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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Midrash – the second coming

We are extremely excited to partner with Eikon Church and re-launch Midrash here in Little Rock.  Our first get together is a coffee shop discussion and our subject will be about social media and how it affects social capital. (read below for specific details about when and where)  This topic should be at least a little interesting to you b/c blogging is an aspect of social media and right now you are choosing to read my blog instead of giving blood…unless, you are reading my blog on your phone while giving blood in which at least our social capital breaks even (think about the implications of that statement haha)

I digress…read below about midrash for why and what it is and also about our first event since joining up with Eikon church…………

Midrash is a Hebrew word that—when roughly translated—means “commentary.” We’ve taken the word Midrash as the title for our group and created an avenue for people from all walks of life to get together and discuss pertinent topics that impact our lives, our culture, our city, our state, our nation and our world.

THE WHY & WHAT OF MIDRASH

With Midrash—and Eikon—we value engaging culture to show that God’s truth is evident everywhere. The main crux of the issue is that we realize the Bible isn’t an authority for everyone and as such, we want to be involved in different happenings that show how God’s truth intersects everyday life. As a community of Jesus followers, we need to find ways to engage culture in a compelling manner and meet people where they are both spiritually and socially.

Art—of all forms—is a major influencer in our culture, so we base a lot of our gatherings around different art forms. But, we don’t envision a bunch of high-brow art critics standing around sipping dry martinis. 🙂 We’re very ordinary people who enjoy fun and lively discussions about all sorts of topics (and you can even choose your own beverage…).

We host various types of gatherings including the following: coffee shop discussions, film nights, art gallery viewings and the occasional large panel forum. The main types of gatherings, though, are large group discussions in which we throw out a culturally relevant topic and allow for open conversation, facilitated by a moderator. Topics in the past have ranged from violence in the U.S. to animal rights to racism in Little Rock. Our discussions are held at local restaurants, coffee shops or bars—places that are able to accommodate group discussions.

No doubt, people want to talk about the topics we discuss, but just haven’t had the opportunity. We want to provide that opportunity! Our group is open to all kinds of people: religious, irreligious, atheists, nihilists, spiritual, and non-spiritual…everybody.

Does all this sound familiar? Midrash isn’t, in fact, new to Little Rock. You may know that we took a bit of an extended break over the last fews months. We’re excited to say that Eikon is now sponsoring Midrash, as we think Midrash and Eikon make a perfect marriage. The core principles of Midrash are the same ones that guide the Eikon community. So, we’re now refocused and excited to get things going again!

THE WHERE & WHEN OF MIDRASH

We’ll return with a coffee shop discussion on Wednesday, September 9 at The House (in Hillcrest)(check their website for address and subsequent directions) from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30ish p.m. (NOTE: Midrash gatherings will change locations and times from month to month.)

We’ll be discussing the role of social media in our lives, spawning from the book, “Bowling Alone” by Robert D. Putnam. (NOTE: By all means, reading the book has no bearing on your level of participation. It certainly is not a prerequisite for attending and engaging in the conversation. It’s simply a jumping point for a broader conversation.) By plugging into our computers and phones, are we unplugging from each other? Is our social capital as a nation declining or improving as a result of these technological innovations? Is it just a passing fad or is it a step towards our society becoming more reclusive?

Bowling Alone

Midrash is a welcome place for respectful discussions and we hope you’ll come out, grab a brew, share your view and lend an ear to others’.

(Not only do we just enjoy the social and personal growth aspect of Midrash, but we also think there’s a Biblical connection. Check out the following passages of Scripture: Acts 17: 16-34, Matthew 6: 10, II Corinthians 3: 16-18, Genesis 1: 26-28. These verses speak of God’s calling for us to redeem creation through him.)

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Posted by on August 31, 2009 in theology

 

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Sunday night (8/30) at The House in Hillcrest – 6:00-8:00pm

This is the church that Midrash Little Rock will be connected with. If you’re a fan of Midrash Little Rock you should come on out and grab some food, a tasty beverage of your choice, and hang out with us.

I swiped this from Ryan Byrd and eikon’s website: http://www.eikonthechurch.com

EIKON | WHY

i’m excited to announce our upcoming spectacle/shindig/gathering (it’s your choice of the 3 words…we’re all about free will at eikon…) for august. on sunday, august 30, at 6 p.m., we’ll be hanging out at the house—the great new addition to hillcrest—engaging in a conversation that we’re calling EIKON | WHY: a conversation about yesterday.

why is it a conversation about yesterday?

  1. 1. we like to use really intriguing-yet-bordering-on-pretentious titles for our gatherings.
  2. 2. we want to encourage the spontaneous singing of the beatles’ yesterday, being that we currently lack a solid british element at eikon. (we also encourage the boyz 2 men cover version of yesterday, being that it includes exponentially more “oohs” and “uhhs” and probably includes a spoken word part by an otherwise under-utilized bass singer…)
  3. 3. (seriously), we’re all experts on yesterday. we just lived it and need to process it. knowing the what of our past speaks to the why of our present/future.
  4. 4. we think your yesterday story is probably much closer to others’ stories than you think and thus, closer to the story of why we’re starting this thing called eikon.

ok, well, we are now equally confused and intrigued. how about yourself?

in the event that you find yourself confused and/or intrigued, you should definitely come hang out with us on sunday, august 30 at the house. our conversation about why we’re starting eikon will be a great entry point if you couldn’t make it to our gathering at vino’s last month and likewise, a great conversational entry point for those who have already been hanging out with us.

here’s the quick minutiae of the gathering. try to be there fairly close to 6 p.m.. we’re working with the chef to create a special menu for us that will give you a choice of 5 entrees and your choice of any of their beverages (beer, wine, coffees, soft drinks). just to be clear, eikon isn’t picking up the tab, but we think you’ll find the menu reasonably priced (and well worth it). instead of the usual ordering downstairs, go ahead and come upstairs, grab a seat and they’ll do service at the tables. we’ll spend the first hour just eating/drinking and hanging out. we’ve reserved a small room to the right upstairs, but during the first hour of dinner, feel free to sit anywhere upstairs. around 7 or so, we’ll transition into our conversation into the smaller room (where people might have to squeeze in, stand, lean, squat or engage in other means of fitting a large mass into a small space).

my (ryan) goal is to talk a little and listen a lot (though I can often be more successful in the reverse scenario…). i’ll intro the conversation and serve as a guide, but my hope is that the conversation will revolve around the group rather than myself.

NOTE TO THE INTROVERTS WHO ARE CRINGING AND DRY HEAVING RIGHT NOW (which actually includes myself, in terms of the introvert personality type): because I can certainly empathize, you don’t need to worry about being called on, called out or singled out. it’s your choice about how much or how little you contribute to the conversation. while we encourage active participation, we want to honor the fact that everyone engages in different ways. some do it by talking, while some do it by listening. so, please discontinue your dry heaving…no need to panic…you’re in good hands with eikon. 🙂

alright, that’s the story. come hang out with us. if you’ve hung out with us before, be sure to come again and if you haven’t been able to come or have been hesitant to come, this is a great entry point. (we’re a friendly bunch, despite our generally hairy, frightening exteriors…)

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2009 in theology

 

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Tom Cotton

Tom Cotton is who I will be throwing my full support behind should he decide to run for office to challenge Blanche Lincoln as U.S. Senator for Arkansas.  Maybe I’m overconfident but I think Cotton winning the primary is a foregone conclusion.  Regarding the primaries, there have been meetings that have reportedly taken place between possible ‘viable’ candidates outlining scenarios for the race…that and some of the potential candidates, on the never-ending GOP list, quite frankly are not viable candidates.  But Cotton is a guy you should get to know very well b/c if you live in AR he could be one of your next Senators.  I’ve included a couple links below that you can click at will to learn a bit more about Tom Cotton.  (sidenote – both of the authors of the articles are cool dudes – I’ve hung out with both in casual settings over a couple fine beverages and a also over a cigar)

http://arkansasnews.com/2009/08/12/cotton-uproven-but-has-good-story-for-politics/

http://tolbertreport.com/2009/06/08/another-senate-challenger-to-lincoln/

quite possibly your next AR Senator

my potential senate candidate can kick your potential senate candidate's ass

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in politics

 

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soon…hopefully…

With a new job coming into fruition my schedule will level out a bit and I’ll be up on the blogging trail again soon.  Until then, miss me much!

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2009 in Uncategorized