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!