The Ekklesia Project
July/August Newsletter
   August 5, 2008    
What's This New Look?

This newsletter has the look of our newly refurbished website. If you haven't visited in a while, you'll be pleasantly surprised not only at how much cleaner it looks, but at how much more smoothely it navigates. We're not done with it yet. Right now, two things you cannot do are log in and comment on blog postings. And frankly, when you read our recent bLogos entries, you'll wish you could.
The focus of this newsletter will be our 2008 Gathering, with reflections and pictures.

Murphy, Lent
Fasting Against a Divided Body
by Brent Laytham
One of the great joys of our EP Gatherings is eating together. We break bread with friends old and new, discovering at a common table our common life in Christ. That makes it all the more painful that many of us who endorse The Ekklesia Project cannot come together as one body at the Eucharistic table of our Lord. Several years ago, we spent an entire Gathering exploring that pain.

Deb Murphy and friendsGathering Gifts
Debra Dean Murphy offered this reflection on Gathering 2008:
It's been more than a week since the Gathering ended and my head is still swimming and my heart is still full. There is always so much to take in when we meet each summer for conversation, worship, learning, and fellowship.  

I traveled to Chicago this year with three good friends from my church-new endorsers of EP and first-time Gathering attendees.  These friends-Judy, Chris, and Greg-were overwhelmed by all they encountered (in the best possible sense of that word) and we continue to talk about what we experienced, hoping that our own transformed thinking about matters of race and racism in the body of Christ might come to bear good fruit in the ecclesial context in which we find ourselves...

Brian Volck asks a question 
Behold, How Good & Pleasant
by Brian E Volck   
If you mourn the splintering of Christianity, if you pray that all may be one as Christ and the Father are one, and especially if you, in whatever Christian tradition you worship, yearn for a strong ecumenism in which Christians speak from the heart as the Holy Spirit guides them, refusing to merely paper over substantive differences, then there's something you must hear. 

Lees and DubayMEET EP: Friends Old and New 

In the foreground of this picture from the Gathering are longtime EPers Doug and Amy Lee of Grace Fellowship Community Church in San Francisco, where Doug is one of the pastors. One or both Lees have attended 4 of the last 5 Gatherings.  To the left of the Lees in the photo is Bren Dubay, a new friend attending her first Gathering. Bren is director of Koinonia  Partners, an organization many EPers will know was founded by Clarence Jordan in 1942 to bear witness that Christ has broken down the dividing wall of hostility in the midst of virulent racism (as well as to embody Christ's shalom in the face of World War II).  To the right are Erika and Nathan Ralston, of Saltillo, Mexico, who have attended at least the last two Gatherings.
Whether you attended Gathering 2008 or couldn't make it, you'll be interested in these links to talks, sermons and presentations. READ MORE  In this photo, Victor Hinojosa brings the word.
Here Neeki Bey (worship leader) and Rodney Sadler (plenary speaker) enjoy conversation after the pizza party..
Michelle Loyd Page and James Lewis were the preachers for our opening and closing worship services. Michelle also led a workshop called "Culture Matters: Diversity, Relevancy, and Contextualization in Worship." Here they listen to a plenary presentation along with Nekeisha Alexis-Baker, EP Board Member and member of this year's planning team.