Sunday, July 28


"psalms" cd

my rating: (off the hook)
shane barnard's music, what can i say...
insightful, god directed, passionate.

pop cd.
light candle.
have church.

but first, nab the cd

posted by COTA | 9:01 AM|

Thursday, July 25


soularize in october

i'm gonna be on staff at soularize in october in minneapolis. hope some of you can make it also.

posted by COTA | 8:15 PM|


"the church comes home" and a note to mainline churches to open up to new possibilities

weeks ago, i posted a few links on home churching. i decided to do another post, because the organic church is foremost in my mind these days. at apostles, we are starting with a few home churches. i hope to have four or five going by fall, and then, we may start public worship (in a church building).

the home or organic church movement is part of the next wave. most mainline denominations are still unaware of it, as they are mostly tracking mega-churches. the church growth movement began before i was born. at first there was this guy rex humbard and his "cathedral of tomorrow," then there was the crystal cathedral, and then all the willow creek(s)...

there is nothing wrong with such churches. growing them seems to be a valuable model (especially in bursting suburban areas and among boomers). yet i see god doing something new (especially in urban areas and among xers) who may indeed become the "house church generation."

this is not anti big churches. the growth movement was started by boomers, and is native to what god was doing with renewal out of the 60's-80's. that movement is at it's crest now. if you buy the theory that the growth movement is mirroring the boomer lifecycle, then other movements (not anti, but different) will begin to rise as "native" postmodern planters (post 1960 born) start more churches. it would be very cool if boomers could open up to the fact that they are not the only adult generation in the church today. their "younger brothers," are seeking to share space in the father's house (and will decorate the place with a style quite their own).

a note to boomer denominational leaders: listen to postmoderns. if you want to really "reach" postmoderns for god, don't try to "reach" them! instead EMPOWER them and BACK THEM as they REACH THEIR OWN and re:form the church for their generations (just as visionary boomer leaders like rick warren and bill hybels did for their generation), which means, stop trying to "study" xers and instead learn to love them. give them space to do their own thing (even in your backyard). let go, and groove to some of the crazy start-up things that god is doing among them, then take a risk, and throw some of your denomination's resources and support behind them!

beginning in the nineties, postmonders began founding churches that felt natural to them. they tend to be smaller, and they often expand by what mark driscoll of mars hill, seattle, call "sideways" growth, where churches grow (especially in dense urban areas with sky high real estate costs) by multiplicity rather than mass. when they get to a certain size, they tend to spin off a new church, rather than seeking out arena sized structures to gather thousands under a single roof. i'm into it... it feels natural to me, like home...

"organic churches" will be attractive to many postmoderns (whom everyone says they want to reach). at apostles, we will have "small group" (home church) as the core and heart, with "all group" (public worship and larger community) as the outer ring. think of the cells as your "nuclear family household" and the all group gathering as the "family reunion." for worship at apostles, if we absolutely packed both our host buildings (read- big dream) we can worship eight hundred a weekend, but at two locations and on two different days, on purpose! never wanting more than four hundred folk together at one time.

don't be confused, the organic church is not about "small group ministry." "small group ministry" is a modern derived concept that fits into a highly structured and programed approach to doing church. the organic movement does the inverse, with no "programs" whatsoever, and with the small unit being primary and at the core.

to keep frosty with the organic church movement, i track "true type" house churches like "the church at matthew's house." i totally vibe with jason evans when he says:

"I was tired of the church, as I knew it.
It was an event, a building, a programā€¦
I wanted to be the church;
I wanted my 'un-churched' friends to be the church,
not become churched.
I wanted it to be something I lived,
rather than something I lived for.
I heard of crazy people that met together,
ate meals, shared their resources and studied the scriptures together...
in homes and coffee shops of all places!
It couldn't be that simple!
You were supposed to bring the sofas, the coffee
(and the candles if you're real serious), into the sanctuary,
but not use them in their common setting!
That was ludicrous!
It was two years ago that I thought that.
Now, I'm one of those crazy peopleā€¦"

from 'the church at matthew's house', june 02 edition of next-wave
visit the church at matthew's house

a hopeful word to the mainline churches!

depsite my occasional rants, i love the mainline churches. i want them to stop the downward spiral they are on and get out of the survival mode they are in. if you operate out of scarcity you are doomed. when you operate out of abundance (out of what god has already given to you) you will prosper.

"dear mainline churches, god has giften you with a lot! you have theology that is flexible and open, but when it comes to methodology, you are much more conservative than reverend falwell, mr. north and mr. hatch. :-( in the postmodern world, the ones with open and flexible methodology (and not just theology) will thrive. that is why our "new evangelical" friends (and i do mean friends) are more open to new movements and forms of being church, and they tend to back and support these new movements while they are birthing (not ten years after they have started). can't we do the same? we tend to spend our time feeling sorry for ourselves and saying "we have too many small churches." every faith community can be "a house that changes the world!" the problem with our churches has more to do with mindset and trajectory than size. if some of our typical three hundred member churches saw themselves as "organic missional communities," excited about what god is doing, reaching out with that good news and desiring to spin off cell churches like johnny appleseed gone ballistic, then our denominations might just "side-ways grow" themselves out of decline (especially in densely populated urban areas).

do some reading
robert and julia banks' the church comes home
wolfgang simson's the houses that changed the world

check out these sites
house to house
thirdday churches

now, le'ts get busy and rock the world...

posted by COTA | 8:21 AM|

Wednesday, July 24


cloud of witnesses, and roll of honor

this post is a personal thank you to a bunch of people without whose prayers and actions, the church of the apostles, seattle, might have remained an unfulfilled dream rather than becoming an emerging reality. these folk are a testimony to the birthing of the emerging church, a church whose fellowship transcends modernist oriented concepts of "denomination," whose vision sees beyond demographically driven decision making, and whose missional passion mutes tightly held notions of "confessional" purity (which get blown to smithereens under the gravitas of the cross and the economy of grace).

thank you:

ms. sally morgenthaler
dr. richard j. moux
pastor pam fickenscher
dr. nathan frambach
pastor todd zielinski
fr. shane hubner
mother beth maynard
dr. clayton schmit
pastor richard "dick" wendt
fr. jeffrey d. lee,
mr. carl knirk
bishop william chris boerger
bishop vincent w. warner.

posted by COTA | 8:04 AM|

Monday, July 1


sacred space in cyber-space

much is happening now with the church plant. i will post more later... i'm very busy (like most of you) and i'm always at my computer. sometimes, i even have to pray here. you can too... an easy way to carve out a little bit of sacred space while computing, is to click over to jesuit "sacred space prayer" online. it is very relaxing and focusing to do this prayer before a hard day of blogging and cyber-jockeying. try it... just follow the onscreen directions, click, mediate, click, mediate, chill... via sacred space prayer

posted by COTA | 9:13 AM|

 ::church planting :: culture surfing::


vintage faith
eln (lutheran network)
episcopal xers
a kingdom space
stuff to read
lutheran xers forum
northwest brews
emerald city search
geek nirvana

 church plant i.p.o.

my church plant (apostles, seattle) has little funds, but big dreams... we are seeking to raise $200,000 to launch a non-profit cafe/art gallery for god in seattle. we need both small and major donors. click below to make a tax deductible donation. if you are a major donor, please contact me off blog at:

 book club

i ain't oprah, but here we go...

digital storytellers by len wilson and jason moore: at last, a book to save the world from the "modernist use of powerpoint in worship hell." if you want to torpedo boring ppt. bulleted sermon points from a modernist pastor who thinks he or she is now hip because he or she is using technology, read this book! better yet, buy the book and send it to the modernist pastor and do his/her congregation a big favor. read digital storytellers

gen x religion, ed by richard w. flory & donald e. miller, provides an accurate "npr like" documentation of religion, as actually practiced by xers, and even reflects theologically on xer subsets (like the goths) and on the phenomenon of piercing among us.
and, unlike many other xer books (filled with clever quips by boomers about xers), this book was written by serious sociologists of religion (many of them xers) who actually researched and studied churches founded by and for xers. amazing and authentic...
read gen x religion

 blogging team
iggie online
alan creech
kevin rains
jonny baker
andrew careaga
punk monkey

 the gardner
i'm karen ward. i'm baptized.
i'm cascadian (from the pacific northwest of north america).
my house is in seattle.
i like my house.
you would too,
so drop by and visit sometime.
i'm postmodern (a 60's born xer).
i can be geeky
(but i'm NOT socially backward).
i webmeister emergingchurch
i'm helping with a new
lutheran network called eln
i'm digging dirt around a
nu church plant, called

 church of the month
landing place

 contact me
send e-mail

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