The following is a post (shared with permission) from Sharon Hutchinson in Queensland, Australia. Let me point out a few aspects of the Apprenticeship that are illustrated in what Sharon writes...
- Each cohort has 10-12 members who connect with each other in multiple ways. One way is a private online discussion group. What you will read below is Sharon's post to that group last week.
- Each week there are Learning Assignments for the cohort. Sharon is sharing with the group her reflections (which are excellent!) on last weeks assignments.
- Every cohort member is in a "church of two" (CO2). Sharon's partner is Maree Watson who lives in a whole different part of Australia. (What this illustrates is that distance in no deterrent to effective CO2s!)
- Every cohort connects via period conference calls. From Sharon's response you can see that relationships are already forming.
- This cohort is already becoming a community after 3-4 weeks even though it's members are around the world (Australia, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, the US)
So, take a moment to enjoy Sharon's post below.
Hey everyone, I'm Sharon checking in for the first time. Please forgive me as I was away on a camping trip in the rain with my dog in the red mud!!! Taking me a while to recuperate!!
Have a day off today and have been catching up on all 3 assignments - Maree and I have been CO2ing and listening most days and I have listened to the phone call you had yesterday. Wow, I feel like I know you all already!
God has been revealing so much to me over the past 4 weeks about 'the power of 2"! Maree and I had 2 days together recently (we live 1000kms apart) - I notice that our listening time is much more powerful when we are physically together. He started then speaking about this 2 concept and creating culture.
This is an excerpt from my journal from then, "Unity - not loneliness or aloneness. Isolation is a tool of the devil in mind, body and spirit. We were designed to live, love and work together. There is power in 2, not 1. Laughter comes where there is 2, joy and passion also. I created 2 to stand alongside each other, to be helpers, to bear each others burdens. This is My heart, to bring people back into unity, groups of 2 - to break the cycle of depression and addiction"
After reading through assignment 3 I feel that God is reinforcing this "Power of 2", there is a huge spiritual key here. I absolutely loved what Eugene Peterson had to say about the Song of Songs - " ... the lonely isolation of the solitary person must be invaded. Life to be meaningful must be joined; intimacy is a requirement of wholeness"
I look back into my own life and realise how alone I have been, how there has been a misconception of mistique and strength over the "lone ranger" type ... women especially made to feel isolated in their jobs or through suburban neurosis. I have been asked to pray for quite a few people this week with depression or some sort of addiction or neurosis and I just feel that the Lord is saying "this is the answer" .... I am flat out excited that God is revealing a key to fighting off all these things that have been plaguing His people all these years, and whats more - offering a real solution to those who are yet to become part of His body!