So, our leadership team at Crossroads has been in talks with a local Epsicopal Church to see about sharing their building. After several months of discussions and more importantly praying and seeking God's leading it looks like we are going to be moving down the street into ...gasp...an actual church building.
I'm excited about this move for a number of reasons. (not in any order)
It means a semi-permanent home for us. Regular set-up and take down will be minimal.
It means a building that looks like a church. Believe me, I am the first to say and try to live out. "We don't go to church, we are the church...we need to be the church." That being said one of the the peculiarities of New England is a love/hate relationship with tradition. We currently meet in the gym of the local YMCA. Many visitors and would-be visitors have expressed a concern or issue about the facility. I'm not just talking about "church people" looking for the right place to meet their needs either. At the same time, some of those same folks are concerned that meeting in a building that looks and feels like a church will drudge up baggage from their uprbinging associated with their parent's church or some other sort of unpleasantness. Like I said it's a love/hate thing. While this might be a detrimant in some contexts I believe here in the enigma that is New England it will help.
Moving into a traditional building provides us with a great opportunity to re-purpose things like the stained glass windows and the kneelers. How cool it would be to provide people with an opportunity to see tradtional church trappings from a new perspective...We are all keenly aware that the new building looks like a church so we are already in the process of brainstorming ways to make to sure we don't define ourselves by our building, to make sure that we continue to be about much more than a place and a time.
This move means a chance to do something with very different community of faith. We will maintain separate services, sunday schools and all that good stuff. Simply the fact that two churches are sharing a space like grown-ups has huge potential to reach the surrounding community.
Our leadership has taken on a much bigger "kingdom" attitude about the whole thing. God is calling us to do this thing. We may or may not benefit from this at all. It's possible that the reason we are doing this is for the other congregation.. Who knows? But the fact that we are thinking of Christ's Church and not our church is very cool.
Anyway, like I said I am excited. Please pray for the people of Crossroads and of Grace Episcopal and for the next leg of our journey together.
tags church christianity New England