The Ekklesia Project

   November 2010 Advent 
In This Issue:

New on bLOGOs

Resources for Advent

Meet the EP: Chi-Ming and Juliette Chien

Salt of the Earth: A Christian Seasons Calendar

Gathering 2011

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The Son of Man is Coming
by Janice Love
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My husband likes to take the time to talk with our 7 year old son about the resurrection - that day of glory when Christ will come again and make all things new.  The other night, out of the blue, Jameson's last words before falling asleep were, "I hope the resurrection happens soon (to which I replied, "Amen") - while I'm alive...that would be neat."  And I was struck with how much was caught up in that word "neat" - all the hopes and fears of all the years.  As the dark maw of cholera devours people in Haiti, as abnormal amounts of rain drowns people and crops in too many places, as corruption cripples and crumbles the foundations of nations, I am inclined to shout to Jesus, "would you hurry up and get here already!"  Read More.

The Crucified Christ by Brian Volck
America is a land of equals, we're told, with no use for kings, Elvis excluded. Perhaps that's why the last Sunday in the liturgical calendar, "Christ the King" (although the name is often neutered for various reasons to "The Reign of Christ"), carries, for me at least, the lingering scent of treason. There's something un-American about the whole idea. Christians bow before a monarch who is killed rather than kills, promiscuously mingles justice and mercy, and suggests that the most serious matters aren't about "life and death," after all, but "death and resurrection." Where's the enlightened self interest in that?  Read More.

Resources for Advent 


As the Church begins a new year, the consumer Christmas countdown is in full swing. It can be difficult - even with the best of intentions - to practice the Advent disciplines of waiting and watching; prayer and preparedness; repentance, peaceableness, and hope. Here are a few helpful resources for the living of these days:

Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro, reminds us that our lives are rooted in prayer and our witness in corporate worship.

For the connections between Advent and activism, check out The Advent Conspiracy.

From the producer of the film "Super Size Me," "What Would Jesus Buy?" is seriously funny, exposing the absurdity and injustice of American over-consumption and the corporatizing of Christmas.

A little dated, but a wealth of resources at The Peace and Justice Support Network.

And for pastors, preachers, teachers, and liturgists: Textweek.


Meet the  EP : Chi-Ming & Juliette Chien

Chi-Ming & Juliette
Chi-Ming and Juliette Chien are members of Redeemer Community Church in San Francisco, where they live with their daughters Joelle (7), Evangeline (5) and Micayah (almost 3). They are both ordained elders in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and serve in various aspects of the life of their small and vibrant congregation. Chi-Ming serves in worship leadership, Juliette helps oversee the children's church  school ministry, and they serve together in an outreach to 4th and 5th graders. Redeemer participated in the second cohort of the Congregational Formation Initiative. 

After 7 years of staying at home, Juliette has just returned to teaching middle school, co-teaching a class of 6th graders with another member of Redeemer. Chi-Ming's day job is Principal of Dayspring Technologies, a Web development firm in San Francisco which began (and continues) as a 13-year-old experiment in seeking "to embody and bear witness to God's redeeming of the workplace, marketplace and community."

Chi-Ming and Juliette first became familiar with the EP through hearing about it from folks at Grace Fellowship and from borrowing books off their pastor's bookshelf. Chi-Ming attended his first Gathering in 2007 "fresh" off of an overnight flight from San Francisco--and promptly vowed never to take a red-eye again. The ensuing travel fog notwithstanding, meeting people at the Gathering who were interested not only in talking about the church as family and polity, but also putting it into practice, helped to impress on him the value of this particular group of friends for the peculiar journey that is Christian discipleship. Chi-Ming served on the planning committee for the 2009 and 2010 Gatherings and just began a term serving on the EP Board.

Salt of the Earth 2010-2011: A Christian Seasons Calendar
Once again our friends at University Hills Congregation in Vancouver are offering "Salt of the Earth," a calendar of the Christian seasons.  Stanley Hauerwas notes that "Few things are more important for Christians today than reclaiming the calendar as our time. This wonderful calendar helps us do that by reminding us that we are constituted by the narrative that is quite different from Canadian or American national holidays."  To learn more, view some of the beautiful art, or to place an order visit their website.



As descendents of a wandering Aramean, our lives are caught up with those of our neighbors who, in the marvelous, wondrous diversity that is God's work of creation, come from across the street, across the border, and across the ocean. In his sending of the seventy and in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10), Jesus not only instructs us to love our neighbors, but he also redefines for us those relationships we name through such words as "alien," "stranger," "guest" and "host." As those who have received the merciful hospitality of God, he sends us to learn what it means to welcome, and to be welcomed, by these neighbors.

Craig Wong has agreed to serve as one of our plenary speakers. Click here to peruse one of Craig's recent efforts, a tribute to congregational ministries with the Angel Island detainees that draws parallels between immigration history in the early 20th and 21st centuries.

At present, we expect July 14-16 (Thursday to Saturday) to be the dates for the Gathering.