One of the great gifts in my life is my participation in a “network of friends” known as The Ekklesia Project.

Comprised of Christians from across the denominational spectrum–Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Anabaptists, house church Christians, and others–the EP “rejoices in a peculiar kind of friendship rooted in our common love of God and the Church.”

Each year we congregate in Chicago for the “Summer Gathering,” three days of worship, conversation, food, fellowship, lectures, and workshops. Did I mention food? Chicago-style pizza is an opening night tradition. At each Gathering, old friendships are renewed; new ones are formed. Indeed, to come together as the Ekklesia Project–at the Summer Gathering or online via the website–is to find and come to know friends you never knew you had.

Recent Gathering themes have focused on wealth and the economy of God; racism and the body of Christ; congregational formation; and “The Kingdom of God Is Like . . . ” Stimulating speakers–scholars, clergy, and lay people–offer powerful insights and challenge us, not only with their words but with their lives, to be more faithful practitioners of the way of Jesus.

The EP website hosts bLOGOS, a weblog dedicated to reflections on the lectionary, ecclesial practices, pastoral ministry, and church and culture. A group of bloggers from within the membership of EP and representing a range of confessions and professions contribute to this venture; I’m privileged to be one of them.

Plans are underway for next summer’s Gathering in July. Check out the website for updates in the coming months. Hope to see you there.