you have questions: schroeder.jesse@gmail.com / 614-557-5768

Hope to see everyone there!


Planning Ahead

We will be meeting Thursday (1/5) at 6:30pm at the Newby's house to talk about planning the first few months of 2012. We will tentatively put down dates for gatherings and schedule in "special events" (for example, Peter Rollins is in Columbus in February).

We would love your input! Here's a brief description of the types of gatherings we have had in the past:

  • Celebration of the Faithful - about an hour of songs, prayer, Scripture, reflection, communion - designed by anyone in the cohort, and shared with the group, followed by a potluck meal
  • Community Night - each person shares latest news, triumphs, struggles, upcoming challenges, etc. The group listens and responds with affirmation. 
  • Discussion - about a book, a topic, a passage of Scripture, whatever we've been thinking about or reading lately. Usually suggested and led by one member of the group. 
  • Composting Stories - Reading and discussing a familiar story from Scripture, and then retelling it in our own words
  • Faith, Film and Philosophy - Watch a thought-provoking film and discuss. 
  • Service Projects - such as picking up trash in the community or volunteering at a local agency
  • Super Fun! - any sort of fun activity like games, concerts, festivals, parties, food, etc. 
These are just a few of the things we do somewhat regularly. We have also had baby blessings, nature walks, singing, fire nights, prayer, and various guest speakers. We have met in coffee shops, libraries, parks, and of course, homes. 

The cohort is only what we make it. These are just a few things we've done in the past that folks have seemed to enjoy and benefit from - but what do we want to do in the new year? Do we have new ideas, new areas we want to focus on, issues we are wrestling with, practices we want to introduce or revisit? 

I look forward to hearing from different people in the cohort, even if you've only visited once or twice. My favorite thing about the cohort is seeing what happens when we collaborate, sharing our faith in various ways, and going through life together. 

Feel free to post comments or ideas here on the blog, or come to the planning meeting Thursday night!