Photo L to R: Travis Meier, Ched, Elaine, Tom Bozeman, Kristen Snow, Rhonda Newby, Ed Katzenberger
The Rev. Tom Bozeman is a Unitarian Universalist minister living in the Salish Sea Basin:
It was wonderful to get to drink deeply from this font of radical discipleship. Ched and Elaine not only offer such rich and deep reflections on the core theological issues for most North Americans, but also an entry-way into a community of practitioners. There is a stream of wisdom and practice here that is so vital for this age - and I feel a great deal of gratitude for such simply hospitable access to it. - the Rev. Tom Bozeman
Rhonda Newby is from Albuquerque, NM: I spent much of the last two decades working with Immigrant women and raising my children. Now I'm a first year seminarian working to spread Radical Discipleship in my own community.
My journey in the 2018 BIO Cohort was a time of remembering.
I was somewhat involved with Ched and Elaine many years ago through Word and World. At the time I worked for a small community development ministry and Word and World was my bridge from what felt like a somewhat isolated community of believers to a larger network of like minded folks, and of course extraordinary mentors. Word and World is where I felt I was leaning in to my true calling, although I was never truly able to make the transition to fully connect to that movement. So when I saw the chance to work with Elaine and Ched after a decade of being away from the movement, I jumped at it.
As the Cohort began, so did a new journey for me. The program corresponded to a time of struggle and transition in my life and allowed me to remember who I am. Each chapter, each step of the process presented new and radical ways to perform in the world but also new and radical ways of thinking within myself. Every topic was both profoundly needed in the world and within each of us. It was a rocky journey for me and for many of us. The vulnerability within the group lead to relationships that run deep and wide, connecting us for years to come.
Those relationships, that re-membering of the movement, of the community, is what is most precious to me from the Cohort. I can certainly read Elaine and Ched’s books and articles and partake in their wisdom from my own couch. But it is the community that is the true gift. Being grounded in a sense of place, of belonging, in a community of like minded folks is something that books and podcasts simply can’t provide. The BIO Cohort is something that we will be participating in years after the official program is over.
Rev. Travis Meier is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and
currently serves Peace Lutheran Church in College Station, Texas, located in
the Brazos Valley Watershed.
The journey of the BIO Cohort was enriching,
challenging, and formative. We build relationships across the country and
deepened companionships of support for the world of radical discipleship. We
were challenged Theologically and Spirituality to think and act based on the
deeper wisdom and practices from a long line of witnesses to the power of God’s
love and grew in our ability to create relationships that nature and heal the
community and world around us.
I highly recommend this educational and practical
gift to anyone. It is needed and timely work, especially for our North American
context facing deep and significant questions about the role of Christianity
and discipleship in the healing and nurturing of communities.