Some of you know that Mary and I have recently made the outrageous decision to leave Church of the Open Door in order to plant a new church here in the twin cities. We love Open Door with all of our hearts, and it has been such a difficult decision to leave. But after about a million conversations, there is an undeniable sense that we need to do this, that God is inviting us to do this, and so we are saying yes. It’s thrilling, scary, and we’re ankle deep in the waters of new beginnings.
Here’s what we know so far:
This new church will be called Genesis, and our vision is to join God’s work of cultivating new beginnings in all of us, everywhere. We believe God is always at work making all things new; God is always repairing and healing what is broken. So we want to partner with God in doing all that good stuff.
We hope to be a quirky mix of contemplative and active, of recognizing and responding, of slowing down and moving forward. We hope our gatherings will be simple, beautiful, hopeful, and anchored in God’s story of resurrection; that surprising new life can and does shoot up out of dead and dying places. We want to be community where joy overcomes cynicism, and where we send each other out into our actual lives, rooted in who God has made each of us, to do all kinds of good wherever we find ourselves. We want to be a place of simplicity, conversation, delight, and restoration. We are calling ourselves ordinary apprentices of Jesus who are learning to love God, ourselves, and others wholeheartedly.
And by ourselves, I mean all 13 of us, so far. We’re huge! Of those 13, we have people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. We don’t have a target audience. We are flinging the doors wide open for people who are desperately hungry for new beginnings: with God, with each other, and in the world. Actually, there are 22 of us, because 9 kids happen to be joining us on the adventure. When I asked Elijah if he’d be coming with us to Genesis, he paused and then said, “Ab-so-wutewy.”
So we’re off to a good start.
We do not know where we will meet yet, but the areas we’re looking at are: Robbinsdale, Crystal, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, and parts of South Minneapolis. We’ll meet on Sunday mornings, once a month during June, July, and August, then we’ll begin gathering weekly on Sunday mornings in the fall.
There are so many great churches in the twin cities; you might wonder why we’re starting another one. Even with all the great churches, there are still many who are disillusioned, many who have questions, and many on the margins of faith who haven’t yet found a spiritual community that feels like home. And I have learned that I’m wired up to create a culture where people can pursue God in their actual lives, as their actual selves. And we believe new beginnings often generate new beginnings. So we’re doing it.
So – fellow lunatics – pray for our little band of 22 as we gather others to join us on the adventure. At times, I’m wild with excitement, and at other times, it seems like a whole lot of unknown, and these waters are uncharted, at least for me. I will tell you this: I’m having fun.
So stay tuned. I’ll be providing more info on this adventure in the weeks to come.