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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In Memory of Gordon Cosby

by Doug Wysockey-Johnson
 Gordon Cosby died on March 20th of this year. For some of our readers, Gordon Cosby is a well known name.  For others, this is the first you have ever heard of him. Gordon is best known for the innovative and prophetic forms of the church that he pioneered in Washington DC.  He also had a significant impact on the mission of Lumunos. 

For many years Lumunos (then called Faith at Work) was based in the Washington DC.  My predecessor Marjory Bankson worked closely with Gordon through their common participation in Church of the Savior.  Focus on the “journey inward and the journey outward;” call; and relational theology are just a few of the values we hold in common with the church that Gordon founded. 

The web has been filled these past weeks with quotes and stories from Gordon’s life. I encourage you to explore Gordon’s life and legacy through these quotes from Inward/Outward, or his book “By Grace Transformed” (order it through The Potter’s House, a Coffee House he helped start.)

To get a sense of Gordon Cosby, let me end this blog with an extended quote from him.  This was reprinted on the bulletin from his Memorial Service, and probably tells you everything you need to know about this great man:

When we hear the invitation to claim our membership in God's family, it's like we've stumbled onto a Grace Party. We can hardly believe our good fortune. The sights and sounds of it are pure delight. Abundance characterizes the whole shindig. The most delectable manna is falling everywhere, and wine flows as though from an artesian well. Everyone is eating and drinking endlessly yet not being harmed because this food and wine are not of the world but New Life.
And get this: Everyone's invited! That's the really good news. No one has to crash this party, there's no limit to how many of my friends I can bring along with me. Or my enemies for that matter. It's such a blast  that I want everyone to come - those with wealth or not a penny to their name, those who are down and out or who thought they had some power. I do notice, though, that the so-called nobodies seem to be having the most fun. It takes the others awhile to lay down everything they brought with them and start to play.
What are people doing at this party? That's the funny thing-We're not 'doing' much at all. We're just being. We're being our real selves, relaxed and eager to help out with whatever the host asks of us. Love is flowing all over the place. Whatever you need, we're ready.
  • Do you want someone to listen? We'll hear whatever you need to say.
  • Are you bleeding from the wounds of the past? We'll soothe and bandage your wounds.
  • Do you need to be held for a while, just being quiet in a safe place? Not a problem. We have all thtime in the world.
  • Looking for respect, even reverence? You'll get such a dose of it you'll wonder if you can take it all in.
In fact, there's so much peace and joy at this party that it can be hard to absorb. Some of us just aren't able to let in this much unimpeded Love and goodness. That's all right. The host isn't pushy. We can come and go as many times as we need to until we can handle this much joy.
This is simply the nature of a Grace Party. None of us is here because we deserve to be. We haven't earned any of it. And although some of us might keep turning down the invitation, the host will never stop inviting. And neither will we who have decided to stay. We'll be spreading the news of this unbelievable feast everywhere we go. Come to the party! It won't be the same if you're not there.
  -Gordon Cosby

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