Monday, January 22, 2007

Update on The Living Room Church "Re-Incarnation"

A momentary break to bring you some news about our recent moving away from the "attractional" church plant model to a "missional/incarnational" model.

Faith Wherever Life Happens

The Introduction:

Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

“The missional church is incarnational, not attractional…By incarnational we mean it does not create sanctified spaces into which unbelievers must come to encounter the gospel. Rather, the missional church disassembles itself and steps into the cracks and crevices of a society in order to be Christ to those who don’t yet know him.”
Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, “The Shape of Things To Come: Innovation and Mission For the 21st Century Church”

“Here is the simple and abbreviated historical shorthand for all that follows, for why we are doing what we are doing now through what we call The Living Room Church. Before the year 325 c.e., the free movement or “church” of Jesus-followers grew and thrived by organically living in and among and between and at times against the intersecting and overlapping “worlds” of ancient Greek values, Roman Empire values, and the traditions of “Israel.” This was in keeping with Jesus’ “contagious healing spirit” of breaking boundaries set up by the world to keep people apart from one another and God.

“Then in 325 with the Empire and Church intertwining, the official connection began between “Church” and “World” which grew over the centuries until the “world’ became a subset or sphere of the “Church.” This started the “churched culture” which has lasted until recently. With the Printing Press Revolution and Protestant Reformation in the 1500s and the Age of Enlightenment and Modernity, the separation process began and continued to grow between the spheres of churches, one from another, between them and the World, and also between individuals and all their groups.

“By the time of the mid-to-late 20th century, the sphere of the separate church had receded, but churches continue to operate as they had when they were the dominant sphere, as a primary place for “believers” to congregate and only then, after that fact, to “go out to change the world.” People were seen as lost individuals caught between the two spheres, to be “battled over” and ‘won over’ with the right message or fear tactics.

“But in the 21st century, with the continuing ebb of church influence in society, especially in an era of mega-churches, it has become clear to many that the “church-as-usual” mission, where the world is still seen as “other” and the goal of changing it is to build up the church organization as big as possible, no longer is an effective carrier of the original organic contagious spirit of Jesus. So now the ancient-future model, a 180 degree different, inverted model of the Empire-Church, is to once again plant the seeds of the “church” within the pluralistic world itself, to grow the soul of the world, and in doing so the church itself is born anew.”Rev. Ron Robinson, The Living Room Church

The Vision
As one of the final steps in the creation of our new missional church-planting church (the final step is to replicate ourselves), we are moving into a new space that will be dedicated primarily for the wider community’s use. This will enable us to incarnate ourselves in service and partnership to others first, to be guests within our own hosting space, and only then to find our sacred worshipping space within space given to others.

We are with your help creating a place and meeting the needs of an underserved area of the northern Tulsa region. We will create:

A public library of books, tapes, and movies
An internet café providing computers and wireless connections to those many in our area who are without their own as well as the transportation means to get to existing access; a TV and game tables for socializing
A sustainability center of a free giveaway swap center for reusing items, clothes, tools, etc.
A community recycling center
A community agency and community organizations clearinghouse of information and resources
An art gallery
A free musical venue for concerts
A place for community support groups to meet, for public presentations and speakers in an area accessible and in the vicinity of those in need. A way for agencies to come to the people they serve.
A children’s reading and playing corner
An outdoor garden meditation and reading and eating space
A place for classes such as yoga; exercize area
A restored place of beauty and new life in a decaying area
A place for dreams not yet dreamed

The Details of the Vision: We are moving into 4,000 square feet at 6514 N. Peoria as the largest central use in the Highlander Center. Our neighbors will be the U.S. Post Office and a Laundramat. We will be across from a bank. We will be close to the Osage bike and walking Trail. We are within walking distance of north Tulsa and Turley and are on a main highway connecting Tulsa with Sperry and Skiatook. We will continue to house and rent to the national offices of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship. We will continue to gather for spiritual meetings on Sunday and Wednesday evenings and at other times as often as possible using the new multi-purpose space. The Living Room Church information tables will be one of the community groups with tables in the new space.

The Opportunity and Wish List

We hope you and those you serve and those you know will find this an important and needed mission in our world, and for the church itself, and an opportunity for people to make a big difference in lives. Please pass on to others.

We are seeking:
Apostles who will spread the word of what we are doing
Direct Financial Donations from individuals and churches and groups
A one-time plate collection for us during your worship offering, or other type of donation
Donations of:
Computers, wireless remotes, equipment, expertise
Tables—long or round
Living Room furniture
Office furniture
Coffeemakers, expresso makers
Books and periodicals and movies and music for all ages for the library
Connect us with Musicians for concerts, artists, craftspeople
Portable Electric Sign and/or help with New Signage on the building for this community center
Volunteer Workers to have a party and help us with set up of the new space
Regular volunteers who would like to serve a few hours a week or month to be hosts.
Items of All Kinds for our Giveaway Center, including business and professional clothes for a kind of “Dress For Success” style center.
Dreamers with New and More Ideas

Make checks payable to The Living Room Church, 6514 N. Peoria Ave, Turley, OK 74126. For more information, contact Rev. Ron Robinson, 918-691-3223.

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