Project 12

Discovering Discipleship in the 21st Century

Current P12 Classes

Posted by gkaiser on January 8, 2010

Here’s hoping you had an excellent Christmas and New Years… we were totally blessed on so many levels and of course we give Jesus thanks. God IS good- all the time!

We thought some may find it informative re. what sort of classes P12ers are currently being given, so here is a current list including this past December, in January and including February’s scheduled teaching. Most of the titles provide a sense of content.

Thanks for your prayers for students and staff, and for stopping by!

The End of Religion

Spiritual Formation

Small Groups


21st Century Christian

Drama Of Scripture



Book of Ephesians


Book of Romans

Listening Groups

Community and Growth

JPUSA History

Redeemed Lives

Anger maintenance

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Blessed CHRISTmas and New Year!

Posted by gkaiser on December 24, 2009

We trust your Thanksgiving was a great one as was ours- and we’re now in full holiday-mode including Advent, Christmas and approaching the New Year and our 2nd trimester.

We had a wonderful graduation just prior to Christmas. Depending on when people join Project 12, they graduate at the end of any of the 3 trimesters.

Some P12ers hang out at JPUSA and some visit families over the holidays, but all are seeking the Lord and of course being encouraged to grow spiritually in a number of beneficial ways.

Garden Room Winter Window

The snow is falling beautifully in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood as I write, but more beautiful still is the Savior who “moved into the neighborhood” (as Eugene Petersen puts it in “The Message”).

BLESSINGS and thanks for your prayers as we enter a fresh year of learning, serving and hopefully loving, living and acting as Jesus calls us to 🙂

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Regarding Comments… MY BAD!

Posted by Jon on November 8, 2009

Dear friends,

I just realized that some of your comments hadn’t been posted, and that was due to my having not approving them! My bad. They should now be posted.

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Posted by curtmort on November 5, 2009

I just got out of our student led devotions. This is the best part of Project 12

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Jon Trott continues the story

Posted by curtmort on October 19, 2009

Franklin Hall was only 20 years old, a student in our Project 12 Discipleship Training School of which I am a teacher / staffer.

Last week Franklin was riding in a car with two other P12 students in Pennsylvania. They had a roll-over accident and Franklin was thrown from the car and killed.

Virtually the entire Project 12, students and staff, went to Cadillac Michigan for the wake and funeral last weekend.

What did I experience?

Frustration. Franklin was a student whom I identified with… he saw Christianity as central to everything, yet was deeply disturbed by the Church’s woundedness and lukewarmness. (A song he’d written, performed at his funeral by some of the P12 students, underscored this love for, yet pain because of, the church.) I was frustrated because I wanted to get to know Franklin better. And here, only a few weeks into our year, he is gone.

Finality. As we entered the funeral home where the wake was held, and I saw Franklin’s body lying in the casket, I was struck with his youth. The make-up on one of his hands did not completely cover the bruises. And I, often haunted by the reality of death, felt its presence in an almost scientific way. Death is the end of all that happens on this earth. Death is the Ultimate Earthly Fact. Everyone will end up in a coffin.

Faith. For what, I thought as we sat the next morning in the Nazarene Church’s sanctuary, do we live? Death is the end of this life, but for the Christian it is the beginning of the next life. It is a door, not a wall. And when one of the relatives of Franklin stood up, she held (literally) a door upon which some months ago — before all this came to pass — had painted an image of Franklin. He is holding open his shirt, and inside the opening is a fire so vivid it appears to be a bomb-blast. He is shouting, and above his head three or four large black birds (crows, I think to myself) fly up and away from him. Are those crows death? Is his faith-filled heart filled with a power that overthrows death?

Various voices from past and present are raised to talk about Franklin. His mother and father tell us how Rusty became Franklin, how he joined a group of Christians called “Scum of the Earth” (see: ).

The verse the name is taken from, said Rusty’s sister, is this one: “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.” (1 Corinthians 4:11-13)

Rusty became Franklin recently when through this group he had a renewal of faith, a commitment to Christ that he felt required him to use his middle name as signifier of a new life in Jesus.

I listened to his story, told through the lips of his parents, his brother, his friends, his high school wrestling coach. Franklin, it turns out, wrestled injured for three years. (The word “Relentless” emblazoned a wrestling banner near his coffin at the wake.)

I looked around the church, filled to overflowing. And I looked up at the platform where Rusty lay, his coffin covered with rough but beautiful artwork with a sort of punk feel to it all.

I remembered Franklin’s words weeks earlier, as we’d sat around a campfire at the Project 12 Orientation at our Cornerstone Farm. He’d shared his story, and he’d shared his desire to pastor.

I looked at this group of people again, here in this church, with death the winner only if what is visible is all that exists. And I felt the current of the Invisible God, His Resurrection Power, His Agape Love. Franklin’s life lasted 20 years, so short a time that he had the appearance of a child still, and his coffin was lined with pictures of spiderman. He looked like a fragile child asleep. Yet above his head, almost directly, was a comic book word balloon: “SMASH!” And I thought, with a start, that’s what he’s done in Christ.

Death is smashed. Death has been overcome. The Final Fact of this world is negated by Faith in Christ.

But pain remains. I looked at the young girl / woman, another P12 student, Franklin’s beloved. She sat with his parents, and her face was filled with anguish.

Christ wept. He knew he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. Yet he wept. The Bible does not say why he wept, only that he did.

That is enough for me. God wept not only for us, but with us. That is the only answer to the mystery of suffering that I know. And it suffices. It is, in the end, one of the most powerful reasons for my faith in Christ. A suffering God is a God in Whom I can believe.

Franklin is with Christ. He is in Joy forever. We — his friends and family — are not yet fully with Christ, knowing as we are known. We dwell yet in the land of reflection and shadow.

I sat with a dear friend of mine, Curt Mortimer, that first night at the wake. We were alone in a side room, and I asked Curt how he was feeling. Curt, you see, lost his own son years ago to cancer. Benjamin was only nine years old when he died.

When Curt hugged Franklin’s mother, I knew there was a knowledge between them I could not (and thank God I could not) fully know. And as Curt and I talked, I looked at his face and saw in it a suffering that seemed (and this isn’t poetic — this is what I experienced at that moment) a sort of gentle light of nobility in his features. And I imagined, or tried to, what it would be like to have one of my four children still in that coffin. And I shuddered.

Franklin preaches in his death. He has become a pastor, leaving us this one last life sermon. There are men and women older than I am who have lived thoughtless lives, lives which deny the power of God and deny the meaning of human existence. They have lived lives which are death in life, vacuous and self-seeking and pleasure-seeking without any sense of consequences temporal or eternal.

Franklin’s life and words testify against that road. In twenty years he left a lasting legacy of Grace, meaning, and commitment. “Obey” one of his shirts said on it. Obedience was a road he’d set out on, obedience to Love.

I am convicted and challenged by his example.

– Chicago 10/19/09

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Update on Tragic Accident

Posted by curtmort on October 19, 2009

In Memory of Russell Franklin “Rusty” Hall

In the last few years Franklin had made a new commitment to follow Jesus. He had been a Christian all his life but decided that he had been too half-hearted in the past. He was baptized and took on his second name, Franklin, as his Christian name. As students and staff of Project 12 visited with his family at the funeral we came to know the “Rusty” that they loved. He was a really good guy also. He had been a wrestler at his High School and earned the moniker “Relentless” as his wrestling name. We thought he was that kind of Christian also; Relentless! Like Franklin, Rusty was full of fun, could break out into a jig or dance with little provocation.
Franklin had gone out to the eastern states to help another student deliver some belongings home for storage. A third student had a car to drive. Franklin’s last message home was about being sick of all the degradation he was seeing, in the advertising world, on TV, and up and down the streets of some of our larger eastern cities. He was anxious to get home, not saying Chicago is any better, but it was home to his new-found friends in Project 12. A cold, wet and rainy night, tires hydroplaning, digging into gravel, the car rolling, over and over, sirens screaming, three young people admitted to the hospital, Franklin in ICU. Here is where the news reached us in the early morning hours. Within a half an hour, the call that Franklin did not make it.


He was young among us,
He was our friend.
When he was taken,
Was this the end?
We felt forsaken.
Yet love does not depart
With the beating of a heart.
We huddled round
The meaning of his life,
And found
He was not as absent
As we had thought.
He was with us more than we surmised.
We were surprised by joy.
We are closer to each other,
For the knowing of our brother,
In a fellowship forever.

Well done thou good
And faithful servant
Welcome home.

None of us will ever be the same for the knowing of Rusty Franklin Hall. He is embodied in us, in our memories and we all want to be relentless too, in following hard after God.

In the weeks to follow we hope to bring to this page some of the reactions of his fellow students and staff of Project 12. Pray for all of us. Pray for Rusty’s family. They are dear Christian people who have to find their way in the aftermath of his death.

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Tragic Accident

Posted by curtmort on October 13, 2009

We received word early this morning that one of our Project 12 students has been killed in an automobile accident. We are temporarily witholding the name but asking for prayer for all the rest of our students. We are waiting on his parents and pastors for information on the memorial service. The young man lost was a leader and well liked by all the students and staff. We will post more information here as we receive it.

Sincerely, In Jesus Love,

Curt Mortimer Administrator

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Rockin’ in Chicago, Last Retreat Post

Posted by gkaiser on October 5, 2009

The Retreat ended with a bang, excellent pre-Thanksgiving style dinner. Rain had been in the forecast and in that we wanted to do a bonfire on the beach the staff decided to set the tables on the beach complete with tarps over the decorated tables, candles and such. Pretty cool. And it never did rain 🙂

P12DinnerOnTheBeachAfter dinner we had a worship time, then Brian led and we celebrated the Lord’s Supper together, various P12ers shared some of their stories (testimonies) and we got to know a bit more where people had come from and the issues in their lives. A good and important time around the fire. Then to bed and Sun. morning brought a gathering to worship and listen to Wendi give the message. She shared Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness and how essential it was in her own life in order to grow as a disciple. Really powerful word.WendiPreachesSun

Then we began the work of cleaning, packing and loading in order to head back to Chicago.

All pitched in very well, no engine troubles or flat tires, a windy but good trip and unload into dorms and rooms back home. A fair number of staff stayed back at Cornerstone Farm to finish cleaning and packing, and I drove back with a van and trailer to pick them up and bring all home the next day.

So here we are, daily work schedule, classes and fellowship are in full swing back at JPUSA.

It has already been an amazing journey and we’ve only just begun!

Thanks so very much for your prayers and for stopping by to have a look at the grace of God in action at Project 12!P12BeachCampfire

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What a Sweet Night- P12 @ Cafe Aroma!

Posted by gkaiser on September 26, 2009

So Ami, Brach and Joby (The Unfortunate) had a great set, but many P12 students and several staff brought songs or poetry to the open Mic time prior to Ami’s band and my acoustic blues set tonight in Macomb, Illinois’ Cafe Aroma. It was a blast on all levels. And we even get to sleep in a little tomorrow… a picnic happens after classes tamarra too… good stuff.

But I digress.

The Unfortunate

It was a great night, and we have enough pics I think I’ll post them in my Facebook page, but I’ll put several here for your perusal.

Chris Brings ItBrian With Poems

The opening band and several solo and duo artists were just sweet, good music, very kind people and a pleasure to hear- the coffee and snacks and AC staff just excellent!

I guess for me (what would you expect?) my daughter Ami and band were amazing, my son-in-law Brian (who said he hadn’t read poetry in public for like, 14 years) amazing! Just a treat. Curt as usual brought several deep and excellent poems, and as I said, the P12ers as well as first band up (whew!) and several other open mic people were very, very good.

So I guess I’ll add some pics and hit the hay myself… just buzzing from an excellent night so thought I’d share it with you here.  -Glenn

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Sept. 24 & 25 @ P12 Retreat

Posted by gkaiser on September 25, 2009

Things got so busy (in a very good and productive sense) yesterday I just didn’t post… and we are moving through today so here goes an update:

Yesterday- the same teachers spoke, students interacted more and a really good day was had by all, the usual breaks for all, fun evening activities and good fellowship.,

Today we end the day with Ami’s band The Unfortunate and myself doing sets at Cafe Aroma in nearby Macomb, IL where coffee and treats and music will be had 🙂

Classes today are as the past days, Curt’s morning devo (Lexio Divina) Wendi focused on honesty, personal integrity and use of individual time exercises, and what each one might do to bring small changes for the better/more biblical in each of these areas. She spoke on the difference between “official truth” and “ground truth”, and asked students to do a scan of their lives where what they say they believe conflicts with their actual actions, and what they are prepared to do for godly changes to begin to take place. She finished with teaching on what true love looks like, vs. infatuation and/or mere sexual attraction with clues to help a person recognize the difference.

Curt’s key teaching time after Wendi, involved discussion of many words used to define life in the world and where sometimes the Christian thinking and scientific version of “truth”, explaining differences such as in physics and metaphysics, offered time for students to think, study and put a short paper together for tomorrow’s class using some of the key words and how they might apply to them in their faith.

Jon Trott continues JPUSA history and “community” unpacking good, bad, ugly and wonderful realities past and present offering perspectives on why and who we are and how we’ve come to where we are now in our particular journey as the JPUSA and P12 experience. As yesterday, I’ll teach more on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. Yesterday we discussed the fruit He grows in each of us and how/methods such fruit grows, also listing spiritual gifts as listed in the New Testament. Today I’ll explain a bit more on the gifts, the practical outworking of them. I also covered issues (yesterday) re. how a person may be gifted and truly used of God while in character and fruit be fully blowing it… and the essential need for accountability in terms of gifts and the use of them.

Tonight we hit the Cafe for ministry and some relax too 🙂 Rained last night but sunny yet nicely cool now. Thanks for your prayers and stopping by! -Glenn

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