september 2012
Ekklesia Project News
In This Issue 
  •  New EP Endorsers 
  • Gathering 2013 Team Formed
  • Meet the EP Endorsers: Jim McCoy
  •  Signs of the Times: "No Poetry in Politics"
  • Chris Haw to speak at DePaul
  •  Koinonia Farms Anniversary Celebration
  • New Pamphlets Available


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the Ekklesia Project
Iron crosses in a French graveyard, used by permission


"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it."

Mark 8:34b-35


New EP Endorsers: 


Again this month, we are listing the names of those who have endorsed The Ekklesia Project in the last month. If you don't know what endorsing signifies, read the Declaration and Invitation of EP, or its summary as a fourfold claim 


The new Endorsers are:


Christopher Meyer III (South Carolina)

Lori Youngberg (Colorado)

Scott Kjos (Los Angeles) 

Kyle Osland (San Diego)

Matthieu BÍSIGER (France)  

John Regier (Oregon)


Gathering 2013 Team Begins Work

Mike Bowling, Steve Long, Beth Newman, Jim McCoy and Matt Morin will serve as the planning team for our summer Gathering in Chicago. The working title is "Learning War No More: Practicing Peace in Church and World."

Meet EP Endorsers: Jim McCoy


I first heard about The Ekklesia Project from old friend Barry Harvey, and began to notice that a number of theology books that engaged my thinking as a pastor were by authors connected in some way to EP.  I became an endorser in 2004 and in Brent Laytham's initial welcome we realized that, some years earlier, he and I were pastors in the same town and that my wife was his daughter's first piano teacher (the same Monica who graced this year's Gathering).  As he said at the time, "The Jim Ekklesia Project is not only about finding friends you didn't know you had, it's also about finding them again!" 

   The friendships formed and deepened since then are indeed a blessing and a cause for gratitude.  I appreciate the dialogues that go beyond shallow ecumenism, even what one of my teachers called "the friction of friendly minds."


I attended my first Gathering in 2005.  (Love those Gatherings - they're a Baptist mountain preacher's version of Rumspringa.  Just kidding about the Rumspringa part!).


I'm a native of Salisbury, NC and shaped by Baptists in the South.  In the fifteen years following seminary, I was a campus minister, most of that time at Wingate University, and have been a pastor for 21 years.  I've been the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Weaverville, NC for fifteen years now.


In considering influences/heroes/saints, I think about members of my congregation - some elderly folks who handle the ravages of aging with grace and good cheer, the Latino ladies who crack their skull every Monday night learning English - and fellow pastors who keep at it and stay connected to the Word and to their people.  Beyond them, two Texans come to mind.  Ralph Wood taught the first "Religion and Literature" class I took in college and has remained teacher, friend and mentor in the intervening years.  Don Mosley (and others) at Jubilee Partners, an intentional Christian community, have lived lives of radical discipleship influenced by the profoundly embodied witness of Clarence Jordan and Koinonia Community.  

            I also have to mention Jim McClendon.  I keep close at hand his description of reading Yoder's The Politics of Jesus:    "Late at night, reading that book with wet eyes, sitting up in bed, I scrawled a note, later lost, to myself.  In substance the note said, 'Having read this book I had discovered again the disciple's way.  I meant to set out afresh to follow it.'"


Signs of the Times: "No Poetry in Politics"

Debra Dean Murphy's blog was recently highlighted by Christian Century for its wisdom.
"Perhaps the most important question in all of this is also the most naive one: How does such a spectacle - not just crazy Clint talking to an empty chair but 21st-century presidential politics, generally - do anything to advance civility and honor and human flourishing (let alone informed decision-making) in our public life?" read more
Chris Haw to speak at DePaul 

Chris Haw, co-author of "Jesus for President," will be visiting DePaul in Chicago in early October.  EP folks living nearby may wish to take advantage of this opportunity.  Scheduled events include: 
Tuesday, October 9th 
7:00-9:00PM | Public Lecture "Jesus for President" (Schmitt Academic Center 161, 2320 N. Kenmore Avenue) 
Wednesday, October 10th 
4:00-5:30PM | Short talk on "From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart", Q & A, and book signing (John T. Richardson Library 115, 2350 N Kenmore Avenue) 
These events are organized and sponsored by the Department of Catholic Studies at DePaul University and co-sponsored by DePaul University's Catholic Campus Ministry. For more information, contact us at

"Chris Haw is a husband, father, carpenter, potter, adjunct professor at Cabrini College, and founder of Camden Houses, an intentional community. Jesus for President is a radical manifesto to awaken the Christian political imagination, reminding us that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the peculiar politic of the church as a people 'set apart' from this world. Drawing upon the work of biblical theologians, the lessons of church history, and the examples of modern-day saints and ordinary radicals, Jesus for President stirs the imagination of what the Church could look like if it placed its faith in Jesus instead of Caesar. A fresh look at Christianity and empire, Jesus for President transcends questions of 'Should I vote or not?' and 'Which candidate?' by thinking creatively about the fundamental issues of faith and allegiance."

Koinonia Farm to Celebrate 70th Anniversary!
2012 is a landmark year for our friends at Koinonia. Not only will they celebrate 70 years of mission and service, but 2012 also marks 100 years since the birth of founders Clarence and Florence Jordan. Accordingly,
they plan a full month of celebration, beginning September 28-29 with
the Clarence Jordan Symposium for which President Jimmy & Mrs. Rosalynn Carter are serving 
as Honorary Chairs. Use the link above to register, or to read about the impressive list of speakers and workshop leaders who will be participating.
You can read about other special anniversary events, including the Koinonia Family Reunion, hereOur congratulations and best wishes go to director Bren Dubay (a regular participant in our gatherings) and all of our other dear friends at Koinonia!
Three New Pamphlets Now Available
At our recent Gathering, printed copies of the three newest releases in the Ekklesia Project Pamphlet Series were distributed. All three are now available as downloads from the EP Website. They are:
 All eighteen pamphlets in the series continue to be available as free downloads on the EP Website.