Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No Baltimore Emergent Meeting for July 2010

A Very Happy Summer to all of you! Just a quick note to say that the Baltimore Emergent Cohort will not be meeting this July due to numerous vacations and other summer activities in conflict with our regularly scheduled meeting on the first Tuesday of the month. So, please have a wonderful July, and we look forward to seeing you all back for our next meeting to be held 3 August. More details to follow

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baltimore Emergent Cohort Meeting - 1 June 2010

Greetings all! Our next meeting will be Tuesday, 1 June 2010 at 7:00 PM. Remember that we've permanently moved things up a half hour to give us all a bit more time to chat, and just maybe get us home a little earlier as well. Even so, it's never a problem if you have to arrive a late. We're an easy bunch and generally spend the first several minutes catching up on each other's lives. Which, I would assert, is just as it should be.

Also, over the past several months we've tried to change our monthly venue to Teavolve Cafe & Lounge, which is a terrific place to do this kind of thing, but Teavolve usually winds up hosting bands every Tuesday. Now, that's hardly a bad thing, but the music, as good as it may be, doesn't really allow for the sort of conversations we tend to have. Maybe one day we'll make it work but for now we'll hopefully continue to have great success meeting around the outside tables at Pasticcio Restaurant in the Can Company on Boston St. The weather has been dazzling the last couple of meetings and our waiter--who really does look like Harvey Keitel--keeps the food and drinks coming.

We're starting a new series this month that will be running over the two meetings. Given that we are having an ongoing discussion on all things Emergent, it's only appropriate that we'll be reviewing and discussing Brian McLaren's newest book, A New Kind of Christianity. The book is subtitled, Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith. Specifically, we'll be looking at Questions 1 - 5, but the truth is, we could spend the entire evening on just one or two of these, which include topics on sexuality, and one of my favorite subjects, plurality. Brian's book, perhaps more than his last several books, is topical, fairly direct, and, of course, always provocative. Lots more to say, but I think I'll save any further comments for our meeting.

So, grab a copy of A New Kind of Christianity, mark your calendar for the first Tuesday in June, and become part of the discussion. It should be a fabulous gathering, and of course, the best thing will be the pleasure of your company!

Look very forward to seeing you all!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baltimore Emergent Cohort Meeting - 4 May 2010

A friendly reminder that our next Baltimore Emergent Cohort meeting will be Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 7:00 PM. In fact, from this point forward we'll be meeting 30 minutes earlier at 7:00 PM, which will hopefully give us a bit more time to talk and get home a little earlier to boot. Please don't worry if you have to arrive a bit late--that's never a problem and we usually talk a while before we get started anyway.

Also, while we were planning to meet at Teavolve Cafe & Lounge this month, to date we haven't received their Tuesday night schedule for May, so we're planning to meet at Pasticcio Restaurant in the Can Company, which just a few doors down from Austin Grill where we used to meet. During April's meeting we sat outside at Pasticcio, under a beautiful spring sky. We're still hoping to eventually migrate to Teavolve, however, in the coming months, so we'll keep you posted.

Last month we took a brief look at an article by Sara Miles, who gave her fascinating, and somewhat provocative, viewpoint on what living within diverse communities should be. Given that we have a rather diverse group, however, the meeting highlights seemed to flow from the lively, yet always respectful give and take we had regarding some fairly candid discussions on the nature of God, and how we can know if God is actually working in our lives. And I think it's fair to say that each of us had our own take on what this means, and for some of us, whether it's even possible.

This month we'll take a look at one of my favorite books from a uniquely relational author, Jim Palmer, a friend my wife originally met on THE OOZE, and whose. Divine Nobodies, subtitled, Shedding Religion to Find God (and the unlikely people who help you), isn't so much interested in developing a new emergent-based understanding of theology as it is in simply trying to understand God's work in his life, which Jim learns can be fathomed through his relationships with, well, some very unlikely people. Jim has fashioned a deeply personal series of essays that I believe both traditional and emergent perspectives can read and draw meaning from, and which have certainly had a very positive impact on my life through the years.

Highly recommended! As always, we look forward to seeing you!

Maryland Cohort Meeting - 20 May 2010

Here's the latest meeting notice from our good friends at the Maryland Cohort, who meet south of us in Columbia:

Hello Maryland Cohort,

As the season is definitely changing, and emergence is all around us, I would like to invite us to come together on Thursday, May 20 for an emergent cohort gathering, connection and discussion. Some of us heard Brian McLaren last month and we see that he has a new book out (how does he keep turning them out so fast?) I suggest that we take a look together at: A New Kind of Christianity: 10 Questions that are Transforming the Faith. If you aren’t able to get the book, take a look at the synopsis or first pages on Amazon. This book is getting some strong reactions from folks. I would like to hear what you have to say. Is this the forefront of a new kind of Christianity or is he completely in left field?

We will be meeting at Donna’s Restaurant in Columbia at the intersection of Snowden River Parkway and rte. 108 just off of rte. 100. Here is the information:

Donna's on Snowden River Pkwy. in Columbia. Address is 5850 Waterloo Rd., Ste. 100, 21045; website is We'll be discussing Brian McLaren's latest book, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith

I look forward to seeing you then – and bring a friend who would like to explore their faith,

Happy Earth Day,


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baltimore Emergent Cohort Meeting - 6 April 2010

Greetings on the beautifully sunny, and somewhat windy afternoon of the last day of March. Just a brief reminder that our next Baltimore Emergent Cohort gathering is scheduled for 7:30 PM, Tuesday, 6 Apr 2010. As most of you know we've been meeting at Austin Grill on Boston Avenue for some time now. With the beginning of warmer weather, however, Austin Grill has begun their open mic series on Tuesday evenings, the noise of which tends to overwhelm the Cohort discussion. So, for this month only we'll be meeting at Pasticcio restaurant in the Can Company, just a few doors down from Austin Grill.

Starting in May we'll be moving the venue to Teavolve Cafe & Lounge in Harbor East (1401 Aliceanna St. Baltimore, MD 21231). Good space, yummy food, and a laid back atmosphere make this a terrific choice for our monthly event. More about this in our next update.

Last month we looked at an article by Sara Miles, who gave her perspective on what living within diverse communities means, or should mean to Christians regardless of denomination. This month we continue our discussion of church and community with an article from Kathy Escobar, a co-pastor at the The Refuge, a rather eclectic faith community in north Denver. Kathy characterizes herself as "... passionate about community, the marginalized, healing, spiritual transformation, equality, justice, 'church', relationships, diversity, and learning to love and be loved." That probably sounds rather familiar given the sort of discussions we've been having about community, but Kathy has something to say when it comes to the differences between what we generally think of as church and alternatively, healthy communities, and she's fairly convinced that the latter is considerably more involved.

We love to hear your comments on Kathy's article and any associated thoughts you might have on cultivating viable, long term Christian community. Hope to see you Tuesday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Maryland Cohort Meeting - 18 March 2010

Here's a meeting notice from our good friends at the Maryland Cohort, who meet south of us in Columbia:

The Maryland Cohort will be meeting up again on Thursday, March 18th at 7:00 pm, at Donna's on Snowden River Pkwy. in Columbia. Address is 5850 Waterloo Rd., Ste. 100, 21045; website is We'll be discussing Brian McLaren's latest book A New Kind of Christianity.

And just a reminder that Brian will be at St. Mary's in Roland Park on Monday the 15th for a workshop during the day, and for a lecture that evening. Although over 100 people are already signed up for the workshop there are still a few spaces available. For more information go to

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Brian McLaren speaking @ Ecumenical Institute of Theology 15 March 2010

Emergent-church leader, prolific author, chair of the board of Sojourners, and former pastor Brian McLaren will be speaking at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology of St. Mary’s Seminary & University on Monday, March 15, 2010. He will present a day-long seminar for pastors and other church leaders, and then give a free public lecture that evening entitled “The Gospel, the Post-Modern Conversation, and the Church that Is Emerging.” Thankfully the evening event was moved from a smaller venue to allow a larger crowd to attend. Accordingly, we've been told that more seats are available, so if you're interested please make arrangements as soon as possible.

You can get more information at

You'll find the flyer announcing these events at The third page of this flyer is the registration form. The fourth page, which announces the public lecture, is suitable for printing and using as a poster. Please consider attending either or both events yourself, and feel free to spread the word about this exceptional opportunity.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Baltimore Emergent Cohort Meeting - 2 March 2010

Greetings! After an all-too-blustery February, March hopefully brings with it warmer temperatures, nicer weather, and of course, another Baltimore Emergent Cohort gathering, to be held 7:30 PM, Tuesday, 2 Mar 2010.

For the past couple of months we've been looking at The Justice Project (, a collection of essays from a diverse group of authors, each writing on some aspect of justice--some rather philosophical, with others more applied in perspective. The book is grouped into sections, each containing essays written along a particular theme. For March we had originally planned to discuss Section 3, Justice in the U.S.A., and were hoping to include the author of the essay, Just Liberals: What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Liberal Politics in Light of Biblical Justice, as a attendee to contribute her views on this topic. Unfortunately we weren't able to make this happen in time, though we're still hopeful for April's meeting.

Once in a while, however, something comes along that seems exceptionally relevant to our continuing discussion of emerging Christianity, and such is a recent article from Religion Dispatches. Healed of the Sin of Religion: At Church with Sara Miles is an interview with Sara Miles, a women who, as the article notes, was a journalist and a chef who wandered into a San Francisco church one Sunday, got religion, and stayed to start a food pantry that now feeds 600 families a week. Far more than a simple appeal to help others, Sara Miles provides a refreshingly candid, yet cordial take on church, tradition, religion, community and what it means--and doesn't mean--to live as Christians within diverse communities, often well outside our comfort zone. Please read the below link and we'll discuss in-depth during this Tuesday's meeting. This will be in lieu of Section 3 of The Justice Project, which we'll resume in April.

A few of Sara's remarks struck me as particularly fascinating:

"As someone who is not a scholar of religion, there are a couple of things that struck me when I became a believer. One is, of course, that every religion claims that it has the inherent path to truth, when in fact it is a catalog and piling on of heresies. You pile the heresies on top of each other and the ones that last become orthodoxy. There’s a constant re-making of religion."

". . . you want a place that feels authentic and real and where you can be yourself. But what I see over and over again is this inability to tell the difference between tradition and nostalgia."

Compelling words, even somewhat provocative, and when taken as a whole I think her comments warrant serious consideration. We look forward to your feedback as well this Tuesday.

Thanks to everyone who came out last month during a very cold evening, and participated in a terrific conversation. And please note, you don't have to read or even have the material to participate. You'll learn a great deal from just being present and can easily join in. We welcome your involvement, and hope to see you!

Blog Resumption!

Greetings! My name is Tommy Gill and I will be assisting Joan Stiles with administration of both the Baltimore Emergent Cohort emails and the website, which we're working to reactivate this weekend. I've been a part of Baltimore Emergent Cohort for several months now, and look forward to working with Joan and others to keep things running efficiently, and disseminate timely information to our visitors.

As many of you have noticed the blog hasn't been updated for several months now. The good news is we are committed to keeping this site updated, and plan to post frequent articles and other relevant information. Please know that your comments are always encouraged, and please feel free to email me any time at this address with any questions, comments or suggested inputs. You'll be hearing more as we progress. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, September 28, 2009

October Meeting

For the September meeting, we'll be discussing "What Is Salvation in a Postmodern Context?" No readings this month: just come and bring your own ideas as we struggle with this concept.

We'll be meeting on Tuesday, October 6 at the Austin Grill in Canton (2400 Boston St # 108, Baltimore, MD 21224) at 7:30 pm.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

September Meeting: What Is Church?

For the September meeting, we'll be discussing "What Is Church?" To prepare take a look at Some Thoughts on Church by Mike Todd, or you can just come and bring your own ideas as we struggle with this concept.

We'll be meeting on Tuesday, September 1 at the Austin Grill in Canton (2400 Boston St # 108, Baltimore, MD 21224) at 7:30 pm.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Christianity 21: October 9-11 in Minneapolis

This October, 21 women who serve as pastors, writers, and theologians, will be speaking about the future of Christianity at Christianity 21 in October in Minneapolis. Speakers include a wide range of emergent authors, including Diana Butler-Bass, Phyllis Tickle, Nadia Bolz-Webber, and Julie Clawson.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

July Meeting

Just a reminder: our next meeting is this Tuesday, July 7 at the Austin Grill in Canton (2400 Boston St # 108, Baltimore, MD 21224) at 7:30 pm. We live in an age of Wikipedia, open-source software, and crowdsourcing, when the assumption is that too many cooks will make the broth better, where texts, images, and songs are increasingly simple to remix and reproduce. Should the church build a broader, more inclusive structure for leadership? Is it better to have a church with a few highly trained leaders who finds its authority in the careful deliberations of the few, or with an open leadership that trusts that mistakes will be made, corrected, and fixed quickly? What does an "open-source church" require in terms of community, commitment, and humility? For this meeting, we'll be discussing Sam Kean's article Open to Revisions from the May/June issue of Search Magazine.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Meeting Info

Hi all! Just a reminder that we are now meeting every first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 at Austin Grill (2400 Boston St # 108, Baltimore, MD 21224). Our July meeting will be discussing the topic of Open Source Theology; if you were not at the last meeting to get the article, just come anyway! The August book is Why We Are Not Emergent by DeYoung and Kluck. Please join us for what will prove to be a challenging discussion!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Tuesday June 2nd

The next Baltimore Emergent Cohort meeting will be Tuesday, June 2 at 7:30 pm at the Austin Grill (right next door to where we used to meet at the Chesapeake Wine Co.) We will have a table in the back dining room -- and the food is quite tasty! Our usual lively discussion will center around "The Dirty Word: The Vulgar, Offensive Language of the Kingdom of God" (ISBN 13:978-0-88177-539-6) by Jim Walker. Please plan to join us at our new location and time! Joan

Friday, April 17, 2009

Baltimore cohort is multiplying!!!!

Hello all! I have some exciting news to share with everyone. The Baltimore Emergent Cohort is about to multiply. The cohort has met in two main places over the last 4 years: first, at the Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City and most recently at Chesapeake Wine Co. in Baltimore City. Now there are people who are interested in facilitating these conversations both in the Ellicott city-area and in Baltimore city. Personally, I will be moving at the end of May to Charlottesville, Virginia to pursue a Ph.D in Theology, Ethics, & Culture. I will miss the monthly opportunities to facilitate these conversations with you all and the many discussions we had. I am excited for these new options believe that these two cohorts will offer distinct opportunities for people seeking to converse about the church that is emerging in the Baltimore-area. The two 'new' cohorts will both be meeting during the last week in April: Maryland Cohort of the Emergent Church This branch of the former Baltimore Cohort will meet to discuss and engage in action around what is emerging in both theory and practice in the church today. It will be a monthly gathering to hear and learn from each other and from what is coming into view through the conversation of the church and the world. This will be an opportunity to create a laboratory of learning and practice for what church can be today. Rod Miller is serving as the convener. You may reach him at: Roderick (dot) miller (at) verizon (dot) net The Maryland Cohort of the Emergent Church will meet on Monday, April 27 @ 7 pm at Bare Bones Grill: 9150 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Phone: 410/461-0770. Future meeting dates are: June 1st and June 29th, also at 7pm at Bare Bones Grill. Baltimore City Emergent Cohort This cohort will focus on issues of life, faith, and theology that are emerging both within and outside conventional church structures and will (by virtue of its location) have more of an urban feel and approach. The Baltimore City Emergent Cohort will meet on Thursday, April 30th @ 7:30pm at the Chesapeake Wine Co. (2400 Boston St., Baltimore 21224). Joan Stiles is going to organize this cohort. If you know you want to learn more about either cohort, I encourage you to e-mail Rod and/or Joan. If you do not want to hear any more about cohorts in Baltimore, just reply to this e-mail with 'unsubscribe'. Thanks everyone, it's been a pleasure. Tim

Monday, March 09, 2009

A "Burgeoning" vision for faith, church, and the Baltimore cohort too?

Our next cohort gathering will be on Thursday night March 26th from 8-10pm at the Chesapeake Wine Co. (2400 Boston St. Baltimore 21224). Our topic will be a short article (email me for the article) by Rod Miller entitled, "Burgeoning 2009 > A WAY OF LIFE! ". Rod will join us for the discussion of this passionate and thought-provoking piece. It should be a lively discussion about life, church, faith, and a next steps for the Baltimore cohort. I hope you can make it! Tim

Monday, January 19, 2009

January gathering 1/29--Organic Community"

Happy New Year everyone! The cohort with next gather on Thursday January 29th at 8pm at the Chesapeake Wine Co. (2400 Boston St. 21224) in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore city. We will be discussing: Organic Community: Creating a Place Where People Naturally Connect by Joe Myers. This book has a lot to say about the nature of faith communities today, how they best function, and how we as participants and leaders in a faith community can help it to be more organic. It is a good read and will be a good jumping off point for a great discussion. The amazon link is here. Even if you don't get to read the book, bring your thoughts on community, organic growth, and the relationship of the gospel to this notion of being organic. Hope to see you on the 29th! Tim

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Great Emergence--Thursday 11/20

I just finished Phyllis Tickle's The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why and found it accessible, interesting, and thought-provoking. Many people I know have already read it and have been impressed as well. I highly recommend that you get ahold of it and read it--it sets all the changes happening in Christianity and wider culture in a broader historical context--as well as forecasts a bit of future trends. The book will spark lots of possible discussion topics--even if you have not read the book. We will gather to discuss on Thursday the 20th of November at 8pm at the Chesapeake Wine Co. (2400 Boston St. 21224--in the same group of stores as Kiss Cafe. CWC faces Starbucks and is next to Subway.) We'll be in the back. See you then, Tim

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rides for Pete Rollins conference in November in Philly

Don't forget the Emergent mid-Atlantic conference that we are part of on November 8th in Phiadelphia. It's only $25 and should be great. Sign-up at We can use the comments section of the blog to coordinate rides.

Next cohort gathering--Thurs. November 20th

Next cohort gathering: Thursday November 20th at 8pm at the Chesapeake Wine Co. for a discussion of Phyllis Tickle's book, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. The book is described as: Rooted in the observation that massive transitions in the church happen about every 500 years, Phyllis Tickle shows readers that we live in such a time right now. She compares the Great Emergence to other "Greats" in the history of Christianity, including the Great Transformation (when God walked among us), the time of Gregory the Great, the Great Schism, and the Great Reformation. Combining history, a look at the causes of social upheaval, and current events, The Great Emergence shows readers what the Great Emergence in church and culture is, how it came to be, and where it is going. Anyone who is interested in the future of the church in America, no matter what their personal affiliation, will find this book a fascinating exploration. Amazon link: here. If you find her book interesting, check on this upcoming conference in Memphis, December 4-6.

Tonight at ... Huckas at 8pm!!

Tonight we have a change of venue for our discussion of Pete Rollinss book, The Fidelity of Betrayal: Towards a Church Beyond Belief. Kiss Cafe is unexpectedly closed today. So we will gather just down the street at Huckas at 2324 Boston St., still at 8pm. Come even if you didn't get a chance to read the book. You can always google some reviews or just show up. Tim

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mike Stavlund's vectors

For anyone who was at the cohort gathering last week, you know how interesting and helpful, Mike's "vectors" were in describing the emerging church. Here's is his blog post "Emergent Observations" from I was honored by the invitation from my friend Tim to join the crew at the Baltimore Emergent Cohort last night. He asked me to talk about my experiences with and impressions of this thing called 'Emergent', and so I spent a couple of weeks ruminating and jotting down some of those thoughts. Which I shared last night, and which elicited a lively and interesting discussion. A few folks there asked for my notes, so I thought I'd go ahead and post them here: To me, 'Emergent' (ie, 'Emergent Village') is relational, not organizational. In fact, it is not organized (though folks with a different paradigm can't help but see it through their lens, and so expect it to have a certain structure and hierarchy). So I'm not a spokesperson-- in fact there are no spokespeople (not even Tony Jones!). I'll describe what I've resonated with relationally, and I'll invite everyone else to chime in if they're feeling it, too. Or if they're not feeling it. Or if they want to add something. My understanding of Emergent is based in a wider sense of 'emergence' in our culture (check out the wikipedia entry on 'emergence' for more on this)-- in organizations in general, and in science, journalism, information dispersal, and etc.. Like other examples of emergence, it has flat org. structures, is self-organizing, etc.. My understanding of Emergent (ie, the network of Xians) is that it was a group of 'cultural creatives' who were following their instincts theologically, ecclesiologically, creatively, and relationally. They chose the term 'emergent' from the world of forestry: 'emergent' growth is the stuff that comes up on the forest floor, underneath the larger canopy. The health and future of a forest is indicated by this growth (and, to continue the metaphor, if 'Emergent' ever became the canopy, it would cease to be 'emergent'). They employed emerging means of connecting-- blogs, new media, gatherings, simple relationships, and most of all, utter experimentation. So what is emerging is, in some senses, nothing new-- many other Xians and denominations can rightly say, 'We've been doing that forever!' And yet, at the same time, there is a fresh approach, fresh energy, fresh combination and innovation and method and ethos and intent and departure and dispatch and commitment. The sum is greater than the parts. This way of doing church is also no utopia. Many of us would say that it's the only way for us to go forward, but we also recognize that it has many headaches and encumbrances, too. It might be simple, but it is not easy. So here are some observations I've made, which I offer as starting points for discussion, and stated as vectors (my friend Pete has gotten me thinking about vectors, and about how our metrics are often too static-- what's more important is where we're going). This list is obviously incomplete and perspectival. -- from confidence to humility. Epistemology and proper confidence. My friends are not wishy-washy, but learned, determined, and often opinionated. It's just that they simultaneously realize the limitations of their understanding. [last night, one person used the great phrase, "strong ideas, held weakly".] -- from organizational to relational. Not centralized organizations (churches, et al) but scale-free networks. -- from pre-meditated to intentional. The groups I see developing do not know exactly where they are headed, but they are very intentional, nonetheless. The art of community development. -- from observation to engagement. Common Table's 'Worship Services' and 'Service Worship', and Relational Tithe's relational engagement with 'widows and orphans'. -- from mainstream to marginalized. Learning to listen to the marginalized voices in the world, in culture, in our Scriptures, and in theology. -- from holiness to holism. The problem of dualism, and the embrace of holism. Celtic spirtuality. A new emphasis on Jesus' incarnation, and an earthy and honest spirituality. Renewed interest in the 'minor keys' of Scripture. -- from Truth to true. Scripture as beauty to be experienced, rather than a set of truth claims to be mastered. "Inerrancy" as a theoretical and philosophical position. -- from stage to floor. [I had a lot to say here, but nothing more important or interesting than the Arcade Fire concert I listened to on the ride up, where the band started the show by playing 'Wake Up' acoustically, from the middle of the concert hall as the audience sang along.] -- from taskmasters to caretakers. Concern for the planet, and our environmental legacy. Reclaiming the idea that 'the new earth' is the one we're sitting on right now. -- from consumerism to critique. A reconsideration of consumerism, of church consumerism, and of dualism (in politics, denominations, etc.). I'm utterly confounded when I hear critics say that the emerging church is capitulating to culture, when the emerging Xians I know are the ones serving the poor, giving away their possessions, leaving religious hierarchies, and speaking against the Empire. Undomesticating Jesus, and embracing smallness. -- from belief to action. People who are 'religious, but not spiritual'. Non-creedal, non-doctrinal expressions of Xianity. Sara Miles is my hero. (in an email this morning, Tim added another idea for a vector: "from compartmentalization to integration---thinking about holism and seeing God in all aspects of life, not just with Christians or in the church". )

Immediate Needs to Help Houston and Galveston

an important update to pass along:

Immediate Needs to Help Houston and Galveston

By Chris Seay, re-posted from Facebook:

My Brothers and Sisters,

I am not sure how clearly the national media is telling the story of the devastation in Houston and Galveston, but I can tell you that the rare combination of a massive storm that filled the Gulf of Mexico and the fact that it struck Houston and Galveston ( a combined population of close to 5 million people) has created a disaster of immense proportions. The majority of the city is still without power and clean water and almost everyone has some kind of damage to their residence or business. Houston, which became known as a city of generosity and hospitality after Katrina, is now experiencing what it is like to be on the other end of that kind of generosity.

Ecclesia is thrilled to be able to represent the broader church as a source for light and love to so many hurting in the devastation of this storm. We will continue to need teams skilled in debris removal, demolition, and construction for much of the coming year. If you are willing to send a team, we will work to provide lodging and logistical support for your teams. We are longing to have brothers and sisters that will demonstrate the love of the Liberating King as they help families in a time of dire need. In addition to those that will come and labor alongside of us, there are some immediate financial needs that would help us to serve the region and share the hope of the gospel. There are three areas of immediate needs:

1) Relief Support — any donations to relief support will go to purchase chainsaws, tools, food, van rentals, water, generators, temporary employment for relief coordinators, and necessary items to support relief teams. We are estimating the immediate need for relief support to be more than 25,000 dollars. If you are able to purchase any of these items in your area and have them delivered to Houston, this would be preferred over local purchasing. However both can be accommodated.

2) Financial Relief — for those suffering financially because of loss of property and income, we would like to offer a short term assistance package. For countless families and individuals struggling to make it financially before the storm (hourly wage employees, immigrants, and single mothers), the last week has often been devastating. We hope that the federal government will improve in their response time, but the church is able and willing to fill this gap. If you would like to give specifically to this package we will distribute the following on your behalf. In the case of single mothers we intend to double the assistance. $150 Mortgage/Rental Assistance $100 Grocery Card $50 Gas Card $20 Basic Toiletries Gospel of John (VOX) We will attempt to continue or begin a long-term relationship with all assisted families and will offer this assistance to as many as possible.

3) Taft Street Coffee as a House of Hospitality — You may know that Taft Street Coffee (the coffee shop owned and run by Ecclesia) is rated each year as one of the top 3 coffee shops in the entire city. This morning we had our power restored and would like to re-open the shop as a site for those still without power. We estimate that over the next three weeks many would benefit from a centrally located house of hospitality that offers air conditioning, a free lunch, coffee drinks, Wi-Fi, phone service, children’s play space, and spiritual support. If you would like to sponsor the food and operational costs to run Taft Street Coffee as a gift to the community, we estimate that cost to be $850 per day.

If you have any questions you can contact me ( or our Mission Pastor John Starr ( I am grateful for the love and support of the entire church to my beloved City.

Previously: Ecclesia Relief Efforts After Hurricane Ike

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gathering tomorrow night with Mike Stavlund! then 10/21

Come at 8pm at Kiss Cafe (2400 Boston St., Baltimore, 21224) to join in conversation with Mike Stavlund. Mike is a husband and father who lives outside Washington, DC. He is a part of the innovative and experimental church Common Table, and is also a member of Relational Tithe and enjoys the friendship that is Emergent Village. He writes, he builds stuff, he runs, and he keeps a blog called The Awakening. In short we will have an evening full of depth, wit, and insight on life, faith, the church, and the world. I wouldn't miss it. Also, check out the info. on the cohort blog for the Reclaiming Paul conference in October in Kansas City plus Nov. 8th with Pete Rollins in Philly. Our October gathering will be on Tuesday the 21st (again at 8pm at Kiss Cafe), and we will discuss Pete Rollins' book: The Fidelity of Betrayal: Towards a Church Beyond Belief. The book is described as: "What if one of the core elements of a radical Christianity lay in a demand that we betray it, while the ultimate act of affirming God required the forsaking of God? And what if fidelity to the Judeo-Christian scriptures demanded their renunciation? In short, what if the only way of finding real faith involved betraying that faith with a kiss, like Judas did to Christ?" Hope to see you tomorrow, Tim

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Next cohort--SEPT. 16th with Mike Stavlund!

Our next cohort gathering has shifted slightly and will be on Tuesday night 9/16 and our special guest will be Mike Stavlund. Here's his bio. Mike Stavlund is a husband and father who lives outside Washington, DC. He is a part of the innovative and experimental church Common Table, and is also a member of Relational Tithe and enjoys the friendship that is Emergent Village. He writes, he builds stuff, he runs, and he keeps a blog called The Awakening. In short we will have an evening full of depth, wit, and insight on life, faith, the church, and the world. I wouldn't miss it. We'll gather at Kiss Cafe (2400 Boston St., Baltimore, 21224) at 8pm. Also, check out the info. in the other posts for the Reclaiming Paul conference in October in Kansas City plus Nov. 8th with Pete Rollins in Philly. Hope to see you on the 16th, Tim P.S.--for those interested in New Monasticism from our more recent cohort discussion. Check out and the 12 Marks of New Monasticism.

Reclaiming Paul Conference

From what I've heard, this should be a great conference with a distinct Baltimore flavor. Check it out and go if you can. Here's the description: Are you interested in Paul and the church? Consider coming to the “Reclaiming Paul” conference, a conversation among emerging church leaders and biblical scholars, pastors, and educators. It will take place at Jacob’s Well Church in Kansas City, October 22-24, 2008. Pauline specialists giving plenary addresses include Steve Fowl, Kathy Grieb, Ross Wagner, and Baltimore’s own Mike Gorman. Other presenters include John Franke, Tony Jones, Tim Keel, Mike King, Doug Pagitt, and Danielle Shroyer. Visit the website for more information (

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pete Rollins conference in November in Philly

This should be a great conference that we are part of: The Emergent Mid-Atlantic Conference: A Humble yet Comprehensive Attempt at Kingdom Building When: all day Sat. Nov. 8th, $15 for students, $25 online, $35 at the door Where: Church of the Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square (Philadelphia, PA) Who: Everyone, but especially Pete Rollins Let's get some folks together to go! Tim

Cohort on Thurs., then Sept. 16th?

Thursday night the cohort will gather to discuss: A Christianity Worth Believing: Hope-filled, Open-armed, Alive-and-well Faith for the Left Out, Left Behind, and Let Down in us All by Doug Pagitt. To download chapters and podcasts from the book visit Take a look at it (or not) and come to discuss on Thursday night at 8pm at Kiss Cafe (2400 Boston St. Baltimore, 21224).

If you are drawn to the the mystifying, loving God whom we meet in Jesus Christ, but put off by "Christianity" (or, for that matter, the Christians you know) this contrarian, wise, winsome, passionate book is a must-read.

Lauren F. Winner — author of Girl Meets God, Duke Divinity School

Here is theology as it is supposed to be: a love story between two parts of one whole. Intimate, candid, vulnerable as well as brilliant and salvific, this one is God-talk at its most persuasive. It is also emergence Christianity at its clearest and best.

Phyllis Tickle — Author The Divine Hours, The Words Of Jesus

The next cohort gathering is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday Sept. 16th at 8pm at Kiss Cafe. Hope to see you soon, Tim

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cohort--Wed. night 8pm then 8/14 (Thursday)

On Wed. night (7/16), the cohort will gather at 8pm at Kiss Cafe (2400 Boston St. 21224) to discuss The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones. I have read the first few chapters so far and find it to be interesting, useful, informative, and helpful.. I think that it will form the basis for a good discussion whether you have read the book or not. To learn more about it or to read some selections, you can visit Tony's blog: Next month we will read Doug Pagitt's new book, A Christianity Worth Believing: Hope filled, Open Armed, Alive and Well Faith and will gather to discuss it on Thursday August 14th at 8pm at Kiss Cafe in Canton. You can learn more about the book here. If you want to see these guys (authors) in person they will be in DC on Thursday night July 31st for the Church Basement Roadshow--along with Mark Scandrrette who wrote Soul Graffitti. It should be a fun night--more info. is available here. Hope you summer is going well and I hope to see you soon, Tim

Friday, June 27, 2008

Volunteers needed for Artscape 2008

I received the e-mail below asking for volunteers for Artscape 2008. It looks like a great opportunity to support a great event. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has a severe shortage of volunteers for Artscape 2008. We are contacting you in hopes that your church may be interested in volunteering for this event. We would greatly appreciate your help! We would be glad to sign up your church members by phone and arrange for them to work together. We could liaison with a representative from your church to do so. We only ask that volunteers be at least 18 years of age or older. We provide free parking, a free-t-shirt, and refreshments. If you have individuals or groups who may be interested, please contact me directly at 443.263.4307. Thank you in advance for your support! Debbie

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tuesday June 17th, then Wed. July 16th

The Baltimore Emergent Village cohort will next gather on Tuesday June 17th at 8pm at Kiss Cafe (2400 Boston St, Baltimore 21224). Our topic will be" Post-colonial theology. We will look at the distinctives of post-colonial theology and its overlaps and distincts from varous postmodern approaches to theology. In short, we will discuss what people outside of the Western world (particularly the colonized in the global south) can teach us about what it means to follow Jesus and to be the church. Here are some reasources to help you to prepare if you are interested. The first is a lecture, "One African Postcolonial Theology: The Imperative to Differ" by Kenzo Mabiala delivered at the first Amahoro Africa gathering in Uganda in May 2007. The audio quality is not the best but the content is outstanding. The second resource is an article by Kenzo: I hope to see you on Tuesday. On next gathering will be on Wed. July 16th at 8pm when we will discuss the book, The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones. Some other anouncements: Emergent Village is asking everyone (committed participants, casual admirers, and friendly critics) to take a brief (5 min.) survey. Please help out the Board of Directors by CLICKING HERE TO TAKE THE SHORT SURVEY Also, 2 upcoming Emergent Village-related events in DC
June 27: Shane Claibourne will be at Calvery Baptist Church, Washington, DC. 7pm - Register for free tickets here.
July 31: The Church Basement Road Show aka Tony Jones, Doug Pagit and Mark Scandrette at the Kay Spiritual Life Center at American University 7pm $10 at the door. Wesley Seminary is the acamedic sponsor for the tour - so come on out. More info is available here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

May 15th--Jesus for President

Our next gathering will be on Thursday night 5/15 at 8pm at Kiss Cafe (2400 Boston St. Baltimore, 21224). Our topic will be the recently released book, Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. I encourage you to pick up a copy--there are lots of pictures for those who don't like to read much :). Publishers Weekly has this to say: Starred Review. Here is the must-read election-year book for Christian Americans. What should Christians do when allegiances to the state clash with personal faith? Haw and Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution) slice through politics as usual and well past the superficial layers of the culture wars with their lucid exploration of how Christians can and should relate to presidents and kings, empire and government. Their entertaining yet provocative tour of the Bible's social and economic order makes even the most abstruse Levitical laws come alive for our era. They also provide a valuable political context for Christ's life, reminding readers that Jesus did not preach the need to put God back into government—he urged his followers to live by a different set of rules altogether, to hold themselves apart as peculiar people. The compelling writing is enhanced by a lavish, eye-popping layout. The pages are a riot of textured callouts, colors, photos and fonts—the perfect packaging for a message that must compete in a world of sound bites. With this second book, Claiborne emerges as an affable, intelligent, humorous prophet of his generation, calling people out of business-as-usual in a corrupt world and back to the radically different social order of the biblical God. (Mar.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

CityPaper article

The cohort was featured in this week's Citypaper. Go check it out (you can find the full article here), it a good perspective on what we are the emerging church and this cohort are all about. My and Saranell's work with Next Generation was also highlighted along with some other folks who were at last month's cohort. The next cohort gathering will be on Thursday April 17th at 8pm at Kiss Cafe in Canton. Hope to see you then.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Next cohort gathering Tuesday March 25th

The next cohort gathering will be on Tuesday March 25th at 8pm at Kiss Cafe at 2400 Boston St. in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore. Kiss Cafe is easy to get to and has plenty of available parking. There is a full menu available. We will be on the left side of the restaurant. We had a great gathering in Feb. and look forward to another one this time. We do not have a set topic at the moment , but since we have not gathered for awhile, it might be interesting to talk about what we think the church that is emerging is, can be, and how we can make a difference in the blog. Feel free to post any preliminary thoughts or rumblings on the cohort blog. See you in a few weeks, Tim P.S.--It is not too late to sign-up for the Deep Shift conference on Friday and Saturday in Vienna, VA. Let me know if you want the $20 off discount code. Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Upcoming events--NT Wright and Deep Shift

Over the next month, there are 2 interesting events that may be of interest. First, NT Wright is coming to Baltimore to speak at The Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary on February 25th and 26th. His topic for the lectures is "The Bible and the Future." N.T. Wright is the Anglican Bishop of Durham, England and is arguably the world’s most prominent biblical theologian. For more information, visit the St. Mary's website and follow the links. Then, on March 7-8th, the Deep Shift tour featuring Brian McLaren, Linnea Nilsen Capshaw, the Cobalt Season, and others will be in Vienna, VA presenting an experience of Brian's book, Everything Must Change, and implications which grow from it. You need to register by March 5th. To get a discount code for $20 off, email Tim. Hope you enjoy these events!

The Cohort is BACK!!!--2/27

After a period of hibernation, the Baltimore Cohort is again going to meet. Many of us have missed being together and others have been itching for a chance to participate. The next gathering will be on Wednesday February 27th at 8pm at Kiss Cafe at 2400 Boston St. in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore. Kiss Cafe is easy to get to and has plenty of available parking. There is a full menu available. We will be on the left side of the restaurant. This month's discussion will be on Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope by Brian McLaren. Come whether you have read the book or not, whether you have liked the book or not, and share your thoughts, ideas, and questions. We'll also consider ways to read the book with others. E-mail Tim with any questions.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Reading John Franke's forthcoming book

Well here are the details: We get the chance to read and comment on John Franke's forthcoming book: Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth. We have an unedited version in a pdf that we can use (only) for our cohort discussion. Due to his teaching and travelling schedule, John is disappointed that he will not be able to be join us. He is eager to receive our notes and feedback. Just e-mail and we'll send you the pdf. We will gather to discuss the book and our feedback on Monday October 29th at 8pm in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. The address is: 602 E. Fort Ave., 21230. The space is a rowhouse which we lease. It is right next door to Hilltop Carry-Out if you need any food. Parking is on the street. I look forward to seeing you there, Tim P.S.--The band The Cobalt Season (musicians Ryan and Holly Sharp) will be playing a concert in Baltimore on Saturday night Nov. 3rd at 8pm. Admission is: $10. The venue is: 602 E. Fort Ave., 21230

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


After an extended summer vacation, the Baltimore Emergent Village Cohort is coming back to life. Here are a few updates: 1. Heather Kirk-Davidoff is going to co-facilitate the cohort with me (Tim Hartman). Thank you, Heather! 2. The cohort will start meeting in Baltimore city 3. Our next gathering will take place in late October. We have the opportunity to read and provide feedback on John Franke's upcoming book: Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth which is being published by Abingdon Press. At the least we will be able to provide written comments before John makes his final edits. Perhaps, John will join us in person. We are waiting to hear back from John before confirming a date. If you have any questions or ideas, send an e-mail to emergentbaltimore at and we'll get it. Tim

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cohort tomorrow--May 22nd--Amahoro Africa!

Come and join the Baltimore cohort of Emergent Village as we gather TOMORROW--Tuesday May 22nd from 7-9pm at Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City to hear from Caitlin Kelley, Heather Kirk-Davidoff, and Tim Hartman about their recent experiences at the Amahoro Africa conference in Kampala, Uganda. This will be the last (formal) gathering of the Baltimore cohort until September. The conference brought together 200 people--the vast majority from Eastern and Central Africa to consider the shape of the church that is emerging in Africa. We Americans we there to listen and learn. We are eager to share the fascinating stories we heard from the amazing people we met, as well as some reflections on potential partnerships and implications for faith and churches in the USA. To learn more about the conference, including summaries and podcasts, visit futurechurch or the Amahoro africa blog. See you tomorrow, Tim P.S.--Don't forget 2 upcoming events in DC on Global Poverty--domestic and international--that Emergent Village is a part of.... Sojourners/Call to Renewal Pentecost 2007: Taking Vision to the Streets June 3-6 in Washington, D.C. National City Christian Church Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama will be joining those who attend Pentecost 2007 for a nationally televised presidential candidates forum to focus exclusively on faith, values, and poverty. We'll be asking candidates the important questions - and you can be there in person. Micah Challenge leaders such as Lawrence Temfwe, Co-Chair of Micah Challenge Zambia and Director of the Jubilee Centre and Peter Vander Meulen, Co-Chair Micah Challenge USA, and several other Micah Challenge associates from around the world will be leading workshops on global wealth, the Millennium Development Goals, and doing truly integrated ministry. The goal of Pentecost 2007: Taking Vision to the Streets, is to call individuals, churches, and especially our political leaders to put poverty at the top of our national agenda. Come and be inspired by speakers including Jim Wallis, Freddie Haynes, Brian McLaren, Lynne Hybels, and Gary Hagan, among others. The conference will also offer training to help you form partnerships and get organized to do your part right where you are in your local church or school. See the schedule of events. Register now. Scholarships available. Bread for the World's Gathering 2007 Sowing Seeds: Growing a Movement June 9-12, American University, Washington, DC Based on Micah 6:8 passage "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God,", thousands of people of faith will gather in Washington, DC to launch a renewed movement to end hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. Bread for the World is honored to host several Micah Challenge leaders from around the world at Sowing Seeds, including Joel Edwards, Co-Chair, Micah Challenge International and Lawrence Temfwe, Co-Chair of Micah Challenge Zambia and Director of the Jubilee Centre. These Micah Challenge leaders will speak candidly about the energy and passion that is building public will in both developing and developed countries, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Join us in prayer and in action at the second Interfaith Convocation on Hunger, the U.S. faith community will renew our own commitment to overcoming hunger and poverty and insist that our government provide meaningful leadership in this work. A celebration on the great lawn of the Washington National Cathedral will prepare participants for an evening of inspirational music, solemn prayer and instruction from sacred texts. All those in attendance--old and young, experienced anti-hunger leaders and those new to the movement--will be commissioned to carry on this work from this day forward. See the schedule of events Register now Scholarships are available

Friday, May 04, 2007

May cohort--Tuesday 5/22--AFRICA

The Baltimore cohort of Emergent Village will next gather on Tuesday May22nd from 7-9pm at Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City. Our topic will be the Christian faith in Africa. A small number of our cohort will be traveling to Uganda for the next 2 weeks along with Brian McLaren and 40 others from Western nations to meet with 160 emerging and innovative African leaders who are working with organizations focused on mercy and justice in a conference called Amahoro Africa. We will be hearing from these African leaders and listening to their stories about what it means to follow Jesus in a time after the colonial powers have left. Our cohort on 5/22 will focus on issues of global Christianity, shaping a post-colonial theology for the church that is emerging, and reflecting on what Africans have to teach us about our American context. If you want to do any advance reading, I recommend The Next Christendom by Philip Jenkins as well as a short interview with David Zac Niringiye. Here's the pdf. I hope you can join us, Tim

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mark Scandrette--Tuesday April 10th

On Tuesday April 10th (at Bare Bones Grill from 7-9pm), I am excited to say that we will have Mark Scandrette joining us. Check out his blog. He is also the author of a new book, Soul Graffiti: Making a Life in the Way of Jesus which will be released in mid-April while he is with us! Soul Graffiti explores the message of Jesus as an invitation to embrace life as a sacred journey— learning to collaborate with our Maker’s intentions to bring healing and greater wholeness to our world. Through stories and reflections, Soul Graffiti addresses the questions, “What was the essential message of Jesus and how can we inhabit that message as a way of life?” What if everything matters? Soul Graffiti, is an invitation to explore the life and teachings of Jesus as a pattern for pursuing a spiritual path that is fueled by compassion, creativity, community and connection. Here are some quotes about the book as well as Mark's bio. Hope to see you for a great evening with Mark and save May 22nd and June 19th for the next couple possible cohort dates, Tim early praise for Soul Graffiti “Mark Scandrette guides us in this beautifully written and brilliantly illustrated book along a path towards actualized spirituality in a postmodern world. The book provides new avenues to ancient truths.” —Tony Campolo, professor of sociology, Eastern University “Through Mark’s rich insights and reflections, and especially through his stories … about Jack, Richard, Gary, Caroline, Emperor Arcadia (you’ll never forget him!), Michelle, Beryl, and many others, you’ll get an honest and inspiring view of what ‘the emergent conversation’ is really about, and what it’s for.” —Brian McLaren, author/activist ( “Soul Graffiti is not so much a book as it is an encounter—a deadly serious encounter—with a Christianity that is urban, American, un-institutionalized, and now. If you truly like your own Christian walk just the way it is, you definitely should not read this book.” —Phyllis Tickle, religion analyst and compiler, The Divine Hours “Scandrette guides us down a winding, beautiful path through an urban park of whole-life Jesus-y spirituality. It’s a story-weaver's bountiful spread - filled with chocolate and wine and artisan bread—of the present Kingdom of God. See that the Lord is good, indeed.” —Mark Oestreicher, president, Youth Specialties “Soul Graffiti chronicles Mark Scandrette's brave exploration into an intentional, lived Christianity. In a world numb to religion, inhabiting the way of love may be the only apologetic left.” —Sally Morgenthaler, “In Soul Graffiti, Mark Scandrette strips away the religious traditions that cloud our view of Jesus and gives us the courage to investigate the transformational message. If the challenge for churches and for individual followers of Christ is to live out the gospel, this is the help we need.” —Nancy Ortberg, Founding Partner, Teamworx2 “Soul Graffiti is creative, inspiring and challenging in equal measure. Mark has a wonderful way with language weaving together stories, metaphors, and insights that combine into a poetic call to take seriously the radical nature of Christ’s life and teaching and live it out in our own communities.” —Jonny Baker, Church Mission Society, London, UK Mark ScandretteMark Scandrette is the executive director and cofounder of ReIMAGINE, and a founding member of SEVEN. With extensive experience providing leadership in churches and community based organizations, Mark has a B.S. in Applied Psychology, studied theology at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN and has been a minister, writer and spiritual teacher for 15 years. Mark is the author of SOUL GRAFFITI: Making a Life in the Way of Jesus (Jossey-Bass Wiley 2007) and contributor to several other books including: AN EMERGENT MANIFESTO OF HOPE (Baker 2007) THE RELEVANT CHURCH: A Vision for Communities of Faith (Relevant Media 2004), and COMMUNITY OF KINDNESS (Regal 2003). Mark is also a senior fellow with Emergent Village, a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders. He lectures frequently with the U.S. Center for World Missions, leads retreats and workshops and provides life coaching and spiritual direction. He is married to Lisa Scandrette, the educator and textile artist. They have three children and live in an old victorian in San Francisco's Mission District.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Justice and Poverty--3/19

The next cohort gathering will be on Monday March 19th and will focus on Justice and Poverty. Our guests will be Kathleen O'Toole and others from Bread for the World. Bread's slogan is "Seeking justice. Ending hunger" and they are a group of Christians who are lobbying to end hunger. We will hear about Bread's work as well as their upcoming event: Sowing Seeds, June 9-12 in Washington, DC. I hope to see you on March 19th as we gather to build friendships, further conversation, and hear more about ways we can be part of God's work of justice in our world. As usual we will gather at Bare Bones Grill from 7-9pm. Save the date: our April gathering will be on Tuesday April 10th. Tim

Monday, January 29, 2007

A conversation with Brian McLaren at Kittamaqundi Community Church

Check this out from our friends at KC. Hope you can make it. Tim Everything Must Change: Jesus, the Global Crises and the Revolution of Hope A Conversation with Brian McLaren Author of A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy and many other books. Named one of “America’s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals” by Time Magazine. Thursday, February 15th, 2007 7:00 pm At the Kittamaqundi Community Church 5410 Leaf Treader Way, Columbia, MD 21045 $25.00 per person ~ 5 tickets for $100 To order tickets, go to or . For more information, call the church at 410-730-4855. All proceeds will benefit KC’s delegation to the Amahoro Africa Gathering in Kampala, Uganda, May 2007:

Heather's article for 2/8

Also thanks to the folks at Kittamaqundi Community Church, Heather Kirk-Davidoff's article is on-line. "Meeting Jesus at the Bar: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Evangelism," will be discussed (with Heather!) at our cohort gathering on 2/8 from 7-9pm at Bare Bones Grill, and will appear in the forthcoming book, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope. Follow the link on the church's homepage to "Heather's Emergent article" to find the pdf. Hope you can check it out before the cohort gathering.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Next Cohort Gathering--Thurs. February 8th

The next gathering of the Baltimore Emergent Village cohort will be on Thursday February 8th from 7-9pm at the Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City. I am excited to say that Heather Kirk-Davidoff will be presenting that evening on her chapter, "Meeting Jesus at the Bar: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Evangelism" from the forthcoming book An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones and published by Baker Books which releases in April 2007. We hope to make her chapter available on-line soon--check back to the blog for more details. UPDATE: Heather's article is available on the Kittamaqundi Community Church website. Look for the link on the homepage to "Heather's Emergent article". Check it out before the cohort. Heather is the pastor of Kittamaqundi Community Church in Columbia, MD, is a member of the Board of Directors for Emergent Village is a wife to Dan, and the mother of 3 kids. It should be a great night of discussion about what "evangelism" is, isn't, and can be. I hope you can join us. Tim

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December gathering--Wed. 12/13

The Baltimore Emergent Village cohort will next gather on Wednesday 12/13 at Bare Bones Grill from 7-9pm for an evening of discussion. After our busy Fall with Tony Jones, John Franke, and Pete Rollins, we'll take some time to catch our breath, ask one another what we thought about these presentation and look ahead to the Spring. Come share what these speakers caused you to think about or to learn what is on the minds of others. Hope to see you. Tim

Friday, November 17, 2006

Monday with Pete Rollins--11/20

This Monday we are honored to have Pete Rollins with us at the cohort at Bare Bones Grill from 7-9pm. Pete's is part of the Ikon community in Belfast, Ireland, is the author of the recent book How (Not) to Speak of God, and blogs here. It should be a time of stimulating conversation about Ikon--which is: "Thoughts, writings and spiritual explorations of a group of individuals on the edge of, or completely outside, the traditional church". and his book. Hope to see you there, Tim

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jim Wallis in Baltimore--Tomorrow 10/19

Tomorrow, Oct. 19, 2006 at 6:30pm, Jim Wallis of Sojourners/Call to Renewal with be in Baltimore at Enoch Pratt Free Library on 400 Cathedral Street 21201 speaking about his book God's Politics: Why the Right gets it wrong and the Left doesn't get it which presents a new vision for faith and politics in America. Some in the cohort suggested that this be posted for all to know about. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

John Franke--Wed. 10/18

After a great start to our cohort year with Tony Jones in September, we have the privilege of having John Franke with us in October. We'll gather at Bare Bones Grill in their back room (across from the bathrooms) on Wednesday October 18th from 7-9pm to be together and to hear from John. Here is John official bio. from the Biblical Seminary website: John R. Franke, DPhil Professor of Theology BA, Nyack College; MA, Biblical Theological Seminary; DPhil, University of Oxford Dr. Franke is particularly interested in engaging postmodern thought and culture from the perspective of Christian faith in order to explore the opportunities and challenges they present for the witness and ministry of the gospel. In addition to teaching at Biblical, he has lectured and taught on the relationships between theology, ministry, and postmodernity in the United States, Canada, England, and New Zealand and is actively involved in research and writing. In addition to publishing numerous articles and reviews, he is the coauthor of Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context and the author of The Character of Theology and Barth for Armchair Theologians. John serves on the coordinating group for Emergent US and is a representative of Emergent US to the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches, as well as chair of the Evangelical Theology and Postmodernity study group of the Evangelical Theological Society and chair of the Evangelical Theology Group of the American Academy of Religion. He enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, and following his favorite sports teams--the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Reds, and Arsenal Football Club (English Premiership). John lives in Hatfield, PA with his wife Debra and their son J.J. So while John is a talented academic and theologian, I have also heard him communicate complicated theology in straightforward manner. It should be a great evening. Don't forget to mark your calendars for our cohort gatherings in November (Monday the 20th with Pete Rollins) and December (Wednesday the 13th). Hope to see you soon, Tim

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tony Jones on Tuesday September 19th!!!

We've had a change in plans and Tony Jones -- the National Coordinator for Emergent Village -- will be with us for our cohort gathering on Tuesday September 19th, 7-9pm at Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City. Here's Tony's bio from the Emergent Village website: As the national coordinator of Emergent Village, Tony connects people within the network, helps to organize events and initiatives, and is responsible for things like maintaining this website. Tony is in the process of getting a Ph.D. in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Previously, he was the Minister to Youth & Young Adults at the Colonial Church of Edina in Minnesota, the church where he grew up. Educated at Dartmouth College and Fuller Seminary, Tony is the author of Postmodern Youth Ministry (YS/Zondervan, 2001), Soul Shaper (YS/Zondervan, 2003), Read, Think, Pray, Live (NavPress, 2003) Pray (NavPress, 2003), The Sacred Way (Zondervan, 2005), and the editor of several books. Tony serves on several boards, and he is a regular columnist in The Journal of Student Ministries. Tony lives in Minnesota with his wife, Julie, and their three young children. He also blogs at Theoblogy. So come and ask Tony everything you have ever wanted to know about Emergent should be a great time!!! See you then, Tim P.S. -- If anyone can give Tony a ride to downtown DC (or to Dulles airport) after the cohort on Tuesday 9/19. Please email me. UPDATE: We found Tony a ride. Thanks, Ben.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Fall Schedule & new Emergent Village website!

Hope everyone is having a good summer in the heat! Emergent Village has just launched a new website at When you go there to check it out, sign-up to subscribe to the Emergent/C e-newsletter which is sent out each Thursday. It is a great way to keep up-to-date with all things related to Emergent Village. Yes, Emergent has changed its name (slightly) to Emergent Village to differentiate itself as an organization in the midst of the wider Emerging Church discussions. We have a good plan for the Fall with our Emergent Cohort in Baltimore! We'll have special guest presenters/participants in September, October, and November, who should be fantastic. We will gather from 7-9pm in the back room at the Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City. So add these dates to your calendar and we'll see you then... Tuesday September 19th -- Tim Keel Tim pastor of Jacob's Well in Kansas City and a member of the board of directors of Emergent Village. He is passionate about creating spaces for people to connect to God, themselves and others. Tim was part of the early days of Emergent and helped get everything started. Wednesday October 18th -- John Franke John is a professor of Theology at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, PA and is particularly interested in engaging postmodern thought and culture from the perspective of Christian faith in order to explore the opportunities and challenges they present for the witness and ministry of the gospel. He is the coauthor (with the late Stan Grenz) of Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context and the author of The Character of Theology and Barth for Armchair Theologians. He also wrote the forward to Brian McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy. Monday November 20th -- Peter Rollins Pete has recently published a book entitled How (Not) To Speak of God (Amazon link here). Brian McLaren is "a raving fan" of this book has described it as the result one who has mined postmodern philosophy and come back with something worthwhile. Pete has a BA in Scholastic philosophy, an MA in political theory and criticism, and a Ph.D. in postmodern theory. He is the founder of the Ikon community in Northern Ireland (a group which describes itself as iconic, apocalyptic, heretical, emerging and failing) and a working philosopher who believes that the emerging church presents a singular, unprecedented opportunity to transform the theological architecture of the Christian community. You can read his blog here. Wednesday December 13th a time of discussion and conversation to regroup from the Fall and plan for the Spring Hopefully the mix of days of the week with be a help, not a hindrance, allowing as many people to participate as possible. Also, don't forget the upcoming conference, The Story We Find Ourselves In, September 18-21 at Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, MD. For more info. Looking forward to seeing you this Fall, Tim

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Have a great summer!! & possible BBQ

We won't be (formally) gathering during the months of June, July, or August. We'll see you in September. If you are interested in a cohort summer BBQ, contact Jason. It'll be a good time to gather together and bring families--probably on a Saturday afternoon. If you have questions about the cohort, e-mail Until fall, Tim

The Story We Find Ourselves In--conference

In September, mark your calendars for The Story We Find Ourselves In conference, September 18-21 at Cedar Ridge Community Church. It looks to be a great event and is co-sponsored by Emergent, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Cedar Ridge. Here's a brief description: An institute on Christian heritage for mainline and emergent churches co-sponsored by Wesley Theological Seminary, Cedar Ridge, and Emergent. The institute will be hosted by Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, MD September 18 - 21, 2006. Tuesday evening will feature a 19th century style camp meeting in a historic outdoor Tabernacle on the grounds of Peach Orchard Christian Retreat and Campground located across the street from Cedar Ridge. Speakers will include Brian McLaren, Estrelda Alexander, Tim Keel, Donald W. Dayton, John Franke, and Scott Kisker. To register go here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Last cohort until September--Wednesday 5/24

Come next week to the last (formal--as if we are ever that formal!) gathering of the Baltimore Emergent cohort before the summer. We will have a variety of discussion topics inculding inovative approaches to worship, great books to read over the summer, thoughts on the DaVinci code, and more. Bring your own thoughts, ideas, and questions to contribute. We will also look ahead to how we ant to shape our plans for the fall (when and where to meet, who to invite to present to us, etc.) As usual we will meet from 7-9pm in the back room at the Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City. All are invited. Hope to see you next Wednesday, Tim

Monday, April 17, 2006

April 26th & Upcoming Gathering--May 24th

Next Wednesday April 26th is our next cohort gathering. At Bare Bones Grill at 7pm come to gather and discuss with others who are seeking to live in the way of Jesus. Bring you own ideas, thoughts, and questions about Emergent. In addition, we will discuss the book The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman and its implications for ministry and theology today. Having read the book is recommended, but certainly not required. Look for a description here. Our next gathering will be at Bare Bones Grill on: May 24th See you soon.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cohort starting in DC

On April 27th, a new Emergent cohort will be starting in Washington, DC. For more information, contact Jason Mack. Let's help them get a great start!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March 22nd--Justice: Global Poverty

On March 22nd at 7pm at Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City, our cohort will gather to consider issues of Justice. Specifically, global poverty and how we, and the faith communities we participate in, can be active in the fight against global poverty. We will discuss the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), the Micah Challenge, The ONE campaign, Bread for the World, and others. Bring your comments, questions, and ideas. See you then, Tim

Monday, February 20, 2006

Next Gathering--WEDNESDAY (2/22)

Happy President's Day to all--working or with a day off! Our next gathering of the Baltimore Emergent Cohort will take place on this WEDNESDAY, 2/22, at 7pm at the usual spot: Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City. Our discussion will focus on processing what we heard from Brian McLaren last month (particularly his point on the negative connoation of the word Christian as a "brand" and his question of what we would what the connotation of "Christian" to be 50 years from now) as well as further discuss of Brian's article "Church Emerging" and his understanding of the 'Kingdom of God.' So bring you thoughts, comments, and questions. If you missed last month, don't worry we'll bring you up-to-speed and are eager to hear your input. Also, we'll hear from some folks who attended the Emergent Theological Conversation with Miroslav Volf at Yale as well. Looks to be a great night. Hope to see you there. Tim

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Great night with Brian McLaren

Last night about 40 people gather to talk with Brian about Emergent, his upcoming book on the Kingdom of God, his international travels, and a variety of other topics. Feel free to comment below about what you heard. Next Gathering is Feb. 22nd at the Bare Bones Grill, 7pm.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Watching the State of the Union???

A number of churches are hosting opportunities for people to gather to watch the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday (1/31). They are being called "The State of Our Values" and are being coordinated by Sojourners. For more info. on an event in your area or to host an event, visit One church in the Baltimore-area that is hosting a Watch is Kittamaqundi Community Church in Columbia (5410 Leaf Treader Way). The pastor there is Heather Kirk-Davidoff who has been active in Emergent. Check it out! (and see you on Monday, of course, for our discussion with Brian McLaren)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Gatherings--February through June

We have secured the back room at the Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City for the 4th Wednesday of the month for the months February through June. So at 7pm on the dates below, the Baltimore Emergent cohort will gather at Bare Bones. Mark your calendars! February 22nd March 22nd April 26th May 24th June 28th Of course, we could choose to change locations or to rotate locations. At least we have these dates reserved . . .

Thursday, January 12, 2006

January 30th--with Brian McLaren

We are going to meet on a Monday this month in order to accomodate Brian's international travel schedule. So January 30th at 7pm at Bare Bones Grill is our next gathering. Spread the word and invite others who are interested to join us for conversation with Brian McLaren. Reading Brian's draft article "Church Emerging" ahead of time would be good preparation for Brian's current thinking. For a copy of the article, send an e-mail to Head back through the bar towards the bathrooms. Across from the bathrooms there is a door on the right. Inside will be the Baltimore Emergent Cohort. See you then, Tim

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Of possible interest

Cohort participant, Rick Laribee, offering a seminar on Emergent for Episcopal groups which he is presenting next Saturday at St. Mark's in Highland (near Columbia) where he is the rector. Here's the info.: “Emerging Church” Seminar Taking a Peek: Looking into the Emerging, Postmodern church from the perspective of the Established, Modern church Saturday, January 14 9:30 AM – 2 PM Presenter: The Rev. Dr. Richard Laribee Lunch: $5, RSVP to Kathy 301-490-5078 or email Also, our January gathering will take place on either January 18th or 30th. I'm waiting for confirmation. . .

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Great gathering last night (without Brian)

We had a great time of conversation together last night. Brian McLaren was part of the Sojourners protest in DC (see the Washington Post) and was unable to join us. We are working to find another time for him to come join us. In January, we will be discussing Brian's article, "Church Emerging." For a copy of the article e-mail: One suggestion last night was to post a report on the previous gathering so that discussion could happen in the comments. Here's the report, so comment away...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Brian McLaren coming on Wednesday

Who would have thought that Brian McLaren would be found in the back room of the Bare Bones Grill on a Wednesday night in December? Well, it's true. Come join us at 7pm on this Wednesday night (12/14) for conversation with Brian. Head back through the bar towards the bathrooms. Across from the bathrooms there is a door on the right. Inside will be the Baltimore Emergent Cohort. See you then, Tim

Friday, November 25, 2005

November 30th at Bare Bones Grill

For our gathering on November 30th at Bare Bones Grill at 7pm, we will discuss the writings of Brian McLaren. Please bring any books of Brian's that you have as well as any questions/reflections that you would like to discuss. See you then, Tim

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Emergent in the News

In today's Carroll County Times, there is a front-page article on Emergent. There is also a long article on The Journey in Eldersburg. It's worth checking out the links. The Cohort and its web address were even mentioned in the print edition. If you want more info. after reading through our blog, contact Tim at:

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Benefit Concert for Habitat

On Saturday night November 19th at 8pm, the ministry that my wife and I lead is hosting a benefit concert to support the work of Habitat for Humanity in Baltimore and in Hurricane Relief. Two musicians will be performing. The main act is Christopher Williams who has been a friend for years and has a folk/rock style. Christopher opened for Jars of Clay this Spring and played with them at Live 8 in Philadelphia this summer. The opening act is The Cobalt Season featuring Ryan Sharp. We met Ryan and his wife Holly through Emergent and are excited that they will be in the area on their cross-country trip. The concert will take place at the Luigi Petti Restaurant on the 2nd floor. There is no cover charge, but donations to Habitat are suggested. I hope you can make it!!

McLaren's work and then McLaren himself

For our gathering on November 30th at Bare Bones Grill at 7pm, we will discuss the writings of Brian McLaren. Brian is one of the founders of Emergent and currently serves as the President of Emergent's board. Come with your thoughts, ideas, reflections, and comments about Brian's books. If you haven't read any, I'd recommend A New Kind of Christian and the 2 other books in that triology as well as A Generous Orthodoxy and More Ready Than You Realize. For more info. on Brian, check our his website and this interview with the Dallas Morning News. On December 14th, Brian will join us for discussion. Again at the Bare Bones Grill at 7pm. All are welcome on both nights.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

McLaren coming on December 14th

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone on October 26th (see post), but wanted to let you know that Brian McLaren will be coimg to our cohort at the Bare Bones Grill on Wednesday December 14th at 7pm. It will be a great time to be with Brian, learn more about Emergent, and to have some discussion around our questions. See you soon, Tim

Thursday, October 06, 2005

October gathering

We will gather on October 26th at 7pm at Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City. We meet in the back room (which is past the bar), reserved under the name: Baltimore Emergent Cohort. Please RSVP below to make sure we can meet the minimum gratuity. See you then! Special thanks to Rick for hosting the cohort in his home last month!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

September, October, November, and December

It has been great to see the response and participation in our Baltimore Emergent Cohort. I have been able to identify gathering dates for the rest of 2005. Wednesdays September 28, October 26, November 30, and December 14. The Bare Bones Grill in Ellicott City is booked for next week but we have it reserved for the future dates. So for next week we will gather at the home of Rick Laribee, 11646 Sun CIrcle Way, Columbia MD 21044 at 7pm. Since we won't be meeting at a restaurant, plan to eat elsewhere and you may want to bring a beverage to share. Looking forward to seeing you, Tim