The Ekklesia Project

   June 2010 Ordinary Time 
Stealing Words
New on bLOGOS

Gathering Update
Meet EP
Oil Spill Response

the book thief
"Stealing Words"
I just finished Markus Zusak's beautiful novel The Book Thief, a meditation on the human condition narrated by Death, realistic about the human heart, and yet hopeful about life. When an interviewer asked Zusak where the book came from, he said this:  "I thought about Hitler destroying people with words, and now I had a girl who was stealing them back...."

Next month we gather to steal words back, to retake speech from powers and principalities, to recover language's capacity for life and love and joy, for goodness and beauty and truth. Putting it that way is a bit distorting, however, because we won't succeed by doing violence to the violent, by deceiving the deceivers, by taking their distorted and distorting words as weapons in our battle. In the end, the words that win are received from the victorious Word--free gifts, enlivening gospel, fecund grace. Thanks be to God. I look forward to seeing you in Chicago.

I'll be emailing Gathering information to all persons registered by June 26. Please contact me for particular questions, but know that general information will be forthcoming shortly. 

New on bLOGOS

Wrath, Mercy, Law and Grace 
by Debra Dean Murphy

"On its own, the story of Ahab, Naboth, and Jezebel offers an
instructive word about the
MaryM abuses of institutional power and the legitimate grievances of those who are powerless-a word that couldn't be more timely in this era of corporate greed and irresponsibility.  But the lectionary asks us to read 1 Kings in concert with Luke 7. It juxtaposes the stories of two sinful women-one whose sins are left unnamed; the other's all too vividly reported. It asks us to consider harsh judgment: both Elijah's condemnation of "what is evil in the sight of the LORD" and Jesus' stinging rebuke of Simon's lack of generosity and hospitality.  And it shows us, through Jesus' words and actions
and Paul's reading of Scripture and the Cross, that Jesus sides with the sinner every time. Every sinner."
Read More

All Things Shining
by Brian Volck

 "Ordinary time. WordsShining not crafted to stir the soul. 
 'Ordinary' here, of course, refers to the numbering of 
 Sundays outside of festal and penitential seasons, but
 that's far too abstract to make up for its dull
 connotations. Even in times of sadness, we may feel new life in Easter season. It's far more difficult when spring is past.   

The liturgical color for Ordinary Time is green. Green for life, growth, renewal. Focusing on the ordinary, the Humean predicament of "one damn thing after another," it's easy - perhaps inevitable - to miss how life's greenness marks our lives as cottonwoods in the desert line a river or tap an aquifer."  Read More

"'And God Said...': Language, Wordcare and Radical Discipleship"
  • Wireless computer access should be available to all persons staying on campus.
  • You won't want to miss the Tuesday night pizza party, there are several  surprises, and a birthday cake for Stan Hauerwas. But don't tell him.
  • You will be able to register and do dorm check in at the same time in the Student Center (10am to noon).
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 booklet 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:  Scott Sharman & Alexandra Meek

Scott, Alex, Elliot
Scott Sharman and Alexandra Meek live in Edmonton, Canada. They have been married for four years, and were just blessed with their first child, Elliot Nicholas, in May of 2010. They attend St. Timothy's Anglican Church.

Scott, 31, is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Canada. His passion and academic interests are in creative movements that work to advance visible Christian unity. This was what initially drew him to the Ekklesia Project. He has attended the 2008 and 2009 Gatherings, and has benefited tremendously from their exploration of race and economics as issues which have divided communities (Christian and otherwise) and which the churches must seek to come together on in order to give a more credible public witness.

Alex, 29, is a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, and is currently on maternity leave. She recently completed her first parish appointment as an associate minister, and also served on the Diocese of Edmonton's Barnabas Initiative - a movement working to re-focus Anglican parishes in a community-based and missional direction. She has been interested in the notion of the
church as an alternative polis since her time as a undergraduate student when she undertook a major research project on the insights of Yoder and Hauerwas in connection with the Canadian Church-state relationship. The 2009 EP Gathering was her first.

Elliot, 1 month, was recently baptized, and is growing in body, mind, and faith in a manner requisite for a baby boy. He currently enjoys eating, music, and story time.

The BP Oil Spill: A Christian Call for Lament and Reconciliation

lament Sutterfield and others who participated in the Duke Center for Reconciliation Summer Institute drafted a petition and liturgy in response to the oil spill which begins with these words:

"As followers of Christ, creator and redeemer of all creation, we mourn the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and the BP oil spill now polluting the Gulf of Mexico. We mourn the human and animal lives lost, the economies and ecosystems destroyed, and the gifts of God, created from and for his love, squandered and poisoned. Most of all we mourn our complicity and active participation in an economy based on toxic energy that has made such death inevitable."  The full petition and liturgy can be found here.

The have also established a Facebook page to publicize the petition and enable dialogue on the topic.