At 3:05pm on March 26, 2018 Jordon Cooper, the “blogfather” of Resonate—a distinctly Canadian online conversation (1999-2008) that connected churches and church leaders across the country—succumbed to colon and liver cancer. Jordon, through Resonate, helped foster a sense of shared experience with many planters and starters. Resonate’s absence on the Canadian scene after 2008 is in no small part responsible for the birth of the New Leaf Network.
Jordon’s willingness to step out and start something new had an incredibly profound impact on many people; an impact that he probably never fully realized during his lifetime.
This is just a sample of what could be found on Facebook this week, many of these people had never met Jordon personally. (We didn’t have time to get the permission of the commenters so these statements are presented anonymously. Our apologies.)
“Jordon’s work in organizing the Resonate network was a massive part of my own re-finding of a faith that made sense to me. He also modelled so well how to love your community and how to be positively engaged.. not just a complainer. I owe to him so much of who I am and he has made this world a more beautiful, open, and generative place.”
“He had such a profound effect on how I viewed church.”
“I remember hearing him speaking in 2001. He blew my mind with his grasp of coming shifts regarding media and how it will change spiritual storytelling. He felt very much like a Marshal McLuhan.”
“Jordon sparked so many of us to think and act in new ways.”
“I knew Jordon to be a generative, spacious, and kind follower of the Jesus-way.”
“Jordon was one of the first bloggers I interacted with regularly, though we only met once face-to-face. Always appreciated his honesty and authenticity”
“I remember those days. There is so much good going on now that would have been impossible without challenging conventional thinking back then.”
In the days following Jordon’s death Saskatoon twitter was flooded with messages from the mayor, from city councillors, from journalists and pundits, and people from all across the city. Jordon was known for his wit, for his insight, for his love for Saskatoon, and his constant advocacy for the poor and marginalized. His take-no-prisoners way of publicly speaking his mind earned him critics and fans in equal shares.
Friends, the New Leaf Network lost a major cheerleader this week. Jordon over our many coffees together never forgot to ask me about how things were going with New Leaf. He always had sage advice to offer. The guy was a genius. I will miss him. I will miss his constant but gentle pushing to just get out there and start something new. That is a core message of New Leaf and it is a small way in which Jordon’s work in Canada lives on. You will be missed friend. I’ll see you again, farther along.
Jordon’s memorial will be held at Lakeview Church, on April 3rd, 2018 at 7 pm. This will be a informal affair so please dress accordingly. An Open Mic Roast will follow at a location to be determined.
If you would like to check some of the fragments of the Resonate website you can find it on the Way Back Machine here.
In 2016, we had Jordon on the New Leaf Project podcast. His thoughts on the future of the Canadian church are bang on. If you want to know more about the birth of Resonate have a listen here.