PATHS TO AN EMERGING CHURCH
It’s not easy watching something new emerge. It takes patience—and faith—not to prejudge it, not to jump to conclusions, not to short-circuit the creative process. It requires openness and curiosity to allow God’s future to unfold.
Last Sunday evening a group of Christian seekers met at St. Stephen’s to witness the first tentative shoots of a new church emerging from our traditional roots. Some came from Catholic and Orthodox traditions with their emphasis on ordered worship; some came from evangelical churches with their focus on a personal relationship with Jesus. But all found their way to St. Stephen’s seeking an expression of the Christian faith that transcends the restrictions of any one tradition. All are looking for a more inclusive, more open church.
The gathering reflected all the paths that brought us here: the circle was spacious and the tone was contemplative; the praise music was led by guitars; the reading was meditative and the conversation in small groups was soulful; the sharing of bread and wine was communal and unscripted; and the departing was open-ended.
We asked everyone to leave us some thoughts on paper and we’re in the process of reading and assimilating those. They will help us give words to the changes we are seeking in the church … and perhaps a picture of what the emerging church looks like.