The John 17:23 Network – gathering on 2/13

Dear friends,

We thank God for your partnership in The John 17:23 Network. Many of you were able to attend the gathering at Trinity Full Gospel Pentecostal Church on January 30. God moved mightily in our midst through worship and celebration. As many people said during and after the event, they experienced a taste of heaven, witnessing such diverse unity in the body of Christ.

Whereas the January gathering of The John 17:23 Network focused on worship and celebration, the February and March gatherings will be more educational in nature. This Sunday evening, 2/13, Dr. Brad Harper will co-lead with us and share about the importance of developing multiethnic churches. Before coming to Multnomah University to teach in 1999, Dr. Harper was a pastor in St. Louis, Missouri for 13 years. He was very involved with seeking after unity in the body of Christ along multiethnic lines and will bring his experiences and insights to bear on the discussion Sunday evening.

Our February gathering will be held this Sunday, 2/13 at 6:00pm at Central Bible Church’s Wilcox House. Central Bible Church’s address is 8815 NE Glisan St. The Wilcox house is located on the southwest corner of the church’s property (at the corner of NE 87th Ave. & Glisan St.). You can park in the lower parking lot.
For periodic updates and related information pertaining to The John 17:23 Network, stay tuned at or email

See you Sunday!

Paul Louis Metzger

9 Responses to “The John 17:23 Network – gathering on 2/13”

  1. David Stevens Says:

    So thankful that we could host this meeting here at CB. Dr. Harper’s comments from his experience as a pastor in St. Louis were insightful and practical. And how helpful to hear from the present experience of our brother from Sunset Pres. I believe we all benefited from this on-going dialogue. Thank you, Dr. Metzger, for the vision behind this and serving as a catalyst to help us embrace a more biblical vision of the church!

  2. Cornelia Seigneur Says:

    I enjoyed being at my first John 17:23 Network event last night. Thanks Paul for the invite and vision for this. I so resonate with the idea behind this. And, thought I’d share the story which confirms I was supposed to be there last night: As we were mingling before the event, I looked over to see a woman who looked familiar to me – I thought to myself, “Is that Jane Leong?” So, I went over to find out. But, before I could say anything, this same woman said to me, “Are you Cornelia Becker?. . . are you still running? I was just thinking of you last week! You have not changed a bit!” (and I thought the same about her!)

    To see Jane from my growing up years in southeast Portland, my old friend Jane from my grade school/high school days (Cleveland High Schooli) was such a God-thing. . we had not seen each other since way back. We both recognized each other! She said she goes to Imago and has been to the class that Paul has taught for a couple of years. Jane is now a nurse at Kaiser. . . .we are keeping in touch.

    I look forward to what God is doing as He brings people from all walks of life together, from the past and from the present!
    See you at the next one on Sunday, March 13!


  3. The John 17:23 Network focuses unity in the multi-ethnic Body of Christ | Cornelia Becker Seigneur~ Author.Speaker.Teacher Says:

    […] I attended the monthly  John 17:23 Network event last night.  I heard about this gathering through Paul Louis Metzger, whom I met through various connections at  Multnomah University, where I am an adjunct professor and where  Paul teaches Christian theology and the theology of culture (at Multnomah Biblical Seminary).   I so enjoy seeing God connect people! […]

  4. Paul Louis Metzger Says:

    Thank you for hosting the event, Pastor Stevens. It is great to partner with you and others in this missional endeavor. Yes, Dr. Harper’s reflections were thoughtful and of practical import. As he said nearly a year ago after the evening of prayerful repentance and reconciliation at Allen Temple, we will never really move forward on tearing down overt and subtle walls of racial division if we are not worshipping together and living life together. It was also great to hear from others, including Pastor Fred Cardino concerning his work at Sunset Pres. Thank you for your prayers as we now begin planning the March event, which will focus on immigration.

  5. Paul Louis Metzger Says:

    By the way, Friends, I encourage you to check out the article on my friend, Pastor Jimi Calhoun that is posted here at The Statesman in Austin, Texas recently featured Jimi and his ministry. Jimi is currently planting a multi-ethnic church and makes profound use of music in seeking to bring healing and unity.

  6. Robert Wall Says:

    I so value the 1723 Network because we are becoming one through dialoge and prayer. Dr. Harper’s comments Sunday night were very inspiring. There were three comments I want to affirm and add a thought of my own. His point regarding the need for the evangelical churches to transform into more ethnically diverse gatherings is warranted because our culture is becoming multi-ethnic. This is true, especially in the greater Portland region. I say, in addition, the need is also because a segregated christian church is not really a christian church. I can recall the national unrest we all felt in the 1960’s and the civil rights changes that resulted. The same discontent is still warranted as we look more closely at our churches.

    Also, Dr. Harper suggested white churches need to hire pastor-leaders of color. I agree, and the truth is, to change any organization the leadership must first change. Positions of power and influence can help transform our churches. I say, in addition, christian churches must ‘affirmatively’ plan for leadership transitions. Leadership transitional planning includes focused recruitment, mentoring-development of diverse young leaders, and always following solid biblical principles, like John 17:23, and prayer.

    Last, I appreciated Dr. Harper’s encouragement for each of us to take action right where we are. He suggested starting a ethnically diverse small group. I would add that small groups have been the seeds of many churches.

    Thanks to everyone who attended and we will see you next month.


  7. Cooky Wall Says:

    Thanks to Dr. Metzger and Pastors Stevens and Turner for your ongoing work in drawing like-minded people together to talk about a more biblical vision of the Church. I was encouraged by what Dr. Harper shared and I appreciated Pastor Fred’s sharing from his current experiences as well. Through our time of stories, prayer and conversation, I left there strengthened and motivated as my own work continues. I’m looking forward to next month.

  8. Brad Harper Says:

    It is a privilege for me to be part of the Network. May God give us the grace to press on in this marathon of working for unity in diversity in the Body of Christ. I was so encouraged to hear Pastor Fred’s story. His work illustrates both the rewards and the challenges of imagining and pursuing the development of a church community that reflects the vision of the song we all sang as children–Red and Yellow, Black and White, they are precious in His sight.

  9. Fred Says:

    Understanding Fil-Ams
    I believe that planting Multi-ethnic church is the best way to reach our increasingly becoming multi-ethnic community (blacks, whites, reds, yellows and the browns). One of the browns you see around is the Fil-Am group (Filipino-Americans). There are about 2500 Fil-Ams in the west side of Portland metro area (about 3500 in the East). This is based on a study I saw in 2005. There could be more. As a Fil-Am pastor in Portland area for about 11 years now and because of my involvement in Fil-Am community events throughout the years; I can say that I understand this ethnic group. Although there are 4 small struggling churches trying to reach them but they are not very successful. I believe that the Fil-Am ethnic group is still unreached with the gospel of Christ. There is no single ministry that is effectively engaging this group. No healthy-growing church that is living missionally, incarnationally & relationally with this culture. Fil-Ams especially the first generation migrants will never enter a Christian church where it is predominantly white. There is just too much barriers but I can highlight three.
    First is they are RCs (Roman Catholics). In the Philippines, RCs treat non RCs as second class religion. Second there is obviously language & culture barrier. Third is, there is intimidation factor because Filipinos were victim of the “gospel of Genocide” (everything Filipino is bad and everything in America is better). These are some of the many barriers of the church in reaching the Fil-Ams.
    I believe that in our effort to reach reach Fil-Ams (and all other ethnicities) is to start with ourselves. We must be aware about the barriers. Then we should be open in God-given opportunities in creating relationships with people who are different from us. When we have opportunities, we can finally assist in clarifying the misconceptions (barriers) by our genuine love for them.

Leave a Reply