Monday, July 21


gospel courage to support new things!

below is an incredible gospel word about the church and god's new things, from the archbishop of canterbury, rowan williams. (go bishop, go bishop!)

i saw this posted first on jonny baker's blog. when i read it, i got a huge jolt of hope... because if the world's big kahuna anglican bishop can say this, then maybe our u.s. episcopal church can get stoked, and begin providing support and help to little missions like apostles (lonely, with no program funding, but on the edge, where 'there is no box' to be outside of, as we explore new forms and ways to be church in our emerging postmodern culture).

from the archbishop:

"In all kinds of places, the parochial system is working remarkably. It's just that we are increasingly aware of the contexts where it simply isn't capable of making an impact, where something has to grow out of it or alongside it, not as a rival (why do we cast so much of our Christian life in terms of competition?) but as an attempt to answer questions that the parish system was never meant to answer....

At present, we stand at a watershed in the life of the Church of England - not primarily because of the controversies that have been racking us, but because we have to ask whether we are capable of moving towards a more 'mixed economy' - recognising church where it appears and having the willingness and the skill to work with it. Mission, it's been said, is finding out what God is doing and joining in. And at present there is actually an extraordinary amount going on in terms of the creation of new styles of church life. We can call it church planting, 'new ways of being church' or various other things; but the point is that more and more patterns of worship and shared life are appearing on the edge of our mainstream life that cry out for our support, understanding and nurture if they are not to get isolated and unaccountable..

These may vary from the classic church plant model - a new congregation generated by an older one - to the Thursday night meeting for young people once a fortnight, the Sunday evening Songs of Praise in the pub, the irregular but persistent networking with the people you met at Greenbelt or Spring Harvest, the mums and toddlers event on Tuesday morning or the big school Eucharist once a term which is the only contact many parents and friends will have with real worshipping life. All of these are church in the sense that they are what happens when the invitation of Jesus is received and people recognise it in each other....

Can we live with this and make it work? This is where the unexpected growth happens, where the unlikely contacts are often made; where the Church is renewed (as it so often is) from the edges, not the centre. We need a positive willingness to see and understand all this - and to find the patterns and rhythms and means of communication that will let everyone share the benefits.

for the full text go go here

posted by COTA | 3:38 PM|

Saturday, July 19


on how life is (for a mouse with a flashlight)

from: Justin Baeder"

Subject: How are things going?
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003

I noticed from your blog that things have been a bit overwhelming with the church in recent months. Hang in there. Let us know how it's going when you get a chance to blog. If you want to get together to chat or brainstorm or anything, let me know. I hope everything is going well at COTA.

In Christ,


hi justin,

how are things going with you guys?
what's new?

things are hard fundraising for me, as i feel called to outreach, and not just 'stumping, ' but the cota people are excited... so i just feel a burden to secure some basic resources so our vision for outreach can move forward.

i have not blogged lately, as when my denominations get on my case, i get tired of battling, lose energy, and blogging halts.

i hate this! and i hate having to wrestle with my tribes, and for certain parts of 'the family' being a recurrent drag on our life and mission.

i still hope for enough of them to begin to see what we see or just to trust our vision enough to divert a small slice of their still significant resources towards new things, so we have what we need to do what we feel called to do in seattle, but they don't know how... so we have to teach them. (if they are open to being taught by excited 20 somethings). i am open to this, so they need to learn this as well.

this past month, the 'support' i've gotten from one side of the family has made me think of bolting altogether... but then a blessing of hope i got from the other side, is keeping me going...

bishop warner (episcopal diocese of olympia) said 'karen, you are our future, and we're counting on you.'

what he means is, the church is trying to look towards it's younger people to help be 'agents of future' within our aging tribe, so they (young leaders) with fresh legs, can take the batton, and run the race within god's kingdom here, and they (tribes) are SLOWLY learning to clear the backfield and cheer some of the young apostles on.

two of our young apostles, ryan and lacey (both under 25), are in europe (london, taize, iona) with a seattle pacific university mission trip team.

they write me from europe, like a 'church mom', asking if we have a laptop for them to use when they get back so they can get to work for apostles... and me knowing we don't have money for their laptop, a printer, and other basic equipment and components we still need to help us do our vision for outreach, the biggest of which is RENT funds for a venue for the 2004 phase ouf our life.

in my book, every christian generation has the priviledge and opportunity of passing on the heritage to the very next generation behind them, and also the responsibility and calling, to clear the way and allow them to take the lead position in the race.

apostles has many xers like me, but apostles is not just about us, as we have the honor of 'passing the treasure on.' so we (over age 30 apostles), see it as our role to do what it takes to share our wisdom, provide mentoring and then give our young (millennial generation) leaders the ball... and this is very hard to do when many boom gen leaders (now in charge in the denominatons and leading the large/modern churches) have yet to pass on the ball and resources help to the xers!

we need help from those before us, so we can help those coming alongside and after us, and our time to do this is now.

cota's vision is so missional we need to be 'out there' in the public sphere, and the venue is key to our form of witness.

we will also focus more on house church development (as house groups are the other pillar of cota). cota's core = home groups (body life) + public presence/outreach (to the very center/ and leading edge of our seattle non-churched culture).

we are so into this, as we think this is what jesus did with the apostles;

small band(s) (apostles with jesus in body life/small community) PLUS deeply public witness (being on the streets and in the culture on behalf of the kingdom of god).

we are way stoked about the vision god has given us, but helping wake our sleeping church bodies to help us is not easy... but even here we feel called, as it says in scripture, 'awake sleeper arise from death and jesus will give you light'

well, cota is a mouse with a flashlight, trying to tickle and re-awaken a few snoozing elephants called the lutheran and episcopal churches, who still have deep and wonderful treasures to share.

cota folk will also get more involved with vision-casting in the fall, as we will send out small bands of apostles 'partridge family' like, to larger churches in the tribe, sharing our vision and asking for funding help so we can secure a temporary rental venue to hang out in, that is more suited to our postmodern form of body life and outreach.

our new website is up, and we are very busy reaching out for a 30 person mission church! visit us at

we are doing a 'lawn labyrinth' on saturday and some tunes 'on the porch' (to try and reach out to the people going in and out of the public zoo across the street from our current location).

drop by to anything, if you wanna, and get a chance... as you know, you guys are always welcome to hang out, and anything else more involved, as god moves you.

grace and peace,

posted by COTA | 8:15 AM|

Friday, July 11


i'm back, sorta... having had more death star, evil empire, tractor beam problems, AGAIN, so i really need to hook up.

gonna go to my first indie allies meeting on august 12th, and allow the force to re-energize me after another bout of modern matrix kung fu.

if you are a red pill person emerging out of a still modern church matrix, then you can also un-plug and meet up with others on your local nebuchadnezzar.

posted by COTA | 7:59 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
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 contact me
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