Friday, September 12, 2008

The Simple Church, again

In a new book I will blog on soon, Frank Viola's Reimagining Church, he begins by talking about how hard it has been for the past twenty years to explain to others, to describe, to talk about the organic church that is non-institutional but not individualistic, not go off and do your own thing or with someone else out by yourself and call it church. So I don't feel so bad for being tongue tied, or more often too verbose, in trying to describe the vision and the reality of what we do in Turley as the church, making Jesus visible in the world. I've just been at it a few years really. I fall back on the early disciples admonition to "come and see." This is doubly difficult since we are also based in Christianity that is generous and generally considered progressive and emergent and all those words that fail anymore to mean much, like liberal. So organic and progressive, sometimes at odds with one another, sometimes very much in synch. So "come and see."

Here is the latest "attraction" style publication we have out for people to pick up and take if they want to...not a substitute for incarnation presence here, and most of our folks who hang out and help us in mission and celebrate with us in worship don't do it from a flier but from witnessing and interacting and building relationship with us. Still, here it is...

The Simple Church
Focusing on the “deeds of Jesus” and not the “beliefs about Jesus”.

We in The Living Room church began the community center for the benefit of all our neighbors regardless of what church they attend or whatever their religious affiliation or none.

We welcome all to join with us when we have our spiritual gatherings on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at A Third Place, or during our “service to others” gatherings which happen at different times during the week and month.

Our purpose is to simply “make Jesus visible in the world.” We are a free non-creedal church. We are welcoming of all who welcome all regardless of religious belief, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, economic status, or political opinions.

When we meet on Wednesdays we have a common potluck meal at 6 p.m., believing that breaking bread with one another and strangers is at the core of freely following in the spirit of Jesus. All donations toward the common meal are welcome. Then we have a time of conversation and study or helping others work from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. We may study bible passages, world religions, social issues, personal faith issues, and there is a children’s ministry during this time at the Center. Then we come together at 7:30 p.m. for a time of small group worship, sharing prayers of joys and concerns, lighting candles, having a free and open communion of bread and grape juice to remind us of the spirit of Jesus to take with us into our lives the rest of the week.

We also often meet together on Sunday mornings to worship with other churches, and particularly our sister church in North Tulsa, Church of the Restoration at Pine and Greenwood.

We ask those who would be with us to commit to daily prayer or meditation, weekly worship, monthly check-in spiritually on our personal journeys of faith and ethical living, annual spiritual retreat and revival, and work toward a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to some place that has special spiritual meaning to us, and at all times to look for ways sow seeds of love and justice through acts of random kindness

Our vision is to help start places like A Third Place center wherever and whenever they are needed, and to sponsor small organic micro-churches like ours in other places.