The Ekklesia Project
     February 2011 Ordinary Time 



In This Issue:


New on bLOGOs


Becoming an EP Endorser


Meet the EP: Andy Ross and Kristin Kirkvliet


Visit an EP Faith Community!


New EP Website Coming

Gathering 2011


teaching Jesus
New on bLOGOS

money worriesThe Economics of Anxiety  

by Debra D. Murphy 

But it isn't generic worry that Jesus admonishes against in the Sermon on the Mount. His is not advice for the self-improvement-seeking crowd. Indeed, the crowds gathered on the hillside to hear this unusual exhortation are told that the source of their anxiety is economic-that they are prone to worry because they are preoccupied with security and acquisition.  READ MORE


What it is, and is not, to be an EP Endorser

Brent Laytham  


Early on, we said that The Ekklesia Project was a "school for subversive friendship," an opportunity to discover friends you didn't know you had who were busy letting Jesus turn the world right-side up (dethroning the powers in the process). That was in 2000. Now, thanks to Web2.0 social media, it appears that discovering 'friends' is as easy as clicking "accept" whenever Facebook invites me to. I've accumulated 180 'friends' that way, some of whom I actually know.


Facebook friending has its advantages. I can see pictures of friends who live far away, feel a bit more connected with persons that I care about, even stalk my teenage children. But it isn't the kind of relationship that could be described as a school for subversive friendship. Why? Because it doesn't really ask much of me. Subversive friendships, on the other hand, can truly rock our world, since they are built on the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). So I thank God that we didn't choose to call associating with EP 'friending,' because that demands too little.


On the other hand, I thank God we didn't call it 'becoming a member'-that would imply too much. I'm not a member of EP, and neither is anyone else. Recognizing that 'member' is church talk, we consciously chose not to name our relationship in ecclesial terms. 'Member' means Christ has claimed us in baptism to belong to his body, the church. Because we are committed to the "unity and solidarity" of the church, we consciously avoid rivalistic language. We are a network of support, a gathering of friends, a project that is for the church by recognizing clearly that it is not the church.


So within EP we neither 'friend' nor join. Instead, we endorse-we name what claims us, a vision of God, Christ, church and shalom. Because this is about being claimed by God and one another, we have from the beginning asked some things of one another:  truthfulness, prayer, fasting and tangible support.


Over the next months, we will be rediscovering the significance of endorsing the Ekklesia Project through newsletter articles, our blog, and Facebook (it's not all bad). Our goal is to work toward an invitation to endorse or re-endorse EP this summer. Please join the conversation.


Note: We do not currently keep a formal list of EP endorsers.  To read the convictions and commitments EP endorsers hold in common, visit the EP website, click on "about us" and follow the link to our "Invitation and Declaration."

Meet the  EP :   Andy Ross & Kristin Kerkvliet - EP Harmony 

Andy Kristin Gabriel 

Andy Ross and Kristin Kerkvliet first got to know each other at the Ekklesia Project in 2006. Through a series of curious coincidences, mutual friends, and mis-communications, they arrived at DePaul from Tennessee and Florida respectively.  It was love at first plenary session.  With the Psalters playing romantically in the background, and the Catholic Worker Movement as a conversation topic they began with a bang.  Now four years later, Andy and Kristin have been married for two and a half years, have a newborn son Gabriel, and live just a few miles from De Paul in the Reba Community.  This Valentines, Andy and Kristin extend a special thanks to their friends of the Ekklesia Project for your part in their blessed union.  

Friends Spend Time with One Another: Visit an EP Faith Community!


The EP board meets only twice a year, and one of those meetings always takes place in Chicago the day before the Gathering.  For its most recent meeting, the board accepted the invitation of Stan Wilson to visit his setting just outside of Jackson, Mississippi.  It was a blessing to share in learning and worship with the congregation, and to enjoy the warm hospitality of Stan, Jennifer, and members of the church.  All of us who participated agreed that it would be wonderful if more of us could visit one another's settings to experience the ways in which others are living their discipleship.  EP faith communities come in all sizes and flavors, and from most every strand of the Christian tradition.  We range from house churches and intentional communities to "conventional" churches where the faith is being lived out in unconventional ways.  I would be grateful to hear from faith communities eager to have fellow EPers visit, and from EP friends and endorsers who would appreciate a chance to visit the faith communities of their EP friends.  Drop me a line if you are interested in being on the giving or receiving side of EP hospitality!


John McFadden

New EP Website Coming


While our current website has served a valuable purpose, its limitations have become increasingly frustrating.  A new and far more versatile EP Website is currently under development, with the hope that it will be up and running by mid-June.  The work is being done as a pro bono gift by Dayspring Technologies, which is staffed by members of Grace Fellowship Community Church and Redeemer Community Church in San Francisco.  Among the new features to be offered are better navigability, online registration for the Gathering, a newsletter archive, and the ability to locate fellow EPers living near you.  We are also working to interconnect our website, newsletter and Facebook page in a manner that will enhance our overall sense of common community.  We are deeply grateful to Chi-Ming Chien and our other friends at Dayspring for their generosity!


Gathering 2011  


Gathering 2011 will be held July 14-16, Thursday noon through Saturday noon, on the campus of DePaul University in Chicago.

Gabriel and Jeanette Salguero will preach our closing worship service, and will lead a workshop on The Church and Immigration: Advocacy and Social Service. They pastor The Lambs Church in Manhattan. George Dardess will lead a workshop on relating to Muslim neighbors. Planning for two other workshops is still in process


Plenary Speakers are  Beth Newman (former EP board member), who has written on hospitality; Danny Carroll, who teaches Bible at Denver Seminar and has written on immigration and borders; and Craig Wong (longtime EP endorser) who directs Grace Urban Ministries and works on immigration reform. Mark Lau Branson will lead us in lectio divina on Luke 10.   Erin Martin, pastor of Wesley UMC (one of our CFI congregations) will be one of our preachers.