The Ekklesia Project

   November 2008    
In this issue....

*Gathering 2009:
 July 9-11

*Santa Barbara Fires

*bLOGOS Comments

*Send Your News

*First Be Reconciled

coinsGathering 2009:    July 9-11

Please plan now to join us July 9-11, 2009 on the campus of DePaul in Chicago for our annual gathering.  This year we will gather from noon on Thursday to noon on Saturday to focus on:

Wealth and the Household of God

How does the oikos of the Body of Christ provide the locus for faithful engagement with economics?  Confirmed speakers include Bill Cavanaugh, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Kathy Grieb.

Endorsers Amidst the Ashes

Mt. CalvaryThe fires that began November 14th in southern California are now extinguished.  The conflagration has, as always, been frightening to watch from a distance, and the toll on homes and livelihoods has been extensive.  At least four members of the EP community find themselves amidst
the ashes.   Nancy Bullock, one of the newest EP board members and one who has long toiled behind the scenes to make the EP work, watched as Mt. Calvary Monastery burned to the ground.  Nancy has served as the director of Mt. Calvary for many years.  The New York Times reported on the monastery this past Thursday.  Nancy is deeply appreciative of the many messages and calls of hope and support she and Jeff received from EP endorsers.

Westmont College likewise sustained extensive damage. Ray Paloutzian, Emeritus Professor of Psychology and editor of the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, reported to John and Susan McFadden that he ws safe but that everything in his office was lost in the fire.  Fortunately, his journal work was all on his home computer.  Ray co-edited  the Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Psychology.  At least one of his psychology faculty colleagues lost a home.  We know that Wayne and Fran Iba, who were members of Jeff Bullock's CFI group at All-Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and who attended the summer gathering in 2007, are on faculty at Westmont and lived among the faculty residences, many of which burned.

If you have more news on the fires from Santa Barbara and LA, do let us know.  In the meantime, please keep the Bullocks, the Ibas, the monks of Mt. Calvary and the rest of those affected by the fires in southern California in your prayers, as they grieve, support those in their communities, and discern how to go forward.

Add Your Voice to bLOGOS: It's Easy!coins

Our bLOGOS writers,
including Debra Dean Murphy and Brian Volck (pictured here among friends), would like to hear from you!  It is now easy to engage Debra, Brian, and the rest of the bLOGOS team, as well as other EPers, using the "comment" function on the website.  Click here to email Zach Kincaid and he'll set you up.  You will receive an automated message from the website, and you'll have
to click on the link in that message to activate your
authorization, but once you do, you'll be able to comment at will!  In the meantime, visit bLOGOS for recent posts on the recent election, the economy, and the lectionary.

Send Us Your News

The EP Newsletter has a number of functions.  Clearly, it is our main medium for keeping you apprised of EP logistics (such as the Gathering dates and registration process, and so on).  It keeps you abreast of important books by EP endorsers, our friends at Brazos and Wipf & Stock, and other publishers.  We developed the newsletter in response to endorser requests for greater transparency, especially with regard to our finances, so we hope it's meeting that need as well.

As you may have noticed, we also think the newsletter should serve to keep endorsers informed about what's going on with each other and with fellow-traveller organizations.  Do you have news that you would like to share with the EP? 
  • Are you bringing a speaker to your church who you think would be of interest to other local EPers? 
  • Are you giving a talk that endorsers might attend? 
  • Have you published a book? 
  • Is your congregation practicing a particular work of mercy, launching a ministry, or embodying faithful discipleship in a way that you think might be of interest to other congregations? 
  • Is your organization hosting a conference that endorsers might attend or featuring an interview on your website that endorsers might want to read?
If so, email Brent Laytham, John McFadden, or Therese Lysaught, and we'll do our best to get it in the newsletter in a timely fashion.

Reconciliation Instead of Litigation
First Be Reconciled
Herald Press - a Mennonite publishing house - has launched a series called Polyglossia: Radical Reformation Theologies. Titles so far include: Precarious Peace: Yoderian Explorations on Theology, Knowledge, and Identity; The Purple Crown: The Politics and Witness of Martyrdom; and States of Exile: Visions of Diaspora, Witness and Return. The latest addition to the series is First Being Reconciled: Challenging Christians in the Courts.

Currently, I am finding First Be Reconciled by Richard Church worth recommending.  Could litigation be interesting? His overall project is to challenge the church to take seriously 1 Corinthians 6 and to learn to rightly remember Jesus, because it is in the church's witness to peace where the kingdom of God is embodied. This book would do well for many lost on the path of reconciliation in favor of litigation as the partial aim of the book is: "to make evident how litigation within the church renders the church's claims regarding Christ unintelligible" (21). However, this is not to say his argument is one-sided. Citing precedent, he makes room for positive use of litigation but always understood through the greater Christological lens of reconciliation. Church is more than prepared to take on this topic, having a JD and PhD in theological ethics from Duke. His writing is clear and accessible. The endnotes are just the way I like them - substantial. So far this series, and Herald Press, have proven themselves worth a read.

Reviewed by David Horstkoetter


John McFadden spent the past weekend celebrating the wedding of his daughter.   So we're giving John the month off.  Congratulations to you and your family, John.  May God's blessings overflow in this marriage.