May 2015
Ekklesia Project News


In This Issue




Gathering 2015





Reflections on Endorsing EP


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Pentecost 1993 - Jean Sader

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful
people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all
things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with
you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and
ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)

Gathering 2015 Update 

Phil Kenneson, Jenny Williams


Forming Youth in Our Congregations: Raising Danielle and Daniel to Live in Babylon

We're less than two months away from Gathering 2015 and we're excited about the opportunity we'll have to be together and reflect on this year's theme.  If you haven't registered yet, please do that soon.  And even if you can't attend this year, here are two important ways you can contribute to the success of this year's Gathering:

First, we're asking as many folks as possible to contribute to a resource page that we'll keep on the website well after the Gathering.  Have you read a book or article, watched a film or video, listened to a podcast, etc., that has changed the way you think about and practice forming youth as disciples?  If so, please write (at most) two paragraphs about this resource, describing in the first paragraph what you found most important about this resource and in the second how it shifted your thinking and/or practice in your context.  (Because these won't be reviews as such, but guides to use, it's likely that we'll post more than one submission if multiple folks identify the same resource but have been shaped differently by it.)  Please take a few minutes and email a submission to Stephen Lawson, our able collator of submissions.

Second, we're asking those who are able to make a contribution to the cost of this year's Gathering.  As always, we offer scholarships to a lot of folks and this year we'll be helping even more because we have a larger-than-usual number of young people who will be joining us and participating in our conversations.  We're excited that we'll be talking with young people and not just about them, but we need your help to make this possible, even if you aren't able to attend.

If you haven't taken a look at the more detailed list of speakers, preachers, and workshop leaders, you can see that on the registration page.   Here are a few highlights that we are particularly excited about given this year's theme:

Chanon Ross, Director of the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, will offer two plenary sessions on Thursday afternoon, the first on engaging youth culture and the second on some of the significant shifts taking place in congregational ministry to young people.

Morgan Guyton, director of the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans, which preach at our opening worship service on Thursday afternoon.  The daughter-father pair of Jessie Larkins and Joel Shuman will offer a little intergenerational preaching at our closing worship on Saturday morning.

During our Friday afternoon plenary, we'll have the opportunity to hear youth leaders and young people from Redeemer Community Church (San Francisco) and Hopwood Christian Church (Milligan College, TN) interview each other about some of the formative practices with which they are engaged, as well as be in conversation around tables regarding formative practices in our own congregations.

We also have a very fine slate of workshops scheduled for Friday that will help participants to further explore youth formation in various contexts. Workshop subjects include "Transforming Polarization into Discipleship", "Congregations as Ecologies of Formational Practice" and "Churches, Home, and Friends: A Reflectivce Conversation." For a complete list of workshops and speakers, click here.

bLOGOS this Week  


The Advocacy of the Spirit

Stephen Fowl


Although this piece is about Pentecost, I am writing it on the Feast of the Ascension. This fact along with the Pentecost reading from Acts 2 brings Elijah to mind. Like Jesus, Elijah ascends into heaven. Unlike Jesus, he does not conquer death prior to his ascension. Like the followers of Jesus, Elijah has powerful experience of the Lord's presence.

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah has just accomplished the most powerful act of his prophetic ministry. On behalf of the one true God, Elijah has challenged the prophets of Baal, who enjoyed the favor of the king and queen. God vindicates Elijah's bold fidelity and Elijah purges the prophets of Baal. Ahaz and Jezebel vow revenge; Elijah flees. He is now a fugitive from royal justice. This is an incredible reversal of fortune. This is not at all what Elijah anticipated or what he thought God had in store for him. READ MORE   

Reflections on Endorsing
Brent Laytham From the Ekklesia Project website

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. 

To read the whole post and other reflections on what it means to endorse, click  here.