Sunday, December 28, 2008

On the Horizon for Emerging Desert

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Speaking for Tara and myself, 2008 has brought an absolutely wonderful experience and community in all of you that make up Emerging Desert. What started out as a very plain & simple gathering of friends has truly blossomed into a diverse, active community that has also maintained the original focus and simplicity. We feel incredibly blessed to be a part of it, and we look forward to our coming times together.

Along those lines, I wanted to get a post up regarding our group's near-future plans for those that may not be aware...

As we are now on the other side of Advent, we have collectively decided to continue gathering every Sunday afternoon. We finished Michael Frost's provocative book, Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture last week, and our new discussion book has been selected:

by Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw

We have agreed to begin discussing this book on February 1st. In the meantime, throughout the month of January, we will be getting together for unplanned, free-flow conversations about any spiritual, cultural, missional, lifestyle, etc. questions/topics that anybody feels like offering. Today our conversation centered largely on the question of "Why are we here... created... living on earth?" Of course, the conversation went all over the place, but I truly enjoyed being in a room where these massive questions are being wrestled with in community and every single voice present is heard. Thanks for everybody's thoughts that were contributed... I, personally, got a lot out of it.

So, in the coming weeks, if you have a topic and/or question that you'd like to open up to the cohort for discussion, don't be shy: tithing, prayer, worship, death, mission, etc.... it's all fair-game.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

christmas morning

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Moonless darkness stands between


Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, the Past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem-star may lead me
To the sight of Him Who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me pure, Lord: Thou art holy;
Make me meek, Lord: Thou wert lowly;
Now beginning, and alway:
Now begin, on Christmas day.

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

advent

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"Those who think they have arrived, have lost their way. Those who think they have reached their goal, have missed it. Those who think they are saints, are demons. An important part of the spiritual life is to keep longing, waiting, hoping, expecting. In the long run, some voluntary penance becomes necessary to help us remember that we are not yet fulfilled. A good criticism, a frustrating day, an empty stomach, or tired eyes might help to reawaken our expectation and deepen our prayer: Come, Lord Jesus, come."
--Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary

one of the best ever

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Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!

I am a little excited. I have a confession: I love giving presents. And no joke, I dreamed I bought a golden retriever puppy for Stacy. I can still smell his puppy breath. Ew. (Sorry Stacy, I didn't get you one in real life.)

I was checking the internets this morning, and read about an amazing Christmas Eve during WWI. The soldiers stopped shooting each other and exchanged food and song. I thought this was a truly beautiful story. You can read about it on TallSkinnyKiwi's blog.

". . . if we had been left to ourselves, there would never have been another shot fired. We were on the most friendly terms, and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary to start shooting each other once again."
--
Major Murdoch Mackenzie Wood, Gordon Highlander

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Annunciation

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To the impossible: Yes!

Enter and penetrate

O Spirit. Come and bless

This hour: the star is late.

Only the absurdity of love

Can break the bonds of hate.
--Madeleine L'Engle

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh faith, where art thou?

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Well, it's time to make my blog debut. All you guys have been pretty raw and I guess I can't help but follow suit. To be honest, the last few months have been hard for me spiritually. I haven't been as interested in reading as I usually am, or talking about things, or even thinking about things. I've distracted myself with 1000 pages of Sherlock Holmes short stories (don't make fun, Sherlock is cool, but I think Sarah is still mortified that I just shared that).

I've been satisfied to engage on a purely surface level much of the time, and for that I apologize. I haven't been "showing up", and am having trouble getting past feeling apathetic about so many things. I've been getting by on things I read or thought about months or even years ago.

Sarah and I have been talking about what Carrie shared a few weeks ago, when she said that when church culture was stripped away the state of her faith scared her. Carrie's words stuck with me, and I talked with Sarah, and I re-read that Detoxing from Church article (at Sarah's prodding), and together we made a few realizations about ourselves and our faith that strikes to the heart of what following Jesus has been about for me, and kind of calls me out and leaves me staring uncomfortably at the state of my own faith, asking myself, "Is that really mine?".

My connection to God has always been an intellectual one. The primary expressions of my faith have been reading books and discussing theology with others. I've always found it easier to read the book about prayer, and recite 7 reasons about why having a healthy prayer life is essential, than to actually pray. Feeding myself in that manner has worked for a long time. But being the whiz-bang intellectual guy just isn't working anymore. I'm exactly where Carrie is, only for slightly different reasons. I'm seeing what my faith looks like when stripped of the intellectual element, that it's really made of paper-mache, and that's frightening.

As I see it now, I've had a glorious history of sitting comfortably behind the facade that I've so painstakingly erected: little known Bible factoids, quotations "just right" for the moment, or thoughts that make me look deep and vulnerable and in touch with my inner self but mask how terrified I am of going there for real. It was a good run while it lasted, but it's not working anymore. The good news is that with this realization comes hope and chance for true transformation. It's good to be able to share this.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Love God

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Okay, so I must admit first off that I'm not cool with blogging. I like to read blogs, but I am more reserved when it comes to putting myself out there. But here I go...

I read Kathy's blog today about Love, Mercy, and Compassion:

http://kathyescobar.com/2008/12/16/what-could-be-love-mercy-compassion-extended/

The one sentence that keeps weighing on me is this: "what i am saying, though, is that without a true heart connection to God’s redemption, grace, and mercy in a practical & real sense, it is hard to pass it on to others."

And I'm starting to wonder if I really do love God. I thought I did back when it was about rules. I was really good at following rules. But when I really think about it, my faith story mostly has to do with me making choices to do certain things and not do other things, and that was how I loved God I thought. And now the rules are very fuzzy for me and I think are starting to disappear, and I'm not sure that I can honestly say that I love God. I'm more of a thinker than a feeler in most areas of life, including my faith, and I can't say that I feel much emotion about God at all. I've wondered about this in the past and thought I could fix this by getting to know God better...so I would read my Bible more or pray more...just be more disciplined. But I don't really want to read the Bible right now or pray and I don't know what that means. Do I even know God?

I'm trying to process this, and I try to think of things I love: my husband, my kids, the ocean, good food, sunny days and clear skies, art and music. But things like grace and mercy and God are so abstract right now for me that I don't know how to apply the word "love" to them. The only sense or emotion that I'm getting related to God is that somehow I think He still wants me even though I'm really messed up. But I don't know where it can go from here. It always comes back to the same question, "How do I do this? How do I love God?" I want to...for reals. A little help here?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Giving

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First, I want to thank everyone for all that they have done to help out the two families we've adopted. So far, some of the things that have been accomplished:

For Grandpa with 9 grandkids

  • Fix plumbing leak and unclog blockage in upstairs bathroom (YEAH plumber).
  • Ceiling drywall repair (after plumbing repair AND laundry room).
  • Repair and clean kitchen cabinets
  • Purchase and assembly of new bunk bed. Assembly of existing bunk bed (one bunk bed still in garage in need of twin mattresses).
  • Carpet cleaning.
  • New (used) fridge
  • Painting in master bedroom and bathroom.
  • Not to mention all of time spent with grandpa and kids
  • Grandpa doesn't appear to be celebrating Christmas due to religious beliefs.
  • There is still much to do to help grandpa get certified for foster care. We'll talk more about this on Sunday.

For Grandma

  • Thanksgiving dinner (gift card to purchases everything needed for dinner)

We are getting close to Christmas. For the Grandma and her grandson, what we have so far is:

  • Bike
  • $25 Golden Coral gift card (grandma's wish for Christmas Dinner).
  • $100 JCP gift card for clothing for boy.
  • $25 Walmart Card for Misc
  • $50 Cash for Misc

What we still need is:

  • White Diamonds perfume for grandma (approx price $30)
  • ONE of the following items...a PSP, M.J. Basketball Shoes or Guitar Hero for 12 y.o boy (approx price of ONE of these items is ~$150) WE can use the $50 Cash towards this but still need about$100.

Is there anyone who would be interested in contributing towards getting this Christmas completed for family number 2? An item can be purchased or money can be contributed and we'd be happy to do shopping for you. If you can help out please contact Jim or Joy ASAP.

We'd like to have all gifts wrapped and delivered no later than MONDAY DECEMBER 22nd.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

brew party

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A reminder...this Saturday the Newsomes in Phoenix are hosting a homebrew party. This is an open invitation party. So you are invited! Kids are welcome. There will be a homebrew competition--everyone else is asked to bring something to share. Please click on the title of this post to visit the official website with the details. See you there!!!

dec 08 kathy's visit

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Hey friends,
I really enjoyed Kathy's visit on Sunday--thanks for coming to Arizona, Kathy!

I thought maybe we could share our thoughts and reflections about Sundays conversation. What stood out to me was the openness in our time together. I love hearing what is going on inside everyone's head--I love that we aren't trying to impress each other with knowledge or answers.

It was great seeing the newlyweds--congrats!, but sorry to miss some regulars.

Please share your thoughts/reflections in the comments.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

welcome to the desert

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Hey friends,
I want to draw your attention to another post by Julie Clawson. She blogs about the role of the Holy Spirit as one who draws us into the desert...tempts us, teaches us about doubt...I thought we could all find the irony in the name of our group.
The desert is a hard place - barren, empty. A place not of joy and assurance, but of desolation and doubt. It is where one goes to wrestle with God - really struggle with the hard questions that honestly have no answers.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Detoxing from Church

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First I just wanted to thank everyone for being such a warm and friendly group for Ron and I to walk into. We've only been there a few times and we already feel a part, and for that we are grateful!   This past Sunday was pretty amazing for us, and has really spurred a lot of talks throughout the week so far.  Several months ago I came across an article called Detoxing From Church by Jason Zahariades, and we've found it incredibly thought-provoking.  I'd like to share it will you all, since our ambivalence and uncertainly toward the institutional church apparatus seems to be shared among many!  (My apologies if everyone has already seen this!)

Imagine what you would have left after you remove from your life everything connected with the organizational church. I mean everything. I’ve discovered the hard way that living most of my adult life in cultural Christianity has formed my entire identity as a Christian. And when everything in my life connected with the church is gone, including sixteen years of professional ministry, I’m confronted with the true raw status my personal faith.  Now I'm going to say something harsh: In order to BE the Church, we need to leave the church.

Read the rest of the article here.

What does everyone think?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

first sunday in advent

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Hey friends and fellow travelers, I just wanted to thank everyone for their candor tonight. I felt really connected to each and every story. Thank you for sharing your hopes and your struggles.

Here is a link to a post by Julie Clawson who lives in Austin, Texas. She is an insightful blogger, and I really appreciated her advent post. Excerpt:

...those magi following that star had a hard time of it. The journey was difficult. Unsure of exactly where they were going or what they would find when they arrived, they just knew they had to journey on. A distant star, days of toil, endless doubt and questions, ridicule and remorse - these defined their hope. But they didn’t settle for safety or that which confirmed what they already knew. They sought a miracle and that hope sustained their journey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

last chapter

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Hey friends,

The last chapter of the book talked about persecution around the world facing people particularly but not exclusively those who follow Jesus. The book gave suggestions of things that we could do to make a difference. The one that really stuck out to me was writing letters. I've been a "Christian" my entire life, and never once have I done this. I want to remedy that. I want to give you all the opportunity and the resources to do this. Whether you want to write an encouraging letter to a prisoner or write a letter to a government to create awareness, please consider taking the time to do it this week. Maybe even tomorrow?

I think we all have a lot to be thankful here in the land of religious freedom, and what better way than to spend some time on behalf of those who don't have what we do. Perhaps this is a way to bridge some gaps with friends and family who think we may be losing our faith.

Please visit PrisonerAlert.com to get all the information. They really have it all set up for you. You can write a letter as an advocate or directly to the prisoner and they will translate it for you. It's amazing. The format gives you phrases to use and translates it, so you could rewrite it by hand if you wanted or just print it. They also provide the address. If you wanted to use your own words, you could also probably use Google Translate.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Could Be

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Here is a quote from a blog by Kathy Escobar that I think really speaks to what I've heard alot of us talking about in regard to the Emerging Desert, doing church, being the church, etc.

why can we not just celebrate that the kingdom is being expressed? that people are living out their faith in beautiful ways? that there’s a hunger & a desire for living out the ways of Jesus that has nothing to do with the structures & programs that many grew up with? that where two or more are gathered, that can be enough? that lots can get done apart from the mother-ship but not apart from Christ.

I'd really encourage you to read the entire blog at:
http://kathyescobar.com/2008/11/17/what-could-be/#comment-1657
For those of you who didn't know, Kathy is coming to visit us Dec 7th and she's really excited about meeting all of you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Third Place part deux

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All right. I have made a decision for now. I'm going to throw out Thursday evenings at McDonalds. I was thinking of picking a McDonalds in between us all like Tempe. I know of a McDonalds at Southern and McClintock with an ok Playland. Does anyone else have an idea? I was thinking we could meet somewhere between 4-6pm. I am not married to the location but just to get things started I picked McDonalds. I don't know if this Thursday, Nov 20th, is to early or we could start after Thanksgiving. Any thoughts?

Nov 18, 2008:
My family and the Schroeders will be meeting at McDonalds Nov 20, 2008, 4:30-6:30 ish. All are welcome. The McDonalds is at 1900 W Warner in Chandler. It's on the NE corner of Warner and Dobson.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Third Place

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Anyone have any thoughts on how to meet more than every 2 weeks? I love our Sunday gatherings and they raise my spirits for a week or so and then all I can do is look forward to the next one. Now that I missed last week I feel very disconnected. No one around me shares my beliefs and although I've become more vocal about my faith it still isn't enough. I know that I shouldn't look to our meetings as the sole outlet for my faith, but I also know community is an important part of a spiritual journey.
With that being said I would love to set up a more informal gathering in between. Maybe a place where we can take our families and just be together. Randy and I once met at a McDonalds and my kids played while we talked and it worked out well, but that is only one idea and when I say informal I mean informal. No agenda or specific items to discuss, just have a time and a place and whoever wants to show up can. I would like to hear other thoughts.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A family sticks together...

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We as a community have enjoyed the company of some truly remarkable people. People who not only have chosen to seek out what it means to follow Jesus, but people who have constantly open arms to others who struggle spiritually, physically, financially, etc. I'm proud to be a member of this new family - I only wish to spend more and more time with all of you. I also wish I could blag (a combination of blog and brag) about this all day, but it just wouldn't do justice.

One result of our continued conversation has been the idea that we should 'adopt' some families into our family. One main thread of this idea has been that we will strive to not just simply provide material things, but also to provide an open and constant invitation into our lives. A more holistic approach to supporting those in need.

We have been given the oppurtinity to help three families. They have specific needs appropriate to the holiday season, and longer term needs that we will try to address as well. We want to be respectful of these families' privacy, and so we should refrain from posting specifics, as the caseworkers have asked.

However, we need to move forward, and I'd like to include everyone. I'm going to post a list of needs on our shared google docs - so that we can at least kick this thing off. If you don't have access to our google docs - comment that you need an invitation.

Once in, find the tab at the bottom called 'families'. Just put your name by those items that you would like to provide or help with, and feel free to put any notes, etc. Feel free to duplicate names, and I'm sure we can find more families or rearrange as needed. Also in this document, I've put three spots to become 'concierge' for each family. This may or may not be the way we want to structure it. For now, I just wanted to get it off the ground, so please feel free to comment away...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Communion

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I wanted to ask everyone what Communion means to them. Yesterday was the first time I've ever experienced it. Actually, I take that back, when I was a child I remember going to church with friends and getting bread and grape juice in little cups, but to say I participated in Communion then would be a stretch. I understand the basic idea that we do this ritual to remember Christ and what he did for us, but I'm sure that's not all there is. As a relative newbie to Christianity the experience was exhilarating but I'm ashamed to admit it also felt a little weird, and I want to understand it better

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Emerging Conference - Webcast Kickoff

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That's funny - we we're just discussing this, and lookie loo, right there in my email! I would offer our house as a place to set up the webcast (2.5 weeks from now) and just a reason to do a BBQ we've been kickin' around, but I don't want to make everybody drive out here. Volunteers? Or, just say you'll come down (Germann & Recker -ish) and we'll do it here!

---------------------

Dear Friend,

On behalf of the Center for Action and Contemplation I invite you to join us as our guests on November 8 for a very important and exciting webcast by Fr. Richard Rohr entitled: What is The Emerging Church ?

I hope you have felt the excitement that something fresh and dynamic is emerging in the Christian community. Seemingly independently, there is new energy among Roman Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Evangelicals and other Christians for what we’re starting to call the “emerging church.” Now, the Center for Action and Contemplation is hosting this webcast in November as well as the first large gathering of Christian denominations in March 2009, so that we can explore this emergence and convergence together.

During the November 8 webcast, international author and spiritual teacher, Richard Rohr, OFM, will offer his evaluation, his own questions, and his hopes for this movement of the Holy Spirit that is taking place in both Europe and North America. Fr. Richard’s talk will be followed by a question and answer session where he will respond to e-mailed questions from webcast viewers around the world.

This is an exciting new step in the development in the Emerging Church movement and we invite you, your friends and colleagues to join us free of charge on November 8.

To register for the webcast please see the attached HTML invitation. To receive your free log on password, please contact me at ---@--- or alternatively you can phone me at -------

The webcast will be followed in March 2009 by a major international conference entitled, The Emerging Church: Conversations, Convergence and Action. Please visit: www.cacradicalgrace.org for more information on the conference.

I hope that you will be able to join us on November 8 and I look forward to assisting you with this.

Peace,

Catherine Dowling

CAC Programs Work Intern

Friday, October 17, 2008

Upcoming Gathering: A Heart & Mind for Social Justice

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Hey all,

I just wanted to give everybody a quick heads-up regarding next Sunday's gathering. A number of weeks ago, Justin Narducci (a very close friend to me and many others in the cohort) asked if there would be a date in October that he could come spend some time with our Emerging Desert community to talk about ideas surrounding social injustice. Justin and his wife, Erin, (both AZ natives) moved their family to California last year as Justin took the USA Country Director position for the non-profit organization, Life In Abundance International [LIA]. To put it simply, LIA's work centers on addressing the physical & spiritual needs of the poorest and most vulnerable communities across Northeast Africa.

I thought it would be a great fit, given the nature of many of our cohort conversations over the
past months, for Justin & Erin to come back and join us in wrestling with these issues... so we targeted October 26th. Coincidentally (providentially?:-), the next chapter that we will be discussing in Frost's Exiles just happens to be chapter 9, Restless with Injustice.

So, that's the scoop. I'm looking forward to building on the sentiments behind the recent posts & comments made by many of you here on the blog as we collectively seek to become more informed, and ultimately more loving as we try to build the Kingdom.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

the least of these...

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"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40 TNIV

I would like to start a discussion where we can share ideas on how our everyday choices affect the world around us. In our global community even the purchase of a can of soda can impact people all over the world not to mention the environmental costs of the production and left over can or bottle. We’ll start with a few websites that came out of Michael Frost’s book that we are currently reading.
1. Responsible Shopper
2. CorpWatch
I like Responsible Shopper, plus the main website, Co-op America, has links to many environmental resources. CorpWatch is a little harder to follow but the cartoons are great.
What is your response to these websites or are there others you’ve looked at? How does this information make you feel? I can easily feel overwhelmed which then leads to apathy. How far are you willing to go?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

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Ok, most of us have left the structure of the IC. We have all likely experienced some of the same doubts, hurts, fears, and frustrations on this journey with various jumping off spots, but where do we go from here?

The word exile from the book we are discussing, resonates with where we are on this journey.....not a part of the culture we left behind, and not sure where we are headed. At times, I actually think I know where I am going, today I am not sure at all. My good friend Jim suggested a book to me "Pagan Christianity? exploring the roots of our church practices" by Frank Viola. The information I gathered from this book in regards to church history and how we got here has removed the last sections of handrails that kept me safe and has torn my map of where I thought I was headed to pieces. ( I still love Jim, maybe even more!)

So as we attempt to redeem the idea of what church is, to ourselves, and our sphere of influence, what will that look like to us?

Will we have a building?

Will there be preaching at our gatherings?

What will leadership look like?

What to do with the idea of tithing and salaries?


What are your thoughts and questions?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Gathering

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Hey friends,
I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the Schroeders this week. (Jim, that Scottish Red was killer!)
For those that missed our discussion, we skipped the discussion about Exiles chapter seven, and we instead focused on crisis of faith. In our group, if you haven't had an experience of severe doubt, then you are either in one, or you'll probably have one. Scott gave some excellent perspective, and he pointed out that our relationships have good times and bad--so why should our relationship with G-d be any different? Why isn't it "normal" to go through the desert when so many "faithful" heroes in the bible had less than perfect records?
I just want to thank everyone for being willing to share their experiences, ask the hard questions, and be honest. I hope that our gatherings are always filled with open people reaching out to each other.
Please share your thoughts here on this post in the comments, and also with each other this week. I really liked what chapter six had to say about connecting through out the week--that's really important.
Peace, Jamie

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kiddos Cont'd....

4 comments
Thanks everybody for your input and thoughts towards these things. I'm excited to work towards a solution. So here's my attempt in doing so.
In an effort to corral our children a little more effectively, I thought maybe I would suggest a few roles. I'm not exactly sure how it should take shape, so please consider this an 'open forum' type of suggestion.
There are obviously many needs, and true to the flavor of the emerging movement, I would like to spread these opportunities wide. So I'm hoping that we can commission these (or something like them) so that the tasks involved would be pretty minimal and infrequent. We'll see, tell me what you think:

Organizer - someone to take hold of the schedule for the group. This person should be organized by nature (hence the very clever title), and make use of our contact list, email, maybe even get something on our blog that we could all check.

Sitter - someone(s) for the little little ones. Let's say under 3. This position rotates every group meeting.

Teacher - this could also be rotating, for the kids over 3 but under 12. This person would be in partnership with the 'Writer', and would deliver to these kids a mini-lesson.

Writer - helps write/create lessons for the Teacher. This could also be rotating and would require creativity above all else. Would help the Teacher make use of the current setting, the Schroeder's home, and object lessons/parables etc. I'm not the person for this position, so what I write further on this would be in vain.

The thought here is that people would miss the 'adult' conversation as infrequently as possible. I would think at this point it would be safe to say that it is mandatory to help at some capacity if you're bringing children, and open to anybody else as well.

It's funny how similar this looks to a typical Sunday school setup. And maybe that's a good thing, who knows.

So let's discuss this online and tomorrow if you can come. Suggest alternative or additional roles, and maybe help me rename them.

BTW - chapter 6 is inspiring. You can jump right into it if you were behind, and I would highly suggest doing so. Good stuff.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

more about the chillens

2 comments
I don't have kids, but I do share everyone's concern about how to raise them up in a spiritually healthy way without relying on Sunday school to do so.

I frequent a blog by Kathy Escobar who left a traditional church setting for a smaller group of Christians, and she recently posted some thoughts on kids and nontraditional groups. I encourage you to read the post as well as the comments. She asks the hard questions that I have heard many of you asking:
will they survive the lack of “knowns” that we used to hold on to so dearly? what will it mean for them to be raised in a wacky eclectic “community” instead of the typical church structure that delivers the kinds of programs that we used to thrive on? how has our cynicism affected them? does Jesus supersede language & systems? what will their faith journey really look like?



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ooooh.....Aaaaah

1 comments
Oh, what a pretty new page for which to look upon!

Everybody please give a round of applause to Mr. Adam Bamford. Adam, take a bow.

Seriously, I know this takes quite a bit of that precious 'time' commodity were all running out of. So thanks Bam. A good game is coming your way.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

sunday mornings

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I just wanted everyone to know that you are more than welcome to join us any Sunday in Tempe to feed the hungry.

A few years ago, my neighbor Paula invited me to join her and others from her church as they met at a park for "outreach". Basically, we'd all bring food and someone would bring donated eggs that we'd scramble over a camping stove. Clint, a former homeless man/drug dealer/addict, would share a sermon, and we'd serve the food. Since then, we've moved to other sites including a long stint at the Salvation Army, and now we are located at 2051 E. Apache at a working man's halfway house.

Basically, the format's still the same. We show up anywhere between 8:15 and 8:45(? Adam, help me out here), Clint shares his message to whomever wants to hear, then we serve eggs, potatoes, and hot dogs. Clint has wrangled Starbucks pastry donations, and I think he makes the coffee and punch himself. The whole thing is his baby; a dream of reaching out to people with whom he really identifies.

It's not super organized; there's plenty of chances to get to know the homeless and the hungry. You can sit and talk, you can serve, you can do dishes, clean up trash...the opportunities are endless. I don't need to know if you are coming or not, and you don't have to come every single week. For awhile we were shorthanded, but currently we're doing okay, so anyone else is icing on the cake.

I've always felt safe, and other volunteers have brought their young children. The biggest dangers are scraped knees and explaining why that man smells like gin.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gathering this Sunday, July 20th

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Hey friends,

If you're in the Phoenix area and would like to hang-out with us, we're getting together this coming Sunday, July 20th at the Schroeder's home in Mesa at 3:30 PM.

We'll be using chapters 2 & 3 of Michael Frost's Exiles: Living Missionally In a Post-Christian Culture as the basis of our discussion. Also, afterwards we'll just be hanging-out getting to know each other better, so plan to stick around if your schedule allows. If you are able to bring some food or drink to share with others, that would be awesome.

Some ideas...
- cheeses & crackers
- wine/beer
- fruits & veggies
- hummus, etc

Can't wait to see returning faces and new-comers as well!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Our Gathering

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I was wondering, what was everyone's experience at our last gathering? We took an opportunity to share communion together and sing some worship songs together. To me, it felt like a very normal thing for us to do together. I really appreciated the songs that Adam and Tara picked and their giftedness. When Tara began singing the first song, I found myself very emotionally stirred (choked up). Quite honestly, I was very surprised that I'd felt that.

Now after beginning to read Exiles (yes Joy and I finally got our copy of the book), that meeting seemed like a perfect transitioning into this book. So far I've gotten thru the first and second chapters and it has been very interesting. I really like the perspective of Jesus the Exile in the second chapter. Much of what I've read helps me see the reality and humanness of Jesus that I think I often don't want to look closely enough at. Joy and I were also talking about how we often look at the writers of the New Testament as deities as well. Not really considering how these guys were just as much human and struggled with themselves, relationships, etc as we do. If we thought more from that perspective when reading the Epistles, what would they say to us?

I am really excited about talking about this book at our next gathering. I've been wrestling alot with this concept of being an exile and I'm looking forward to hearing what others get from this idea.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news...the wheat beer is all gone. I poured a glass for a guest yesterday and got the last few drops. The good news however is I've already picked up another batch and started a Honey Brown ale which has a taste similar to New Castle. However, it won't be ready for our next meeting, so we will have to drink something bought from the store. Sorry about that, I need to get my brewing timing down better.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Third Place Tuesdays

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Hi friends,

So I posted a new blog entry on Monday evening ... and then deleted it on Tuesday with plans to repost. I'm finally getting to it and want to include the first part of my orginal blog:

"Jamie, great recommendation ... I am really enjoying Exiles so far. In fact, it has me all excited and charged up this evening! For the past seven months, I have tried over and over to get involved in our church. I have attempted to join a small group, only for it to dissolve before I ever got a chance to attend. I have tried two women's Bible studies, only to feel restless and dissatisfied during each of the meetings. And I have contacted several leaders in the church in an attempt to get connected, only to receive either no response or a very delayed response.

I'm finally waking up to the fact that God likely does not want me investing my time at that church right now. So for the past few weeks, I've been asking him exactly where he wants me. I'm positive that Emerging Desert is one place, but I need something in addition to our biweekly meetings. As I was reading Chapter 3 in Exiles this evening, I was completely struck by the third places concept, and it has me thinking this might be exactly where God wants me to invest. After all, Jesus had an interest in being in third places, and I am striving to be more like him."

It was at this point in my entry that I declared Third Place Tuesdays in my life and decided on a coffee shop that I would be committing my life to on Tuesday evenings from here on out. I have to admit, though, that I rather hastily wrote my original blog, and after talking to Zac about it Monday night, I decided I should probably meditate on this idea for a bit before permanently etching it into my calendar. So that's where I am at this point ... praying about what exactly God has in mind for Third Place Tuesdays. Is this what He wants me to focus my energies on? Should this be a once-a-week thing? Who are the people that could be impacted by this friendship and conversation? What kind of venue is the best place for this incarnational ministry?

Last year I committed to working with the youth at a local church. I didn't think about it -- let alone pray about it -- for five minutes before I made the decision. And by month two I was counting down the days until my committment would be fulfilled. That's the last thing I want to do with Third Place Tuesdays -- especially because I have extended the invitation to all of you.

Although my post was only online for about 12 hours, I heard from a couple of you who read it -- one in particular who is very interested in talking more about meeting mid-week. I would certainly love to hear your ideas about Third Place Tuesdays as well. And in the mean time, I am going to be praying about it and asking God to lead me into this fellowship and ministry opportunity so that it can be most effective for all involved. Zac and I likely won't be at the meeting on Sunday (unless we speed home from San Diego), but I'd love to hear from you on here!

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Trish

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dinner Sunday (July 6th)

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We are thinking Hamburgers and Hotdogs for dinner Sunday night.
We'll provide meat, buns and fix'ns. Please bring a side or desert.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Thoughts on Sunday School

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Hey friends,

Tara recently got me listening to Anne Lamott's book, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, in audio format. Coincidentally, I listened to Chapter Five (Holy of Holies 101) around the same time that Jake posted his wonderings about Sunday school a couple weeks ago... so I thought I'd post that chapter here for others to listen to. I'd love to read about some of your thoughts or reactions to the ideas she raises, so comment 'til your heart's content.

So without further ado, here's Anne Lamott reading Chapter Five: Holy of Holies 101...







Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sunday Dinner

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My suggestion is we do an Italian theme. We'll provide baked ziti and beverages (there is homebrew). Could someone please bring:
- large tossed salad and dressing
- bread
- another pasta dish or side (eg green beans)
- dessert

See you then.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Beautiful community

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Had a great time. Jim and Joy, thanks so much for your hospitality, and your friendship.

Our past, their future

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This post may roll too long, so I might chunk it up into parts. We'll see. The subject?

The little ones. The children.

But wait, if you don't have little ones yourself, don't check out yet. This post is as much about being children as it is about having them.

I've been pondering for a while about what 'emerging' is doing, or not doing, to our little girls. It's been a source of guilt at times, and freedom at others. Of course they're only 1 and 3 (ish), and so my source of guilt is actually fear, a form of future-guilt I suppose, of what they may not get from a traditional Sunday school setting. In contrast, freedom has come from knowing that I might be able to positively shape the thoughts that come to my girls' minds when they hear the (for me, very loaded) word, 'church'. Hopefully there are no walls, figuratively or literally, in their definition.

So tonight, on my drive home, came a moderate revelation: I never went to Sunday school. Never. Never as a young child, at least. I first heard the gospel story when I was 9, and didn't attend church until 12.

A setback? Maybe. And yet today I would consider myself very passionate about finding out God's purpose for this crazy creation of His, and sometimes I even act on that passion. :-)

And so, here's where I could use some dialogue to help shape my thoughts. I'd like to hear what everybody's early childhood church experiences were. I believe a collective of these experiences could prove very valuable to all of us.

Let's say anything before junior high goes (for now). Share as much as you'd like about your Sunday School, both positives and negatives. For now, let's try to just collect our experiences. We'll do another post for what conclusions could be drawn, and possibly yet another post for what others are doing around the world in the way of 'children's ministry'.

To get us thinking -

What did you take from Sunday School, that you still cherish today? What things have you had to shed, or get rid of, if any? What specific things that you learned would you say were most valuable? Least?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

rough draft website

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Hey guys, I am really excited about tomorrow. Can't wait to have dinner with everyone. In the meantime, I am working on a website that will hopefully soon have our blog embedded within it. For now, though, it has pages that include links, pictures, and about us. If you have any suggestions or pictures you would like me to include I can do so. Let me know!

Meeting - Sunday, June 1st

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We are planning on having dinner after meeting this Sunday for anyone who can stay.
We're planning on having grilled chicken and ribs plus a potato side dish.
If anyone could bring other sides:
- Salads
- Fruit
- Veggies
- Beans
- Deserts
Would be greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately I won't have any homebrew. I did start a batch last weekend, but it is still fermenting. Should be ready by our next meeting.

Pool isn't quite warm enough for me, but kids enjoy it. So if anyone wants to bring their suit and take a dip they are welcome to.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The votes are in...

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So it looks like we should grab some copies of Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture - Michael Frost

For those of you in or near Tempe, Jamie suggested going here for the book.

In the meantime, does anybody want to throw out a podcast or sermon suggestion, for our gathering on Sunday?

By the way, if you're going to throw an "emergent" type BBQ, and purposefully don't give direction as to what people should bring (in the good spirit of disorganization), you're going to get a fridge full of beer. No complaints here.

bbq pictures

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Here is a preview for the photos I took at the bbq...




Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Emerging Desert BBQ at the Mac's

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Hey Everybody!

Let's just admit that summer is here, and kick it off with a little grilled food, shall we?


aaaaahhhhh......(no, that's not my jobsite, it's Dubai - but uncanny right?)

Everybody bring a little somethin' on the side, and we'll provide the meat (chicken, beef, hot dogs). There will be a kiddie pool for lil' ones, and probably a friendly game of H.O.R.S.E., where Mr. Bamford can rematch my sister. Yep, she beat him....or was it P.I.G.? Either way, a little embarrassing :-0

Saturday, May 24th
4pm

three nine oh two south mandarin way
eight five two nine seven

See you then!


photo cred - Shaolin Tiger

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mexico Mission Trip

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For those of you interested in one of the upcoming A.I.M. mission trips to Rocky Point, Mexico, here's a link to more information about the trips, as well as upcoming dates:

http://www.desertsprings.com/aim.htm

The contact person for the trips is the same person to get in touch with if you are interested in the Tuesday night homeless ministry I mentioned at yesterday's gathering.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What's Next?

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Alrighty folks, now that we're nearing the end of Shane Claiborne's book, let's get some ideas flowing about what our next conversation-guide could be. Another book would be great, but I don't think that it necessarily has to be a book per se...

Maybe there's a sermon that you'd like to recommend to all of us, or a film, an activity, etc. I'm sure we'll end-up with another book at some point because of how well it works for everybody to engage it at our own convenience, but it could be fun/interesting to explore another medium together in the interlude.

All ideas are fair game, so let's hear them!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Taco Day Tres

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(This post is written by Jamie)
Hey friends,
I thoroughly enjoyed our talk on Sunday. Each week, I feel excitement wondering who I will meet next time we get together. It fills me with hope that there are many others in the valley who are considering similar thoughts. When is our next meeting?
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I want to invite everyone to a friend's annual Taco Day. This gathering occurs every year in May. It's part taco eating contest, part fund raiser, part party. I invite everyone I know because it's more than a lot of fun--and the hosts are really interesting people themselves.

Please come down to Phoenix any time between 10a.m and 10p.m. The crossroads are 7th St. and McDowell; it's easy to find. Any proceeds are going to JustOne (different than Bono's One campaign, but pretty cool nonetheless.) Bring your friends and family--the more the merrier...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Our most recent meeting....

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First I'd like to say I was very encouraged by the discussion that we all shared yesterday. As I surveyed the group of people there, one by one (no, I'm not a good listener, more of a drifter) I saw a true uniqueness in each one of you, specifically as it related to how the Kingdom of God can be shown and shared. A diverse group, but singing harmonies of the same song. It was awesome.

Okay, sorry, enough of the poetry - off to the prose:

Let's share some ideas here for meeting again on Sunday, May 4th. I'd also like to hear some ideas for getting together in more of a communal sense (maybe every other meeting?), to give from our hearts and get to know each other.

As far as our 'normal' meetings (there's got to be a better name than that)

Meeting at another house/switching off - Jim/Joy?
Meeting at an alternative location: Gilbert Rec Center

So far what's in the works for our 'other' meetings:

The Burrito Project

Sunday mornings with the hungry - Jamie or Adam, can you get an address for this? Maybe an icon on our blog that's permanent? (A chance for Adam to make something pretty with his beloved 'Mac')

Please comment with possible alternatives or other ideas. Looking forward to next time already.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wrestling With the 'Burbs

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Great discussion surrounding the previous post by Jake! For many of us involved (seeing that we predominately live in, or come from, the wealthy suburbs) I think grappling with the American suburban lifestyle is one of the more critical tasks that Shane’s book compels us to do.

To build on everybody's thoughts from the previous post... Jake, I completely resonate with the rub that you feel about the suburbs after digging into Shane’s thoughts. Jamie & Justin, your points about being individually purposeful, no matter our environment, are very well taken. I’d like to try to flesh-out some of this conflict created by the suburban culture with some quotes from the book:

"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." And perhaps for the first time, those were no longer empty words that I hoped would come true someday. They became words we are not only to expect to come true but also to enact. ...it was so close to what I saw in the early church: a people on the margins giving birth to another way of living, a new community marked by interdependence and sacrificial love. (87).

As I’ve mused about what makes the suburbs difficult, this thought by Shane has really stuck with me. In my observations, the prevalent (& marketed) suburban lifestyle is heavily marked by autonomy and self-gratification... a stark contrast to the kingdom described above that is "...marked by interdependence and sacrificial love."

We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor. (113)

It’s no wonder that the footsteps of Jesus lead from the tax collectors to the lepers. I truly believe that when the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end. (114)

Laurie, I appreciated your thoughts on the ranging forms that poverty takes on in a person’s life. I, too, have experienced that the lavishly rich are often (unknowingly) desperately poor, yet I find it important to distinguish between the causes of these varying forms of poverty. In the physically poor, we see causes ranging from racist-cultural limitations to gender injustices to addictions to social persecution to individual failures, etc. For the rich-yet-spiritually-bankrupt, we see causes such as pride, self-indulgence, willed-ignorance, distorted sense of self, etc. And, I’ve concluded that my task in building the kingdom is to counter all of these causes with my love and my life.

Just as many of you have said, this is why we find the suburbs difficult. Because it’s extremely challenging to stay focused when we’re surrounded by a culture that tells us that if we make a lot of money, then we should spend a lot of money, that newer and bigger is important, that life gets better with more stuff. I fear that if we convince ourselves that we’re in the ‘burbs to minister to the rich-yet-poor, then we run the risk of justifying to ourselves that it’s OK for us to live, spend, eat, and drive like the culture we’re trying to subvert... that it’s OK for us to do these things because we’re trying to shine the light of love... but how’s that really working out? (I know this is where I've often found myself...)

[This post is getting kinda long, so I’ll wrap it up.]
All of this to say, while I believe that living in the suburbs and building the kingdom is certainly possible, I think it inherently takes an incredible daily resolve to subvert the Affluenza that surrounds us because it is so damaging to what we're advocating. And this daily action MUST take place among the interdependence of community, and this has to be founded on sacrificial love.

So, maybe we should shift the discussion here to what this subversion in the suburbs actually looks like (anybody read Justice in the Burbs ?... I’d like to). Jamie, you mentioned living without a car and having multiple families under one roof as some counter-cultural ideas. What else? Let’s get a bunch of doable ideas out on the table…

*Photo Credits - Flickr Dave and uncultured

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A revolution

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The first four chapters of Shane's book, for me, were inspiring. They promote hope. Hope that contrasts my being overwhelmed at the myriad of ugly things in this world. I'm such a fixer, that hearing the staggering numbers of people starving makes my brain shut down. But Shane's stories wake it up again.

This quote helps summarize my feelings:

While the temptation to do great things is always before us, in Khalighat I learned the discipline of doing small things with great deliberation. Mother Teresa used to say, "We can do no great things, just small things with great love. It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into doing it."

So, good story telling. Just good stories. But for what? A question was posed to me by a friend, in regards to this book. "Okay, most people would agree this book is great. But the question is, what do we do now?" In other words, how do we do this? How do we experience the things that Shane has experienced? Or at least, what is our response? After all, we're not reading it for entertainment alone.

I may be jumping ahead of our first four chapters here, but I'm going to attempt to answer before I hear Shane's conclusion. Here goes:

I don't think we can experience these things from our vantage point here in suburbia. It's just not possible. What do you think? Am I just not looking hard enough?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

An article from my turning point

3 comments
Hello all,

Adam invited me to participate in this blog as well, but I just don't have much worth sharing right now. I do, however, want to share this article that I found about 5 years ago that really helped me to articulate what I was going through. Maybe it could be helpful to someone else today.

http://www.theofframp.org/Detox.html

zride17

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The mistake of the mega church model

6 comments
I thought you might find this interesting, in light of the fact that Clairborne spent some time at this church.
I live in an area, the infamous "bible belt", wherein much of christendom is toddling along in insufferable shallowness. My husband and I share a deep conviction that we must be instrumental in teaching/discipling the body to "self-feed", and somehow infuse within it a passion to know intimately and serve relentlessly our Messiah. And so to be the Kingdom people God has called us out to be. We have worked among the desperately poor and among the intolerably wealthy and have come to find out the varying forms of poverty are equally soul wrenching when they are not accompanied by profound recognition of need for God.
Shining a light on poverty of spirit is one of our most urgent callings. Something the Spirit does powerfully if we but offer ourselves as the vessel...


October 18, 2007
Willow Creek Repents?
Why the most influential church in America now says "We made a mistake."

Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. Willow , through its association, has promoted a vision of church that is big, programmatic, and comprehensive. This vision has been heavily influenced by the methods of secular business. James Twitchell, in his new book Shopping for God, reports that outside Bill Hybels’ office hangs a poster that says: “What is our business? Who is our customer? What does the customer consider value?” Directly or indirectly, this philosophy of ministry—church should be a big box with programs for people at every level of spiritual maturity to consume and engage—has impacted every evangelical church in the country.
So what happens when leaders of Willow Creek stand up and say, “We made a mistake”?
Not long ago Willow released its findings from a multiple year qualitative study of its ministry. Basically, they wanted to know what programs and activities of the church were actually helping people mature spiritually and which were not. The results were published in a book, Reveal: Where Are You?, co-authored by Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek. Hybels called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking,” and “mind blowing.”

In the Hawkins’ video he says, “Participation is a big deal. We believe the more people participating in these sets of activities, with higher levels of frequency, it will produce disciples of Christ.” This has been Willow ’s philosophy of ministry in a nutshell. The church creates programs/activities. People participate in these activities. The outcome is spiritual maturity. In a moment of stinging honesty Hawkins says, “I know it might sound crazy but that’s how we do it in churches. We measure levels of participation.”
Having put all of their eggs into the program-driven church basket you can understand their shock when the research revealed that “Increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does NOT predict whether someone’s becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does NOT predict whether they love God more or they love people more.”
Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way:
"Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for."
Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life.
Hybels confesses:
"We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own."
In other words, spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multi-million dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage.

Does this mark the end of Willow ’s thirty years of influence over the American church? Not according to Hawkins:
"Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how he’s asking us to transform this planet."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Next Gathering Announced...

2 comments
Hey all,

As you can see to the right, the next Emerging Desert gathering is scheduled for...

SUNDAY, MARCH 16TH
3:30 - 4:30pm (ish)

We will primarily be talking about ideas raised in the first four chapters of Shane Claiborne's book, The Irresistible Revolution, so you've got a good three weeks still to do some reading:-) Keep in mind that the reading is definitely not required in order to come to the gatherings (but it will certainly add to your experience and journey).

Hope to see you then!

Monday, February 11, 2008

And it begins...

4 comments
Well, the first Emerging Desert gathering went off without a hitch yesterday! (Although we missed you Jamie, Stephanie, et al.:)

We had a strong turnout of folks from wide-ranging backgrounds, and we spent our time together going around and offering our individual stories of faith & church. Our hope is that these transparent introductions provide a context for our talks going forward. We look forward to meeting more folks as they are able to join us and contribute to the conversation & action.

Some highlights from yesterday's gathering:

  • We took a few moments to acknowledge some of the commonly-held criticisms of the emerging movement:
  1. That the conversations can often be destructively critical of the institutional church.
  2. That the conversations are just that: talk (lacking literal action).
Our hope is that by acknowledging these tendencies up-front, we will be intentional in working against them moving forward.
  • Building on the above observation, after everybody had offered their stories yesterday, it was interesting to note the similar connections that everyone of us had/has to a mainline church. I thought this was important to recognize the role that our pasts play into where we currently are spiritually, and that this acknowledgment will guide our time together with humility & patience.
----------

Awesome. So we're off and runnin'. We look forward to seeing everybody again at the next gathering (March date to be announced soon). If you haven't already, pick-up (or borrow) the Shane Claiborne book. We'll be talking through the first four chapters at our time together next month. And, if you have some thoughts you'd like to share between now and then, let's get you setup as an author on this blog!

Namaste.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Emerging Desert Launches!

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Alright, everybody... after a toying with the idea for a few weeks, let's officially get this party started!

The first Emerging Desert gathering info is as follows:

When: Sunday, February 10th, 2008
Where: The Bamfords' House (Map & Directions here)
What Time: 3:30-4:30PM

This first gathering will be spent getting to know more about each other and where we are in our respective life journeys. (Be prepared to give a summary of your past & present, if you'd like... don't feel obligated, though)
You can read more about what Emerging Desert aims to be in our previous post.

Starting at the March meeting, we are going to kick-off the main cohort conversation by reading Shane Claiborne's
Irresistible Revolution together. With this particular book, we plan to go at a pace of a chapter per week (or around four chapters between monthly cohort meetings).

So, pop this blog into your RSS Reader of choice, and let's journey together. Looking forward to seeing you all on February 10th!

What Emerging Desert is All About...

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The Emerging Desert cohort (an extension of the Emergent Village) is simply a place to connect and dialogue with other people in the Phoenix area about the Church. The people involved share a common interest in discussing new & old ideas about Christian community and working towards an increasingly genuine & holistic pursuit of Jesus.

In the words of the Emergent Village,
"These learning communities are geared toward post-critical, constructive conversation, rather than merely deconstructive rants about the current state of the Church."

Accordingly, we, as a cohort, are motivated to move the conversation forward, (i.e., build the Kingdom of God) with personal-reflection, innovation, and evolving action.

Emerging Desert welcomes...

...doubt

...conviction

...questions & uncertainty

...humility

...radical love

...diverse backgrounds

...people of all ages.

Intentions:
Participation in Emerging Desert is intended to play a flexible role in peoples' lives. If you are currently involved in a church or faith community, then this cohort could supplement that aspect of your journey. If you currently find yourself without a community connection, then please fill that gap by hanging out with us.

Gatherings:
Initially, we plan to meet monthly while we find our rhythm, yet aim to increase the frequency to every other week if everybody's up for that. We have decided that late Sunday afternoons tend to be fairly workable times for most people. We would like our meetings to last about an hour, allowing people enough time afterwards to get ready for the coming work/school week. We will be posting subjects of discussion on this blog, most likely stemming from thoughts in a book we are reading together.

Children:
We hope the cohort will be a place where people can experience focused & sincere conversation. In order to do this, childcare will be provided for the little ones in an adjacent room. Therefore, kids of all ages are welcome. This aspect is a work in progress, as we hope to soon be able to provide more than just childcare, extending our experiences into the lives of our younger ones and intentionally addressing this core issue.

This Blog:
Periodic meetings may be enough for some, but others may be left desiring to connect more dots in the meantime. This blog will be a place where our conversation is summarized and hopefully deepened. It will be contributed to by all who want to have a productive part in the discussions. (Please email Adam or Jacob if you would like to be added as an author for this blog... the way we see it, the more the merrier!)