The Ekklesia Project

   May 2010 Pentecost 

New on bLOGOS

EP Gathering '10

Meet the EP: Ted Lewis

EP Financial Report

New Book by Jonathan Hartgrove-Wilson

Peace Among the Peoples

New on bLOGOS

Seventh Sunday of Easter by Debra Dean Murphy
It seems there's not much talk of ecumenism these days-not in books, not  on blogs, not even in and among churches.  Maybe that's because forty  years of dogged efforts at dialogue and mutual understanding have borne  some real fruit: Calvinists are far less suspicious of Catholics than  they used to be and vice versa; Methodists and Lutherans are now in full  communion with one another. 

Of course, the ecclesial traditions most vested in the ecumenical  movement are now among those experiencing significant decline, and the  growing churches-Pentecostal, non-denominational, "emergent" of this or  that variety-don't seem to place the same high premium on  bridge-building and cross-over conversations. So maybe it's too soon to  say "mission accomplished" when it comes to Church unity.  Read more

Courage to be Whole by Kyle Childress

Jesus is in Jerusalem and he goes by the Pool of Bethesda. This pool, fed by an unwaterderground spring, is down, off of the street, and is surrounded by porticoes offering some shade and shelter. Legend said that on occasion an angel would trouble the waters of the pool and the first person into the water would be healed. Hence, the pool and the surrounding area had become the gathering place for anyone and everyone with some sort of sickness, but especially the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed. All gathered watching the surface of the water for the smallest sign of the rippling of the waves. A small bubbling from the underground spring or even a slight breeze could cause a stampede of invalids trying to be the first into the water.

And Jesus asks this man lying over to one side, "Do you want to be made whole?"
Read More

"'And God Said...': Language, Wordcare and Radical Discipleship"

Last call to register by May 30 and be entered in a drawing for $100 worth of books. Please help us by registering early.
We meet on the campus of DePaul University in Chicago July 6-8.  We begin Tuesday with lunch (though registration will open at 10 am) and end just before noon on Thursday (no lunch provided). We have a pizza party for all (including commuters) on Tuesday night, with some exciting surprises in the works. We expect to have a small book(let) highlighting the importance of language to give to all participants. Lodging is in the DePaul dorms (bathrooms are shared by 2 room suites); it is secure but not plush.
Mary Bowling will serve as our registrar again this year. Here are costs and registration details.
  • Single room    $300    2 nights in single-occupancy room, 6 meals, registration
  • Double room   $200    2 nights in double-occupancy room, 6 meals, registration
  • Registration      $70    Registration only (meals can be purchased ala carte)
Register using this email . Enter your registration information  (please paste this chart into your email):
Mailing Address  
Single, Double or Registration only?  
Gender (if staying on campus)
Roommate request (Double Registration only)
Any other pertinent information, such as need for childcare, special dietary restrictions, etc.
As always, financial assistance is available to persons with need. Email Brent Laytham for details about this, or any other concerns or questions. 
Meet the EP:  Ted LewisTed Lewis
For the past 9 years I have been a beneficiary of EP activities through vicarious means.  From 2000 to 2009 I participated in the Church of the Servant King community in Eugene, and every time folks came back from the Gathering, I made it a point to chat with them.  "Who was there?"  "What were the main topics?" During those years I had part-time work as an acquisitions editor for Wipf & Stock Publishers, and that itself was a great way to get to know the network of EP scholars.
My primary work has been in the field of Restorative Justice, providing healing dialogue opportunities for victims and offenders involved in crime.  After 14 years of experience, I accepted the position of director for the Barron County Restorative Justice Programs in Rice Lake, WI.  This got me and my family back closer to our extended familie
s, and has allowed me to grow more in this rewarding vocation.  With a staff of nine, my agency, embedded within Goodwill Industries, is recognized as one of the most robust non-profits in restorative justice nation-wide.  A nice synchonicity has been meeting John McFadden, workplace chaplain for this regional Goodwill.
What I've noticed over time is a synthesis of my learnings with Servant King folk and my work in conflict resolution and transformation.  In 2004, I began to do facilitation and reconciliation work for Mennonite churches, and this led to workshops on conflict and communication within an ecclesial setting.  I have developed a servanthood approach to communication that I call Kenotic Communication, based on Philippians 2 where Christ's humility is lifted up as a model for church unity. An article I wrote on this theme can be found in The Mennonite.
I plan to attend the 2010 July Gathering for the first time, and I'm excited due to this year's theme on word-care and language.

EP Financial Report

In 2009, the Ekklesia Project received $36,561.31 in donations and conference registration fees and had expenses of $37,534.74 for a modest deficit of $973.43.  The deficit was covered from our reserves.
So far in 2010, we have received $6,077 in contributions which is in line with previous years.  As is customary at this point in the fiscal year, we are running a deficit of $5,842.85 due to advance deposits for food and housing for the summer gathering.  We expect the deficit to be made up as registration continues for the gathering.
A more detailed 2009 financial report, and our IRS 990 and 990 Schedule A forms are available on the EP website.  EP Treasurer Michael Bowling and Finance Committee Chair Victor Hinojosa are available to answer any questions you have.  Thank you for your continued support of the Ekklesia Project and its initiatives.
Victor Hinojosa, Chair of the Finance Committee, for the EP Board

New Book by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrovestability

Paraclete Press has just issued Jonathan's book, "The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture,"  in which he describes the experiences of the Rutba House community and the Christian tradition of stability.  He also reflects upon his encounters with members of the Benedictine order.  Many will remember Jonathan from last year's EP Gathering, where he offered a keynote address.

A review by Chris Smith can be found at the Englewood Review of Books.  Additionally, Paraclete has prepared a video introduction to the book.  And yes, this is the first time that the EP Newsletter has provided a link to youtube!
Peace Among the Peoples
                                                            Eight years aBrazilgo the World Council of 
  Churches declared a Decade to
  Overcome Violence
. Its
goal has been to
  intensify local and global engagement in
  overcoming oppression and building peace
  in order to overcome the spirit, logic, and
  practice of violence. In 20
11 there will be a
  worldwide gathering named th
  International Ecumenical Peace
in Kingston, Jamaica to confirm and deepen the convictions and actions that have grown over the past decade.

From July 28 - 31, 2010, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana will host an ecumenical conference entitled Peace Among the Peoples: overcoming the spirit, logic and practice of violence. Peace Among the Peoples will be an opportunity to contribute to the 2011 Convocation as well as to discuss North American perspectives on Christian participation in war.  The meeting will include daily panel presentations from leading thinkers and activists such as Stanley Hauerwas, Rita Nakashima Brock, Vincent Harding and Brian McLaren.  Morning prayer and evening worship will frame the beginning and the ending of each day. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage panelists as well as to participate in a group process that will assess Christian peacemaking in North America and envision a new way forward for ecumenical dialogue and action for peace.
Registration is limited, so interested persons should register as early as possible.  Limited scholarship aid is available, and it will be designated for participants with low financial means. Information may be found at