Church of the Saviour
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  Sunday, April 13, 2003

Profile of Douglas Tanner

This is from an interesting story about a politician:

Along with ministerial assignments Tanner â018became acquainted with the Church of the Saviour in Washington DCâ019. He enrolled in its Servant Leadership School and came under the influence of the World War II chaplain, Gordon Cosby, who founded the church and its internationally acclaimed outreach ministry to the poor. The church is also known for its rich variety of programmes to help Christians apply their faith more effectively. Tanner was struck by its mission and began thinking, with others, about how to strengthen the links between faith and politics. One friend he consulted was Robin Britt, a Democratic lawyer who shared his convictions. Read whole article

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5:27:46 PM    

re:generation online

From reGeneration Online

Essential to the Church of the Saviour's mission group model is the sometimes-lengthy process of discerning a corporate "call," something that God is clearly drawing that particular group to do together in mission. At Rockridge, one small group within the church began to explore the problem, familiar to many urban churches, of how to maintain a truly indigenous and creative presence within the church's neighborhood. In 1996, their search led these eleven members to covenant together to create one of the first Christian cohousing communities in the nation.

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4:51:36 PM    

Jubilee Support Alliance

The following is from the home page of the Alliance (click the above link)

The following groups are financially independent, separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations created out of The Church of the Saviour to bring a community-based support system to the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Jubilee Housing was founded in 1973 with the mission to provide decent and affordable private housing for low-income people and access to services helping residents lead more independent lives. Jubilee Housing rents apartments at rates far below the market so those most in need can afford to live there. Residents are encouraged to participate in decision-making, management and improvement of their buildings. Jubilee Housing serves as a demonstration model for communities across the nation.

Christ House, a medical recovery facility for homeless men, provides the healing combination of around-the-clock medical care, a dining room that provides three meals a day and a caring community of physicians and nurses.

Columbia Road Health Services is a community-based health center. CRHS provides quality, affordable health care to many of the District's most vulnerable residents - the homeless, refugees, working poor families and the elderly - on a sliding fee scale based on income.

The Family Place offers prenatal and parent education courses, individual and family counseling, a nutrition program, HIV services, and special support for adolescent mothers and handicapped children to more than 300 new families a year.

Good Shepherd Ministries offers several programs to serve the at-risk children of Adams Morgan. A variety of programs are offered for children - from toddlers through high school - including summer activities and special camps. An emphasis is placed on college admission and vocational counseling.

Samaritan Inns provides formerly homeless men and women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction with the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Transitional Inns and longer-term single room occupancy housing bridge the gap between homelessness and independent living.

Jubilee Jobs was the idea of Jubilee Housing residents during the recession in 1981. This employment agency assists the unskilled or semi-skilled in locating appropriate marketplace jobs. Jubilee Jobs places over 600 inner city residents annually.

Sarah's Circle is an inter-generational residential community that empowers elderly persons of limited means to live with dignity in a safe and supportive environment. Sarah's Circle contains 34 apartments and a senior center that serves residents and neighborhood seniors.

In addition to these organizations, the following organization has taken the mission of Jubilee Housing and created an organization to serve another DC community:

Jubilee Enterprise of Greater Washington was founded in 1990 and was originally based on the model provided by Jubilee Housing. Working with the assistance of the federal, state and local governments, banking and corporate partners, Jubilee Enterprise provides housing to low-income families in Southeast Washington.

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4:48:14 PM    

Welcome to Miriam's House

COS also birthed:

Miriam's House is a residence for homeless women living with AIDS, including some who have children. It is a community in which compassionate attention is given to the housing, medical, personal and spiritual needs of its residents. The Miriam's House program offers comprehensive services and support for recovery and sobriety. These services support two programs; a transitional program for women who recover health and move on to independent living, and a hospice-like program for women who are living their last days.

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4:41:48 PM    

The Other Side -- The Limits of Charity by David Hilfiker

Opening of the article from The Other Side:

THE WORDS OF THE PROPHET MICAH ARE FAMILIAR: What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (8:6) But what if our love of mercy chokes out our ability to act justly? Since 1983, I have worked as a doctor with poor people in the inner city of Washington, D.C. I began at Community of Hope Health Services, a small church-sponsored clinic, and at Christ House, a thirty-four-bed medical recovery shelter for homeless men. In 1990, I founded Joseph's House, a ten-bed community for homeless men with AIDS where I work now. I intend to continue working there. But I've been having misgivings. I have begun to see some "side effects" to the kind of work I do, and they concern the important difference between justice and charity. Justice has to do with fairness, with what people deserve. It results from social structures that guarantee moral rights. Charity has to do with benevolence or generosity. It results from people's good will and can be withdrawn whenever they choose. To put the question most bluntly: Do our works of charity impede the realization of justice in our society?

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4:37:43 PM    

From Wild Hope- a blogspot blog
We desperately need new structures. The home church may provide an answer but meeting in houses is no solution if the only thing we’re interested is meeting informally. Being a church that is indeed transformational will not be the easier road to travel. Internet community is fine but it simply isn’t incarnational living but we can use it to encourage one another in our walk. This is a call for people to consider leaving institutional “church” for small groups (no more than 15 to 20 adults and as small as two or three gathered in His name) of people who are committed to a different agenda. Let us network together for encouragement as we seek the inward journey of getting to know Christ and the joy that is found in him. Let the agenda be the one anothers. In new and fresh ways let us remember the orphan, the widow, the single mom or dad, the hungry, the thirsty, the poor. Let us be living stones who are connected to the chief cornerstone Jesus. Drop me a line and let me know about your journey
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4:34:21 PM    

The Family Place
The Family Place is a community drop-in center that provides hospitality, resources, and support services to expectant parents and families with young children
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4:29:27 PM    

Christ House - Stories
Doing one of my periodic searches for "Church of the Saviour" and "Washington",  I ran across this site for Christ House
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4:27:35 PM    

  Thursday, April 03, 2003

How to get there?
I'm hoping for some movement in some possibilities Virginia way,  and for an opportune time to explore some development work with another group (I am so keen on these possibilities I don't even want to name them so that I am not publicizing any kind of complaint about how slow the process has been.....everybody is in financial straits,  and other projects are happening).  But if some of these can get to the "talk and plan" stage,  in terms of specifics and funding and what I could bring to the table, then the contacts with Church of the Saviour might be able to happen while I'm there.  I keep remembering how mision groups come into being in the COS community:  A call is sounded by two or more,  and others join the group if it sounds like good news to them.  I've been "tinkering" with this for about 10 years now,  and it gathers supporting resources and technologies like a rolling , dust gathering ....THING. 
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2:39:29 PM    

Is another COS pilgrimage beckoning?
I have mentioned on a couple of posts,  somewhere in the past month,  that I am wondering if I should start some serious thinking about how to fashion a budget-conscious road trip to the D.C. Area,  in order to visit and hopefully carry on some serious dialogue about some Web Community Ministry types of ideas that I think have met the most basic criteria of an idea "Whose time has come".  The Church of the Saviour is the main attraction.  I have this category here,  as testimony to a now 27-year journey through the various stories from their history and ministries.  They have kept on,  throughout their 56 year existence,  expanding into any and all areas of life as a mission ;  a mission to extend missions, to discern needs and go after them,  with people and vision culled from their life together.   Maybe I have been one that has been planted and growing for years,  awaiting articulation and form.  From the first readings of Call To Commitment and Journey Inward, Journey Outward,  to the beginnings of the Internet and my initial descriptions of such things as "A Compuserve for the Church" (just prior to the coming of the Web to the non-tech audience in 1991-92),  and now on the backside of a 5 and a half year stint as web Developer at a denominational Publishing House,  the really down, bleak-looking  job market has me wondering if I'm going to make a dent in this mission/calling of mine if I don't do something risky. 
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2:28:17 PM    

  Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Excerpt from Call to Commitment on Church Membership
A section of Call to Commimtent's chapter on "The Integrity of Church Membership"
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6:00:48 PM    

Heretofore Unseen and Unanticpated places

I opened my recently acquired paperback copy of Call to Commitment,  by Elizabeth O'Connor,  which tells the first published story of the first decade and a half of The Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C.  It opens with the following affirmation about the nature of the Church:

The brownstone house in Washington, D. C. that has looked on so much of our life together has a small brass plaque to the left of its door. It reads:


Strangers read it and ask if we have other churches in other cities or if we plan to start a new denomination. To those of us who worship here on a Sunday morning, the sign is a reminder that we are also the church during all the hours of the week-in the neighborhoods where we live, in our homes, in offices and factories-for "the place whereon you stand is holy ground." We did not know on the day that sign went up what forms the church would take, but we did know that it would exist not only in a building.

I immediately realized how timely these words,  which I first read in the summer of 1976,  are for me today,  26 and a half years later.   To say: we are also the church during all the hours of the week-in the neighborhoods where we live, in our homes, in offices and factories-for "the place whereon you stand is holy ground"  is also to pronounce a blessing upon the possibilities for the "electronically connected Church".  Not that I am pronouncing it as a spiritual panacea,  or a "specially" holy place,  but as an EXTENSION of holy ground.....where pieces of our being can gather.....and where the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.   The "Smart Mobs" idea in a theological community allows for the envisioning and embodying of "being the Church in our homes, offcies,  and factories/workplaces" in additional ,  heretofore unseen and unanticpated places.


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5:01:00 PM    

  Wednesday, December 11, 2002


"Rediscovering Essence: What I Learned from the Church of the Savior in Washington D.C. Mike Bishop, editor"

From the article:

COS takes calling very seriously.  One of their deep values is to be committed to the process of call.  I say process, because we can never fully rest in one particular calling.  God is always speaking to us, beckoning us to hear his voice and do what he says.  What COS has ingrained into their corporate identity is a long-lasting patience with God's timing.  God's ways take time, and you don't always see results in the ways you would expect.  A calling never ends up looking like what you thought.  In my short journey with the call to be a church planter, I can whole-heartedly relate!

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8:46:54 PM    

  Saturday, December 07, 2002

I have strung together some articles around the
Church of the Saviour Web theme

Telling the Story of a Church on the web 
Beyond BrochureWare for Churches 
A Place of Connectivity 

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12:27:00 PM    

A Web that Connects

Church of the Saviour Web is a piece I am writing which begins to explore the many pieces of an effective, engaging, and energizing Church Web which communicates how closely integrated Church can be with ALL OF LIFE. An "always on" connection to the "buzz" and to the energy of the spirit which seems to permeate the atmosphere in a place where people are about doing the work which fulfills them.

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9:32:00 AM    

Details about an article
"A RADICAL EXPERIMENT IN WASHINGTON Peter Rentier visited the Church of the Saviour in Washington and found a church that wasn't afraid to take a risk. Ahead of their time, they have built a radically different kind of small church committed to its community."
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12:29:14 AM    

  Tuesday, December 03, 2002

From By Grace Transformed: Reducing Fear

After my job ended Nov. 21,  I once again picked up the book of sermons by Gordon Cosby.  I was entering a fearful time (and I'm still there).  Chapter 15 was where my bookmark sat,  and the Chapter is entitled "Reducing Fear",  followed by "Detachment",  "Deepening Connections".  Those three chapters helped me at just the right time.  Nothing is solved yet with my job situation,  but "Reducing Fear" was mostly about seeking what God calls me to,  and realizing in that experience the fulfillment of doing what I most want to do in my inner being.

Time and time again,  fear of unfulfilled work;  that my vision for Web and Church would be put on perennial hold; this kept me asking myself if this was worth sticking out.  In the end,  instead of finding something else and leaving,  I stayed and kept busy,  and didn't have the urgency about me to seek other open doors,  and it ended up driving my frustration way too deep.  I kept jabbing with biting comments. 

I needed "detachment" ---- to keep in touch with what was real (the thing God was calling me to) and do what I was doing there without the kind of rebellious feelings I had and "do the job" while hoping and dreaming and envisioning ways to fulfill my call.  If I perceived the job to be out of my hands and moving along without the kind of direction I felt it needed,  then that was the amount of "detachment" I needed ---- dis-engage there,  and "Deepen Connections" to the actual real things:  the vision that kept calling me ,  toward which I was going to have to find other ways to move.

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11:08:30 AM    

  Monday, December 02, 2002

Weblogs, COS Style

The Church of the Saviour's model has stuck with me.  I can't shake it.  I don't hink I'm supposed to.  They have an intentional structure desiogned to INSURE that people cannot be merely observers,  or quiet devotion-seekers who lap up spiritual nuggets ,  do their "duty" to God,  and then proceed back into the "other life" which is their "real world". 

Gordon Cosby would tell them that the Church is about opening up the REALLY REAL world and confront the false worlds that most of us consider at most times to be the REAL WORLD.  So what keeps us coming back and continuing to search for the "Blessed Community"; the "Comapny of the Committed"?  It's the notion that the real world has receded into a place where we have to seek and pay attention and step outside our "apparent reality" and look at both sides -- so that we can truly be "IN the world but not OF it".  A big piece of this alternate,  but really ACTUAL Reality is the alternative community life of the followers of Christ.  It is where we enter the space where TO BE KNOWN is the operating principle.  Our journeys are not unknown.  We do not struggle in this life alone.  We are called to not only a mission but to a community from which we draw encouragement and direction for the mission.

I came to these envisionings via Books about the Church of the Saviour,  along with a small group of other curious seekers,  and we mulled this over.  Something keeps linking this vision to this whole Weblog phenomenon.....I set up a Category for COS,  added some articles,  and have left it untouched for about 3 months,  but always wondering about how fellow seekers after accountable discipleship of the COS variety might find one another and draw some kind of personal and spiritual sustenance (sp?) from (the interlinking of and subscribing to) Weblogs.

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11:15:32 AM    

  Friday, September 06, 2002

All Are Connected

A relevant passage (for the previous blog) from the book I am reading "By Grace Transformed" by Gordon Cosby

We sense and feel keenly about the whole because we know that everything is interconnected. Any gift we have is seen as a gift to enhance the total family of humanity. We are here to move the totality toward the Shalom, the completion, the fulfillment, the coming into her or his own of every person who is living and has ever lived, and every person who will ever be born into the future. 

 In reality, we are not separate individuals, as we often feel ourselves to be. We are meshed, we are intertwined, we flow into and out of one another and all others. There is no way to fix the boundaries. The Christ who flows into us is simultaneously flowing into the billions of the world's people. Where do we end and they begin? Millions of cells in the human body make up the body's totality. All are working harmoniously on behalf of the whole, unless some of the cells become sick or cancerous. Each of us is part of God's total people, and we cannot separate ourselves from the totality. 

 Until awareness of this universal belonging dawns upon us we are a hindrance to the human family. It is a great day when the boundaries drop. We are part of others, and they are a part of us. We are constantly flowing into them. We cannot protect ourselves from their sickness and pain and brokenness. Nor can others protect themselves from ours. All become united. The common life of humanity is not an ideal, not something that would be just wonderful if we could but realize it. The universal quality of life happens to be a reality, and we utterly defeat ourselves when we violate that premise. We can live in the illusion of separateness, but it is an illusion. 

(p.26 Chapter 3: Servant Leadership -- presented in 1989 at the opening of the Festival Center)

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9:00:22 PM    

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