The Ekklesia Project

   October 2010 Ordinary Time 
In This Issue:

New on bLOGOs

EP Website adds link to Faith and Leadership

Meet the bLOGOS contributors

Jesus Radicals feature Cornell West Interview

Gathering 2011

Englewood Review introduces print edition


New on bLOGOS

Humble Pie by Janis Love

About 15 years ago my husband and I began to notice a disturbing trend in the denomination in whicdirth we were both raised - the practice of eliminating the prayer of confession from the worship service, essentially making confession a non-practice. The reasons seemed to be caught up in the rejection of the idea of judgment and of not wanting to make people, especially seekers, feel bad.  Thankfully there were other Christians that continued to steward the practice because we were in great need of it when we realized what our participation in Native Residential Schools in Canada had unleashed upon innocent children. Read More

Learning, Knowing, Doing, Being by Debra Murphy

Last week the Pew Research Center made big news when its latest poll revealed that religious people don't know much about religion. (Atheists, though, according to the survey, are pretty savvy). Over the weekend, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof offered his own pop quiz, which, according to my unscientific calculations (counting the number of Facebook confessions), a whole lot of people flunked. Read More

Unchained Word by Brian Volck

Mark's Jesus is in a hurry, John's Jesus is in control, and Matthew's Jesus does parables. Luke's Jesus forever crosses borders. This time, the border lies between the boondocks of Galilee and the enemy's homeland, Samaria.

Nathanael - or any right-thinking first century Palestinian Jew - needn't ask if anything good comes from Samaria. One might as well spout nonsense about a "good Samaritan," or a "good Al Qaeda.Read More

EP Website Adds Link to Duke's Faith and Leadership Site

As the EP seeks more collaborative efforts with our friends - persons and organizations whose mission is closely alligned with that of the Ekklesia Project - we have recently added a link to Duke University's Faith and Leadership website, coordinated by Jason Byasee, who has participated in a number of EP gatherings.  Faith and Leadership features articles, interviews, sermons, blogs and other resources, with several EP endorsers contributing.  This recent video interview with N. T. Wright will be of interest to many of us.

Meet the EP bLOGOS contributors:

Just who are the folk who write the EP bLOGOS?   This month we feature a little background on each of our regular contributors.

Kyle Childress has been the pastor of the Austin Heights Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas for twenty-one years.  He is married to Jane, who teaches English at the nearby university and they have two daughters Emily, 20, and Callie, 17.  A frequent contributor to The Christian Century and Christian Reflection and a guest preacher and lecturer around the country, Kyle spends as much time as he can on his porch having conversations with friends and church members.

Doug Lee serves as one of the pastors of Grace Fellowship Community Church in San Francisco. A former Silicon Valley engineer and high school math teacher, Doug is learning to be a Christian from his wife Amy, his children Sonya and Josiah, his congregation, and its global partners. He has no hobbies worth mentioning, but roots hard for the San Francisco Giants.

Janice Love lives in the sunny (except in the winter) Okanagan Valley in the interior of the province of British Columbia in Canada with her husband, James and son, Jameson (who was baptized in a United Church, has been attending an Anglican Church and goes to a Roman Catholic school).  Janice also lives in the hope, at times desperately, of what God is up to in and for the church and the world.  She is the co-creator of the Christian Seasons Calendar, which subverts the January to December marking of time by the Advent to Season After Pentecost structure of the Christian Year.  Janice also has her own website which offers resources to fellow Christians for marking the Christian seasons of the Church at home.

Debra Dean Murphy is assistant professor of religion at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She is the author of Teaching That Transforms: Worship as the Heart of Christian Education and a co-author of the EP's "Getting Your Feet Wet" series for the Congregational Formation Initiative. Her articles and essays have appeared in a variety of publications including Modern Theology, Theology Today, and The Christian Century. Her review of Forgiving As We've Been Forgiven appears in the inaugural issue of the print edition of The Englewood Review of Books (November). Debra is the chairperson of the board of directors of the EP.

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer, teacher, and farmer in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has written on food, the environment, and culture for a variety of publications including Gourmet, Men's Journal, Paste, Books & Culture, Fast Company, and Spin. Ragan has six years of sustainable farming experience and works with two partners to develop a farm at a public middle school and high school for troubled youth.  He is the author of Farming as a Spiritual Discipline.

Brian Volck  is a pediatrician living in Cincinnati. He co-authored Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine (Brazos Press, 2006) and is a recent graduate of Seattle Pacific University's MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a member of the Ekklesia Project Board.

Jenny Williams is currently the pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Kingwood, West Virginia.  She grew up in southern California, spent seven years in North Carolina, and moved to WV through their recruitment program-marriage.  She has been part of the EP since 2005 and has enjoyed working with the Congregational Formation Initiative.  Her favorite part of being part of the EP is the friendships-old ones strengthened and new ones formed.

Jake Wilson is a provisional Elder in the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.  He currently serves two churches in the Jackson area.  A graduate of Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Jake has been an EP endorser since 2006.  In addition to helping with our bLOGOS Lectionary Reflections, Jake also reviews books for our EP Newsletters.

Tobias (Toby) Winright lives in the city of St. Louis with his wife, Liz, and two daughters (Clare Niamh, 5 years, and Lydia Maeve, 2 months). They are members of St. Margaret of Scotland Roman Catholic Church. He is associate professor of theological ethics at Saint Louis University, the second oldest Jesuit university in the US. With his M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame (where he was John Howard Yoder's graduate assistant for two years), he has published articles and book chapters on war and peace, capital punishment, and just policing. His book After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (coauthored with Mark Allman) was published in September by Orbis Books, and he is editing a volume on Green Discipleship: Theological Ethics and the Environment, which will be published next year by Anselm Academic.

Jesus Radicals Feature Cornell West Interview

Many of us know and value Nekeisha and Andy Alexis-Baker, regular cornellparticipants in our Gatherings for many years.  They have been instrumental in forming and leading Jesus Radicals, a network of committed Christian anarchists.  The Christian Radicals website has expanded significantly since its establishment in 2000 as a means of communication among evangelical college students being arrested for their protests at the School of the Americas: it is now a deep and rich site, featuring articles and a bi-weekly podcast.  Nekeisha calls our attention to a recent interview with Cornell West
When Is GATHERING 2011?  


We are negotiting for dates with DePaul for Gathering 2011. An important question has come up: is it generally better to meet Thursday to Saturday, or Tuesday to Thursday, if those are the only two choices?  Brent Laytham thinks that there are more folk who prefer or need the Thursday to Saturday slot. But if that is incorrect, we ned to know as soon as possible. If you are willing, please email Brent with your preference.

Jamie Gates has joined the Gathering Planning team, which Barry Harvey is now chairing. Our working title this month is "Baptism, Borders, and Barrios: Observing the 2nd Commandment" (see all of Luke 10).

Would you like to bring a neighbor home from Gathering 2011? Here's an idea: we make new friends and cultivate old friendships at each year's Gathering. Yet many of us have never experienced one another's local context for discipleship. What could be more exciting than mutual journeys of discovery, either before or after the Gathering? We encourage the various EP communities to consider issuing invitations to fellow EPers for pre- or post-Gathering journeys of discovery.

Englewood Review Adds Print Edition

Our friends who gather in Christian community at Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis began the on-line Englewood Review to encourage the practice of reading and theological conversation in our churches.  They have recently launched an expanded quarterly print edition of the Review that contains more reviews, interviews and book news of note for missional church communities.  Several EP endorsers are among the reviewers featured in the inaugural issue.  They are offering pre-release special pricing for subscriptions through November 5.  Read more or subscribe here.