About Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries
To contact us:
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries
PO Box 328
Oak View, CA 93022
About our name:
In the story of the poor man Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), Mark’s gospel gives us an archetypal portrait of the journey from “blindness” to faith. (Relief sculpture at left by Charles McCollough).
We believe that followers of Jesus should stand for compassion and equity, and against all forms of oppression and violence. To do this we must face our personal and political blindness to the realities of human suffering, as well as to God’s horizons of justice.
We are a group of Christian believers committed to revisioning the relationship between the Word and our world, in order to help animate and build capacity for communities of discipleship and justice.
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (BCM) was founded in 1998 as an ecumenical experiment in discipleship, collaborative works of healing, justice, nonviolence and mutual aid. We are:
- a circle where persons called to gospel ministry can find support to discern leadings of the Spirit;
- a non profit organizational vehicle that promotes gospel practices of restorative justice, Sabbath economics, bioregional sustainability, nonviolence and social change; and
- an umbrella structure that facilitates capacity-building among people of faith committed to the work of peace and justice organizing, church renewal and wholistic discipleship.
BCM currently has several project areas:
· Theological Animation: Ched Myers, an ecumenical Mennonite activist, is involved in popular education, writing and organizing, in order to help nurture church renewal and faith-based movements working for peace, justice and radical discipleship. You can find his many publications at www.ChedMyers.org.
· Restorative Justice: Elaine Enns, a Canadian Mennonite, is a mediator, educator, writer and trainer in restorative justice, conflict transformation and experiments in historical truth and reconciliation. She works with victims and offenders, as well as churches and organizations in conflict.
· Bartimaeus Institutes: These intensive seminars are held several times a year at the BCM base in Oak View, CA. They focus on biblical literacy, social analysis and key issues such as ecojustice, nonviolence, undoing racism, Anabaptism and faith-based social movement history.
-- Internships: BCM sponsors short term, unpaid internships (1-2 months in the summer and winter) for young leaders looking to deepen and broaden their discipleship. Longer sojourns are possible by special arrangement.
· Sustainable Lifestyle: BCM practices and promotes Sabbath Economics, green building, intensive small scale food gardening, native habitat restoration and bioregional alliances for protecting watershed health.
· Communications: BCM sends a monthly E-News to share-partners of our “community supported ministry.” We also maintain several active Facebook pages, two blogs (Ched's and radicaldiscipleship.net) and host monthly webinars. We publish a wide variety of books, articles and audio resources, available on our other site.
-- Collaborations: BCM staff and volunteers work with several local partnerships, including The Abundant Table Farm Project and the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, and four national ventures: the Word and World School for faith-based activists; the Sabbath Economics Collaborative, a circle of theologians, educators and activists working for economic justice; the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice at Stony Point Center, NY; and Watershed Discipleship Alliance of bioregional activists of faith. We have a wide range of other collaborative relationships with groups in the region, around the U.S. and in Canada, Australia, the U.K., Sweden and Palestine.
BCM is governed by a board which meets bi-monthly. We are incorporated as a registered 501C(3) non-profit organization in California. BCM’s office is located in Oak View, California. Our two full-time and two part-time staff are helped by interns and volunteers.