01: Until now the co-housing movement has mainly consisted of secular and liberal religious people wishing to balance a sense of community with personal privacy [see February 99 RW].
But the Temescal Cohousing Project in Oakland, Calif., is one of the first evangelical Christian expressions of this new living arrangement. Like other co-housing projects, Temescal residents live in a multi-unit dwelling that includes a common building with a dining hall and meeting space. The project grew out of the Rockbridge United Methodist Church when several members wanted a “living faith community” that brought members together and helped them serve their neighborhood. As of March, 2000 there are 23 residents in the project, which also includes a “transition home” for people coming off welfare.
(Source: Re:Generation Quarterly, Spring)
02: A movement known as 24-7 is catching on among Generation Xers seeking prayer in unconventional places.
Participants meet in designated rooms where they pray in shifts for a week or a month, asking God to bless their families, friends, heroes, and peers. Groups agree to pray around the clock, registering with the 24-7 web site, The site features testimonies of past events, inspirational stories, and prayer needs from around the world. There have been 24-7 prayer rooms in Australia, Ecuador, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, and Wales.
24-7 prayer rooms aren’t just in churches. They are in skate parks, deserted buildings, farmhouses, even nightclubs. Participants sometimes paste written prayers, poems, artwork, and “spiritual graffiti” on the walls. An observer says the “extreme” nature of 24-7, with participants praying at 3 am in non-church settings, appeals to youth in much the same way as extreme sports and risky entertainment, such as raves. The movement was started by several British evangelical ministries, including Youth with a Mission.
(Source: Religion Today, June 16; www.24-7.com)
03: The Network of Mainstream Baptists is the most recent attempt of moderates” in the Southern Baptist Convention to resist the conservative ascendancy in the denomination.
The network, more than the moderate organizations such as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, seeks to actively prevent “fundamentalists” (or conservatives) from gaining complete control of SBC life rather than building alternative institutions. The network will educate others regarding Baptist issues, “get votes at state conventions” to prevent conservative control, and stress the Baptist hallmarks of the autonomy of the local church, priesthood of all believers, ethical decision-making, and separation of church and state.
(Source: Baptists Today, June)
04: A major source of concern between the academic study of religion and the world of applied public policy is that the former’s contributions have seemed too vague and disconnected from the realities of improving people’s lives through its scholarship.
A program at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, seeks to bridge the gap through the use of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholarship aimed at finding common ground on social policy questions concerning the environment, poverty and justice. This has led to policy proposals for renewed health care, for preserving native Aboriginal fishing rights, and in improving the rehabilitative education programs for offenders in public prisons.
In the program, religious studies scholars work together on a day- by-day basis with researchers in other fields; the humanities, the social sciences, and natural sciences.
— By Erling Jorstad
(Source: Studies in Religion, Winter, 1999)