Sunday, January 27, 2008

What Emerging Desert is All About...

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...



...questions & uncertainty


...radical love

...diverse backgrounds

...people of all ages.

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.

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.

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!)


Matt said...

Hi, I've recently moved to the valley from Show Low and I'm interested in coming to your group. Is anyone welcome to come or is it just by invite?

I have just recently read Dan Kimball's book "They like Jesus but not the church" and really liked it. Also I've read Rob Bell's "Velvet Elvis" but found it not as good and a bit extreme in some of his statements. The book your group is currently reading looks to be along the same theme as those two.

What the church really needs is to return to an orthodoxy of love not just a orthodoxy of doctrine, especially if that doctrine is used as an excuse to place walls around the church and cast judgement upon all others in the ranks of the unbelievers. There is an elitism within church that drives many away, and to make matters worse many of those that do the driving are happy about it.
I don't think this is what Jesus had in mind for His church.

Anyway, I don't want to crash your party if it is a private thing. Thanks ahead of time for your response. You can reach me at

Yard said...


Our group is definitely 'come one come all'. Our conversation usually represent this, and as such it contains many perspectives. And yet we seem to be of one mind and Spirit regarding some of the things you mentioned (love/doctrine, etc.) It is exciting to be a part of, for sure.

Browse the site, and feel free to join in the conversation here as well. I look forward to meeting you...

jkhaight said...

My wife and I are moving to the Phoenix area in Feb. We have been going to Mars Hill in Grand Rapids since it started. Can anyone recommend any good Churches in he Phoenix area.

Thorn-67 said...

First...I don't know if anything will ever beat your MarsHill experience. (o:
From my own perspective there isn't anything really like MH here in the valley. BUT...there are lots of churches doing great things in the Phoenix area.
I don't know of any church locally that has an Emerging flavor. Lots of Mega churches, Community churches a couple of video venue churches, smaller start up store-front churches...and of course...there is the Emerging Desert that would welcome you as you journey in finding your fit.
Could you be more specific about the part of the valley you plan to settle in?


jkhaight said...


We really are looking to settle near family and we have family in both Scottsdale and Surprise. I think we leaning more towards the Surprise side of town. My wife has been on staff at Mars for 3 years and we are really hoping to be involved in a high capacity. We really view "church" as the people you journey through life with but it is also important to be apart of a larger community as well. If you feel more comfortable e-mail me list of a few places we at least might want to look at that would be greatly appreciated.

Jason jasonkhaight(at)gmaildotcom

Stacey said...

Hi, Emerging Desert sounds exactly like what I have been searching for, so I will definitely try to pick up the book and make it to the 3/29 meeting. I was wondering if meetings are usually at the Mesa house location or people switch off hosting (I live in Scottsdale.)? Not a big deal, I just saw the first one is in Mesa and was wondering.

Hope to meet you soon.


Thorn-67 said...

Hey Stacey...
My husband Jim and I host the gathering in out home every Sunday. We certainly hope that you will be able to come and check us out.
Look forward to meeting you soon!

Stacey said...

Thanks Joy. I was reminded yesterday that I have a family commitment tomorrow at 2, so I won't be able to make it this week, but I have started reading the book and hope to be there next week.

Arizona Bam said...

Hey Stacey,

Hope you're able to make it tomorrow... we'd all love for you to join the conversation. Also, email me if you'd like to be added to our mailing list as I send out reminders each week with some more details.


Leah McFarland said...

Hi!! I am interested in learning more about Emerging Desert. I am friends with David Hahn who started the Flagstaff Abbey and he highly recommended that I check out your community. If possible -- could you email me some more information about when/where you meet at leahmcfarland{at}gmail[dot]com.

Thank you!!

Linda said...

My husband and I have lived in the valley's far north (New River/Anthem area) for 2 years. To our knowledge, there is nothing around here but traditional evangelical type churches or mainline denominations. We are so thirsty for the kind of conversation and passion we experienced before moving here.

Are all your gatherings in Mesa/Tempe area? So far, but we are getting fairly desperate.

We are also quite a lot older than the average person attending emergent gatherings - I'm 58 and my husband is 61 -- are you friendly toward the elderly? (-:

Finally I doubt that we could make it for tomorrow's meeting, but if we wanted to visit then or in the future, do we need to notify you? Or should we just show up with cookies?

Yard said...

We would love to meet you and your husband Linda! No notification needed; food and drink is certainly a good way to our hearts! :)

We are a fairly mixed group, and I hope you would feel right at home with us. We strive for good conversation and good community.


JimR said...

I am a recovering evangelical pastor in central Phoenix and would love to see if there are others in our area that would like to meet.


Thorn-67 said...

Jim R.

hey Jim glad to see your post here! We had a couple visiting EmDes last Sunday from Anthem who are really looking for a connection closer to their home as well. See Linda's post from August 7th. Perhaps we could find a way to connect you guys?
Of course you are always welcome to come hang out with us in Mesa when ever you are up for the drive (o: We'd love to meet you and hear your story.

Peace friend,


Jimbo said...

Jim, we are meeting today around 3:30PM at 1904 E. Fairfield St in Mesa, AZ 85203. We'd love to meet you if you can make it.

Eric said...

hi. my name is eric, and i've been looking for a group like yours for a long while. i'm completely unsure if the group still meets, as the site says the next meetup is in January. anyway, my email address is eric AT

i hope you all are well. Grace and Peace.

Jimbo said...

Hey Eric, hope you get this message. We no longer use this website. Our new website is at We also have a facebook page which gets updated regularly with meeting info.
We are meeting this Saturday, October 21st starting at 3:30PM at Schroeder house 1904 E. Fairfield St., Mesa, AZ 85203. We'll have some drinks and snacks before discussion. We are always excited to have new people join the conversation. You can bring something to share if you want.
If you have questions or need directions, you can contact me at e-mail or phone 602-363-5541.
Hope you can make it and looking forward to meeting you.