Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Movie Night


This Wednesday night we will be watching the documentary "What Would Jesus Buy".  It overlaps in an entertaining way with much of what we have been talking about over the last couple weeks.  We will be watching it at the Dixon house at 6:30.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This week's advent readings...

Due to a jammed printer we couldn't get you guys a paper copy of this on Sunday Night.  You can just click on the link below to get a copy of the prayers from this week.
Download Dec 16 - dec 23

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Haiti Water Project - Share the Well

Here is a short video about the Haiti Water Project to help get you thinking about what you might like to contribute on Sunday the 21st as we raise money to give towards providing clean water to our Haitian brothers and sisters.

Ooops - this weeks reading ( a little late)

If you missed last Sunday night we wanted to give you a chance to get the
daily Advent prayer sheet for this week.  If you didn't get the
chance to pick it up you can click the link below to get the document.
Download Dec 8 - dec 15

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Habitat for Humanity September 2009

AC Street

We are excited to be a part of building up to 7 houses in one weekend at Celeste Place in Hattiesburg.  This is a neighborhood that is made up entirely of Habitat Homes.  We at Ekklesia are joining with a group of churches in order to adopt two of the houses being built.

 Below you will find the volunteer schedule based on who filled out the online form (which is below the schedule)


Download Final Habitat time sheet Friday

Download Final Habitat time sheet Saturday

Download Final Habitat time sheet Sunday

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Haiti Water Project

There are 8 million people in Haiti, & it is estimated that up to 60% of them do not have access to clean drinking water.  The estimated cost to dig a well is $2,000 -$5,000 U.S. The cost to build cisterns in areas where wells aren’t feasible is around $1,000. And since the Haiti Water Project is ultimately more about people than projects, here’s another way to do the math: It costs about $1 to provide clean water for one person for one year in Haiti

You can contribute to the Haiti Water Project through Ekklesia (just write Haiti Water Project in the memo line of a check), & Ekklesia will provide you with a “gift card” that you can give to your loved one. (there are a couple of examples of the cards below) 

You might also want to purchase a $5 ornament or $15 nativity set made by Haitian artists providing them with a fare wage & you or your loved one with an ornament to remember the poor of Haiti with each year.  If you want an ornament or nativity set (and havent signed up for one yet) you can email me or just sign up Sunday Night.  You can make checks for the ornaments out to Ekklesia and just put "Haiti ornament" in the memo line.

Postcard front collection jpeg_Page_04
Postcard front collection jpeg_Page_07
Postcard front collection jpeg_Page_15
Postcard front collection jpeg_Page_09

Monday, December 1, 2008

Link to the Superman Story

Here is a link to the story I referred to in last nights talk about Mark Weisenbeek and his Superman outfits.  You can click here to listen to the interview/story.  Just click the "Full Episode" button.  The entire episode has various stories, but the portion I referred to can be found at about minute 30.  (BTW I don't entirely remember what else is in the episode and therefore am not endorsing any of it.... )

Advent Daily Prayer Readings - Week #1

Advent2HD (2)
If you missed last night we wanted to give you a chance to get the daily Advent prayer sheet for this week.  We will post one of these at the beginning of each of the next 4 weeks.  If you didn't get the chance to pick it up you can click the link below to get the document.
Download Dec1- dec7 –

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beginning this Sunday - The Advent Conspiracy


We will begin participating this week in the Advent Conspiracy, during which we will examine what the Christmas season is really about, and how we as the peculiar called out followers of Christ might celebrate the true purpose of these Holy Days.  I wanted to take this chance to post the video that we showed Sunday Night for those of you that did not see it, or who wanted to see it again.  You can find out more about the Advent Conspiracy movement at the website

We will end up this season by giving to clean water projects in Haiti through the Haiti Water Project, but we will give you more info on that soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Emori's Food Box

We told you last week that our own Emori Sparkman was collecting food for families that were hurting because of the Howard Industry raid.  Dont forget that we will have the box in the back at Ekklesia next Sunday night.  For those of you that didn't get to see it, here is the local news coverage of Emori's food drive.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Festival at Hawkins

2008 Hawkins Fall Festival-121
Thanks again to all of you who helped out at the fall festival. It was a big success.  We have posted a few pictures in the photo album on the right side of this page.  You can click below to see all of the  pictures

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from ekklesia hattiesburg. Make your own badge here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day thoughts from Shane Claiborne

Here is a blog post I thought you might enjoy......


Voting as Damage Control

by Shane Claiborne 

Every day I am asked how I will be voting.

Principled Christian non-voters and secular anarchists have written
to urge a public statement on voting abstinence.  Good folks in both
parties and plenty of journalists are frustrated that we won’t answer
with a simple endorsement.  That just seems too easy.  Jesus was far
too slick to get boxed into any political camp.  

One of the ways the Religious Right went wrong was telling folks
what to do rather than stirring people to think for themselves.  Our
whole Jesus for President project has been about provoking imagination
and action.  The decision we make on November 4 is an important one —
perhaps no more important than how we live on November 3 and November 5
— but important nonetheless.   We have done all sorts of discussions
and studies to try and discern the most appropriate Christian witness
to the state (by the way, if I might recommend one book for this week,
it would be John Howard Yoder’s Christian Witness to the State).  Let me share a few of the things I will be considering as I choose the most faithful action on November 4.

As a follower of the enemy-loving God, it is difficult to vote for a
commander in chief of the largest military in the world, especially
when no candidate seems to be preaching “blessed are the peacemakers”
or creating a plan for turning swords into plows. 

If you are completely paralyzed by imperfect choices, writing in
“Jesus” is an option but should also come with grave responsibility. 
Just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you can’t critique any more
than owning stock should be a prerequisite for decrying the patterns of
Wall Street. However, if we do not vote, we had better be spending
every day of our lives trying to create alternative solutions to the
questions of how 48 million folks can have health care, how we can live
without fuel, how we deal with violent people … and on and on.

No candidate or party fully embodies the values of God’s upside-down
kingdom.  It’s hard enough to find one politician that embodies a
consistent ethic of life when it comes to all issues (from abortion to
death penalty to war and poverty).  Perhaps a good answer when folks
ask if you are a Republican or Democrat is: “On what issue?”  I heard
one preacher say, “I’m not a Republican or a Democrat… I am a
Christocrat and it is Christ who forms my politics.”

It is not easy to make an imperfect decision.  It just doesn’t feel
right to say to the state, “Please kill less”… as it still holds an
imperative “Please kill.” However, ideals can keep us from working for
“better.”  We make imperfect decisions all the time.  For
instance, you may try to avoid the large corporate Home Depot and shop
at the local hardware store but then find out that the hardware store
owner beats his wife, thus further complicating things. We always need to make informed decisions, though we may not endorse things that are imperfect manifestations of kingdom values.

One way for people of so-called “privilege” to act in solidarity
with the poor and marginalized is to ask folks in poverty who we should
vote for.  Another experiment for white folks in this election might be
asking people of color who have suffered so much historically whether
we should vote or who we should vote for — and to honor their struggle
by submitting our voices with theirs. 

One way to look at voting is that it is damage control -– not so much voting for something
as it is voting against something worse.  We must do everything we can
to reduce the destruction done by the principalities and powers, and
voting may be one way to do that.  Being an agent of God’s kingdom,
transformation means calling out the best that the state can do, and
not expecting it to be our savior.

More important than endorsing candidates is urging them to endorse
the political manifesto of our commander in chief and to embrace the
values of the peculiar, upside-down kingdom that blesses the poor, not
just the middle class.  Our central allegiance is to God’s kingdom, and
we invite everything else in the world to align itself with the norms
of that upside-down kingdom. That is what we endorse, and we stand
behind everything and everyone that moves us closer to that — the
coming of God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.” And we get in
the way of everything that contradicts and works against God’s kingdom
— interrupting injustice with grace.

So if you want to know what I do on November 4, ask me on
November 5. I wouldn’t want to limit your imagination by pretending
there is one faithful answer to this difficult but very important

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reading from this week

JohnsonHere is a copy of the reading you heard this Sunday Night from Mario and Sharon.

If you would like more information on James Weldon Johnson you can click this link


by: James Weldon Johnson

      ND God stepped
      out on space,

      And He looked around and said,

      "I'm lonely --

      I'll make me a world."

      And far as the eye of God could see

      Darkness covered everything,

      Blacker than a hundred midnights

      Down in a cypress swamp.
      Then God smiled,

      And the light broke,

      And the darkness rolled up on one side,

      And the light stood shining on the other,

      And God said, "That's good!"
      Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,

      And God rolled the light around in His hands

      Until He made the sun;

      And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.

      And the light that was left from making the sun

      God gathered it up in a shining ball

      And flung it against the darkness,

      Spangling the night with the moon and stars.

      Then down between

      The darkness and the light

      He hurled the world;

      And God said, "That's good!"
      Then God himself stepped down --

      And the sun was on His right hand,

      And the moon was on His left;

      The stars were clustered about His head,

      And the earth was under His feet.

      And God walked, and where He trod

      His footsteps hollowed the valleys out

      And bulged the mountains up.
      Then He stopped and looked and saw

      That the earth was hot and barren.

      So God stepped over to the edge of the world

      And He spat out the seven seas;

      He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed;

      He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled;

      And the waters above the earth came down,

      The cooling waters came down.
      Then the green grass sprouted,

      And the little red flowers blossomed,

      The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,

      And the oak spread out his arms,

      The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,

      And the rivers ran down to the sea;

      And God smiled again,

      And the rainbow appeared,

      And curled itself around His shoulder.
      Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand

      Over the sea and over the land,

      And He said, "Bring forth! Bring forth!"

      And quicker than God could drop His hand.

      Fishes and fowls

      And beasts and birds

      Swam the rivers and the seas,

      Roamed the forests and the woods,

      And split the air with their wings.

      And God said, "That's good!"
      Then God walked around,

      And God looked around

      On all that He had made.

      He looked at His sun,

      And He looked at His moon,

      And He looked at His little stars;

      He looked on His world

      With all its living things,

      And God said, "I'm lonely still."
      Then God sat down

      On the side of a hill where He could think;

      By a deep, wide river He sat down;

      With His head in His hands,

      God thought and thought,

      Till He thought, "I'll make me a man!"
      Up from the bed of the river

      God scooped the clay;

      And by the bank of the river

      He kneeled Him down;

      And there the great God Almighty

      Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,

      Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,

      Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;

      This Great God,

      Like a mammy bending over her baby,

      Kneeled down in the dust

      Toiling over a lump of clay

      Till He shaped it in His own image;
      Then into it He blew the breath of life,

      And man became a living soul.

      Amen. Amen.

"The Creation" is reprinted
from The Book of American Negro Poetry. Ed. James Weldon
Johnson. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We are Preparing for Gustav

Many of us learned a couple of years ago that these pesky little hurricanes can put a serious crimp in your life.  One of the core principles of what we are attempting to live out in Ekklesia is the idea of really living life together as a family.  Part of being a family is being sure that everyone is taken care of in difficult times.  So we want to make sure all of our ducks are in a row for the hurricane that is potentially going to come our way.  If you can please take the time to read respond to the following:

1) We will meet this Sunday Night unless the hurricane arrives a day earlier than predicted.  It shouldn't be here until Monday, so plan on coming out on sunday Night

2) We would like you "ekklesiers" to let us know whether you will be in town as well as some other pivotal information.  PLEASE FILL IN THE FORM BELOW AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOUR PLANS ARE.  (if you have problem with this link just cut and paste the address below the hurricane preparedness guide at the bottom of the email)  You can also find this same form to fill out on our webpage

3) During hurricanes it is often easier to phone long distance than locally.  It is recommended that you have long distance contact that you can leave information with.  We have a ministry contact that has volunteered to be that contact person for Ekklesia.  This means that if the hurricane hits and local calls are difficult then anyone from Ekklesia who would like to let everyone know they are ok, or  that they have pressing needs can leave a message with the following contact. 
Mark Gallagher
Christian Student fellowship
Indiana State University (812)-232-6853

4) Here are some other links to material that might be helpful to you.  It will help to get you prepared if the hurricane comes this way.
MEMA's Gustav Preparation Letter
Hurricane Preparedness Guide


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sign Up for Small Groups!

We will be starting a number of small groups in September for those of you that would like to connect on another level with the Ekklesia family.  If you have not had a chance to sign up before just fill in the form below and we will contact you with more details.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Taking Care of God's Creation" by Colbey Sparkman

We finally retrieved the sermon that Colbey offered us a few weeks ago regarding our role in taking care of God's earth.  If you have not listened to it yet (or are not subscribed to the podcast feed through itunes) you can listen to the sermon here

We would like to hear from you about the subject.  If you have been finding new ways to include creation care into you spiritual life we would like hear about it.   Just use the comments link with this entry to let us know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what it has meant to you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sermon by Rev. Vicki Hughes

We wanted to thank Vicki Hughes for her time as she came and shared with us this past Sunday Night.  If you weren't there you can get the sermon through itunes or you can visit this website and listen to it there.
Grace and Peace,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pictures from Mission Weekend

Here is a link to the pictures from the weekend with the missions team from Alabama.  Thanks for all that you did in regards to hosting the team and participating in the week. 

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Help Hosting a Missions Group!

On June 14th and 15th Ekklesia will welcome the Clearview Baptist
"Road Rules Mission Trip"  to the Pine Belt. This group of Senior High
youth from Birmingham, AL are venturing to explore what it means to
literally "be the church". Instead of going to summer camp or relaxing
on the beach they're jumping on a charter bus and heading to
Hattiesburg, New Orleans, Panama City and Atlanta. Their goal is
simple: to meet the needs that cross their path. We will focus our
energy on renovation projects at Court Street and Hawkins. There are
still a few project manager slots to fill. Let me know ( ) if you're
available to help out. Here's the plan for Hattiesburg on the 14th and
15th of June.

Saturday, June 14th

12:30- Arrive at Court Street for potluck Lunch Hosted by Ekklesia-
Project Manager-  Kate Northrop

1:30- 5:30  Work at project sites

Court Street-
                  Men's Restroom ( new commode/ paint) Project
Manager- Melanie Fink
                  Women's Restroom- (new commode/ paint) Project
Manager- Jennifer Willis
                  Courtyard- (upgrade) Project Manager -Steve Willis
                  Playground- (remove a gate and old AC unit) Project
Manager- TBA
                  Fellowship Hall/ Shelf- (float a wall/ paint shelf)
Project Manager-Jonathan Krebs
                  Choir/Class Room- (replacing tiles in the ceiling)
Project Manager- TBA

Hawkins Elementary

                 Office- (painting) PM- Lindsey Smith
                 2nd grade classroom- (over haul) PM- Margie Willis
                 Clothes Closet- PM- (dysfunctional to functional)
Stephanie Willis

6:00pm- Dinner at Letha's feel free to join us but its your treat!

8:00pm- Commissioning service at Court Street

Sunday Morning

9:30- Meet at McCarty Park!! (games, crafts, hotdogs, chips)

10:00- 12:00 Family Fun at McCarty Park
               Project Managers- Aaron Robinson & Melissa Cirino

12:30- Lunch hosted by friends at Court Street!

1:30- 3:30 Finish projects!!!

3:30- 4:45- R&R You've earned it!

5:00- Ekklesia!!!

8:00- Laser Tag

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Recording Issues

Microphone_clipping_path_xxlSorry about the last two weeks of Non-Recordings from our Sunday Night Meetings.  We have been having some technical difficulties with our highly expensive and rare $30 microphone that plugs into our half broken ipod.  I think we have it all worked out now, so it should be business as usual this next week!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In case the sermon seemed too far fetched...

Here is an actual news story courtesy of Reuters

TALLINN, Estonia (Reuters) -- An Estonian man who was caught
driving a car even though he is blind has been at it again, police said
on Monday, and this time he faces jail.

Police first arrested the man, 20, a week ago.

"We arrested the same blind man driving his car again on Saturday in
the town of Torvandi, near Tartu (in southern Estonia)," said Marge
Kohtla, a spokeswoman for Tartu police district.

"He was drunk. There were three people in the car with him giving him instructions."

She said police wanted the court to jail the man for 30 days and confiscate his car.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kamper Park This Sunday May 4th

Grillinggadgets_2Don't forget that we are meeting this Sunday at 11:00 am to grill out in the park.  This is a time for us to hang out and hopefully meet & feed some folks that may not be plugged in to a community right now.  We will see you this Sunday.  If you would like to bring some food, just visit this link to see what people are already being brought and to sign up for what you might like to bring.  See You There!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Abraham Heschel quotes from this week's talk

“Indeed, the sort of crimes and even the amount of delinquency that fill the prophets of Israel with dismay do not go beyond that which is regarded as normal, as typical ingredients of social dynamics.  To us a single act of injustice - cheating in business, exploitation of the poor- is slight; to the prophets, a disaster.  To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence: to us, an episode; to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world."

"Their breathless impatience with injustice may strike us as hysteria.  We ourselves witness continually acts of injustice, manifestations of hypocrisy, falsehood, outrage, misery, but we rarely grow indignant or overly excited.  To the prophet even a minor injustice assumes cosmic proportions.” 

“…if such deep sensitivity to evil is to be called hysterical, what name should be given to the abysmal indifference to evil which the prophet bewails?”

“Reading the words of the prophets is a strain on the emotions. Wrenching one’s conscience from the state of suspended animation”

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Quote regarding last week's talk

As we started navigating the "Sermon on the Plain" in Luke 6 we began wrestling with the difficult blessings and Woes that Jesus laid out in 6:20-26. (You can catch the podcast on our podcast page if you haven't listened in yet)

As an addendum to the conversation I wanted to pass on this quote that I neglected to include Sunday Night.

"God has a preferential love of the poor not because they are necessarily better than others, morally or religiously, but simply because they are poor and living in an inhuman situation that is contrary to God's will. The ultimate basis for the privileged position of the poor is not in the poor themselves but in God, in the gratuitousness and universality of God's agapeic love"

-Gustavo Gutierrez

Monday, March 31, 2008

Diaper Fellowship!


We will be having a diaper fellowship for the Evans family and the Hampton family. So please bring out a pack of diapers to give to them to help them get ready for their new editions. We will start eating and hanging out before the meeting on Sunday night - grab some diapers and come on out!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Coming up on the Calendar


Here is what is coming up the next couple of weeks. We hope you will join us this week and next week for our Easter events. Hopefully we will see you there!

Sun. 3/16 - Bruce Case will teach at our weekly meeting

Thurs. 3/20 – Living Last Supper @ 7pm

Fri. 3/21 – Joint Good Friday Service with Ekklesia & Court Street Methodist @ 7pm

Sun. 3/23 – Easter Service (5:30) followed by community potluck meal in the Court Street Fellowship Hall

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

God in the Unexpected

SpyglassmediumWe had the opportunity to hear Colbey talk to us about the encounter between the Samaritan woman at the well and Jesus in John 4.  One of the things she pointed out was the unexpected nature of finding God at that particular time and place.  Often we have certain place we expect to find God, when in fact we actually more often encounter God in unexpected places.

So let's here from you this week.  What are some unexpected places you have been seeing God recently?

Monday, February 11, 2008

This Weeks Discussion

This week we talked through the parable that Jesus tell at the end of Luke Chapter 5 (the podcast is now posted here - or you can find it through itunes).  The parable essentially conveys to those around Jesus that He represents something new that can not be added to the old, or contained by the old.  We then talked about how often we try and keep our old ways of viewing God, ourselves, and each other while "accepting" the way of Jesus, when in fact Jesus can not coexist with much of it.  Something must give.

Steve was kind enough to let us in on his story and the ways in which the old had to go away in order for the "new wine" to be present in his life.  (You can hear his story in the podcast)  I wanted to open this up for you to reply to this post and tell something about your story.  Did something we talked about connect with your story?  Have you found that you had to exchange your old ways of looking at God, yourself, and others in order to enjoy the "new wine"?

I posted the parable below and would love to hear from you about this topic. (click on the comments below)

Luke 5:36b-39
"No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If
he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new
will not match the old. 37And
no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will
burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be
ruined. 38No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.'

Invisible Children

Invisible_childrenThere is a showing of the documentary Invisible Children this week at USM.  If you would like to see this screening you can see it at:
Thad Cochran Center Ballroom #2
Wednesday February 13, 2008
7-9:30 PM

for more information please go to

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Valentines Ball at Hawkins

Here are a few reminders and invitations for the ball this Friday!

Wednesday: Tomorrow night at 5:30 we will finish up the decorations. Thanks to all who helped last night... They look great!

At 12:30pm I will be baking 150 sugar cookies in the Cafeteria! I'll
also provide hair nets! If you're free facebook me!

Friday:  If you've volunteered to help at 1:30 or 5:00 please plan to come at least 30 minutes early to help us set up.

Thanks, sharon

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Be There This Sunday

This week we would like to be packed into the chapel as we take some time to catch all of you up on what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we are planning to do it.  We are going to talk through the core values of Ekklesia, our Family Experience program, NEIGHBORS@Hawkins, and Ekklesia's finances.  We really want to maintain transparency in our ministry and want everyone to have their questions answered.  This Sunday night will be your chance.  So please come out this Sunday night - you will be glad you did...or at least we will be glad you did!