Friday, February 24, 2006

The Schedule from Hell, er, like Jesus' -

The best ICOC cartoonist by far, SinCamper, has revised his web site at And OMG this one is f*g HILARIOUS..................

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New Book on the ICOC

Awesome Families: The Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ

Kathleen Jenkins, an associate professor of Sociology at William & Mary wrote and conducted research for this book while her family members were part of the ICOC. Hilarious chapter title: "It's Like Free Counseling all the Time." Reminds me of the book some of us wanted to write - "It changed my life - Again!!!!" Even better is the final chapter: "The Kingdom that Promised Too Much." Too true.

Jenkins' book can be purchased at Rutgers Press or Amazon.

From Rutgers Press web site
Denounced by some as a dangerous cult and lauded by others as a miraculous faith community, the International Churches of Christ was a conservative evangelical Christian movement that grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s.

Among its followers, promises to heal family relationships were central to the group's appeal. Members credit the church for helping them develop so-called "awesome families"-successful marriages and satisfying relationships with children, family of origin, and new church "brothers and sisters." The church engaged an elaborate array of services, including round-the-clock counseling, childcare, and Christian dating networks-all of which were said to lead to fulfilling relationships and exciting sex lives. Before the unified movement's demise in 2003-2004, the lure of blissful family-life led more than 100,000 individuals worldwide to be baptized into the church.

In Awesome Families, Kathleen Jenkins draws on four years of ethnographic research to explain how and why so many individuals-primarily from middle- to upper-middle-class backgrounds-were attracted to this religious group that was founded on principles of enforced community, explicit authoritative relationships, and therapeutic ideals. Weaving classical and contemporary social theory, she argues that members were commonly attracted to the structure and practice of family relationships advocated by the church, especially in the context of contemporary society where gender roles and family responsibilities are often ambiguous.

Tracing the rise and fall of this fast-growing religious movement, this timely study adds to our understanding of modern society and offers insight to the difficulties that revivalist movements have in sustaining growth.

Table of Contents:
Introduction: "It's Like Free Counseling all the Time"
Chapter One: Sacred Counsel: "Ambassadors for God"
Chapter Two: An Unsinkable Raft in a Foreboding Divorce Culture
Chapter Three: Collective Performances of Healing
Chapter Four: In With the Old and the New
Chapter Five: Awesome Kids
Chapter Six: Gendered Brothers and Sisters for the Kingdom
Chapter Seven: The Kingdom that Promised Too Much

Praise for Awesome Families
"A masterful work. This book is a must-read. It artfully weaves engaging ethnography with social theory to take the reader on a learning adventure. Through this study of family life, gender relations, and culture in a fast-rising and then falling 'therapeutic religious movement,' we learn about life in the modern world. Given that the conditions that led to this movement's appeal and growth remain, similar groups will continue to appear. As they do, we will want to turn to Awesome Families to understand their meaning."-Michael O. Emerson, author of Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America

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The Story Behind Kip's Take-Over of Portland

See the story behind Kip's takeover of Portland. PDF document at, written and signed by insiders.

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