New United Methodist Faith Communities Redefining What it Means to be the Church
I have written on this blog about our "journey" thus far as The Journey, A United Methodist Community that I was appointed to plant in July 2011. After 18 months, I think we are finally beginning to understand who we are.
We have been using "organic" terminology from the very beginning, wanting this community of faith to develop slowly and to become a healthy, vibrant movement of God in this community. We unintentionally hijacked that vision for a while by trying to be something that we were not supposed to be, but we have since returned to our original desire to be an organic faith community that focuses on mission, hospitality, community and creativity.
We moved our Sunday gatherings from the larger, more sterile environment of the local high school auditorium in to the smaller, more intimate coffee shop that we operate downtown. This has given us the opportunity to really start becoming the kind of church that we feel God is calling us to be.
Much of this redirection has been a result of connecting with some wonderful new friends around the US who are planting or starting some amazingly fresh and creative expressions of church in radically new ways.
My friend Beth Estock writes a blog called Sacred Dirt and has posted an entry highlighting some of these new ventures.
I think that the Church in general and the United Methodist Church in particular must begin to look at new ways of doing church in these challenging times. I am excited about these new expressions of church that are springing up around the country, and grateful to be a part of the adventure.