Eighth Day Institute: The Past, the Present & the Future and Incarnate Communication

Feast of St Andrew the First-Called Apostle

EARLIER THIS week we launched into the end-of-year season of giving with our third annual #8thDayGivingTuesday campaign. In preparation, we put together a series of videos on the work of Eighth Day Institute. If you haven't seen them yet, check them out here. I also invited my good friend Joshua Sturgill, the founding Vice President of Eighth Day Institute, to reflect on the history and work of Eighth Day Institute. I've provided his written reflection below, along with a short video clip of him reflecting on cultural renewal and incarnate communication. Enjoy!

Our first tasks were stripping old carpet and tile off the floors and hanging a ladder from the ceiling to prepare the space we'd already decided would be called The Ladder. Back then, our working title was The St. John of Damascus Institute, which would have The Ladder as its headquarters and primary gathering place. Now, of course, the walls are flush with icons, photographs, and paper copies of famous heroes. But when we held our first Hall of Men, the walls were bare, and our few icons (still there!) sat expectantly on the mantle, waiting to be joined by a cloud of witnesses. Before the Eighth Day Symposium, before the Sisters of Sophia or the Inklings Festival, and before a website chock-full of content, we were just a few friends discussing Erin Doom’s vision of cultural renewal starting locally and bringing like-minded folks into a timeless conversation. 

To have continued in this vision, despite all the cultural and financial obstacles, is a testament both to Erin’s tenacity and to the courage of the EDI community. The surrounding culture is, if anything, more chaotic and distorted than it was a decade ago. Yet the work of renewal continues. Just as at the beginning, Eighth Day Institute is about the people and the hope of a safe and thriving place for family, spiritual maturity, history, hope. My own course has taken me in and out of Wichita over the last several years, but I always feel that EDI is an anchor – a bit of sanity in a rather insane world.  

Please consider giving to the work Erin is doing in this community. Give what you can: prayer, money, time, presence. Wherever you happen to be, you can always pray for God’s protection and inspiration. The planning, financing, and execution of EDI’s projects – like the Symposium or Feast Days or the print and digital publications – require the prayerful involvement of committed people both locally and abroad. There has never been a time we didn't need help of some kind – and never a time when we had to shut down the work because help didn't come! When we were stripping floors and painting walls, we had no idea what God would bring us in the next few years. But we knew it would be good, and we knew it would be important for the health of our souls. From hopeful beginnings to the possibilities of the present, EDI’s full story hasn't yet been told. How will you be part of our future?

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