Wednesday, February 17, 2010



Monday night a group of about 12 of us gathered at the Bamford’s for a discussion about our EmDes community – what this term means to us now and what it may mean to us in the future. All of us were in agreement that EmDes has been crucial to our “spiritual development,” even though many of us are not quite sure what that means. We view the group as an embracing and honest community in which we can feel safe with our struggles and questions but admitted (I would say as a whole) that we could use more depth in personal relationships between individuals.

While most of us connect at EmDes on Sunday, we would like to be able to develop, or at least encourage, more intimate relationships. The dilemma, though, comes when we have to try to figure what our “purpose” is. (I apologize for the words in quotes, but I can’t think of alternative words without traces of possible IC connotations, so I put them in quotes to make me feel less cheesy). Are we going deep or wide? We want to be welcoming to newcomers, but how do we do this and try to grow deeper at the same time? With the limited amount of time in the week, how do we work on developing more substantial relationships with one another? We didn’t come up with a solve-all-our-problems-in-five-easy-steps program, but there were some viable options: breaking into small groups of about 3-4 people once a month (at EmDes), having a few people share their stories during group, having a mid-week get together sometimes for whomever could attend, starting a group chain email to keep up with people throughout the week. I’m sure we’ll talk more about it on Sunday, but most of us are excited (I dare not speak for all of us.) about the small group option where we perhaps have some “focus questions” and take it from there, basically serving as an opportunity to connect to one another without falling into the surfacey chit-chat syndrome.

During our conversation, we also shared what we felt we needed from the community, and while I won’t share everyone’s online, there seemed to be some common themes of desire for deeper connectivity, encouragement, and a general moving forward – past the bitterness and anger of experiences with the church and into a focus on developing a connectivity with God and what that may look like. We discussed the possibility reading through a book of the Bible for a future group “book,” which many people expressed interest in and is something we can discuss as a whole group. More pragmatic, but equally important, issues came up, such as sharing hosting opportunities once or twice a month, having someone else manage emails and blogs, and basic organizational restructuring, so those are also things we can discuss as whole group or people can volunteer to share/take over. I do dare to speak for those of us who were there in saying that we felt it was a validating and productive discussion that helped us understand better what we need and want from our community while also being cognizant of the limitations we face. And thus I end, abruptly because I can’t think of a better way to end eloquently, an extremely condensed summary of the EmDes “where is this relationship going” conversation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



This and other intriguing confessions about church, faith, fear, grace and God at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lent 2010


Just a friendly reminder that Lent is beginning next week on Wednesday and will continue for forty days until the third of April. The Tuesday before is called Shrove Tuesday and it is traditional to eat pancakes on that day. I will be celebrating in that style at Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert with many other various folks for breakfast (it's actually an official tweetup #evfat/#evtm if you are into that).

I encourage you to consider participating in observing Lent this year either by fasting from something you enjoy/or by adding in a discipline. This time is supposed to prepare your heart/mind/life in a period of waiting and mourning before the Easter season when we celebrate resurrection.

Maybe this is a topic to explore with your family and friends as well in the next week. Feel free to share how you would considering observing on this post, and I also look forward to discussing it next week when we all meet.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

We discussed Super Bowl Sunday and whether to get together or not. Appears that some are interested, so anyone who is interested is invited to come this Sunday eat some food, watch the game (or not) and enjoy each others company.
Sherri and Debbie are making Orange Pulled Pork and some BBQ chicken which will both be great for sandwhiches. I will have a fresh keg of Honey Brown Ale ready for consumption.

So, if you would like to bring something to share, suggested items are:
- Rolls, Breads, tortillas
- Side Dishes
- Other Superbowl type foods

If you want to respond back with items you're thinking of bringing, that'll help even things out.