Beyond the Pews
Editor's Letter June 2022
In parking lots and picnic grounds. By rivers and along the mountainside. On TikTok and the Metaverse. Church is happening all around us, and we are discovering new spaces in which to praise, to pray and to build Christ’s community. In this issue, hear from people doing profound and deeply inspiring work in non-traditional church settings, creating meaningful relationships through powerful ministry.
In Vocation in an Unsafe World, Diana Wheeler tells us about the Companions of Dorothy the Worker, an ecumenical Christian community that brings radical hospitality to the queer community, modeling Christ’s unfailing and constant love to the most marginalized among us. This article is available in English and Spanish.
What is our modern day understanding of the mission of the church? In The Third Place, Jon Davis tells us about spaces where people gather outside of home and work, to witness and experience redemption, reconciliation and repentance, making these sacred communal places also ‘thin places’, where the Holy Spirit can be felt working in and through us.
What are the long-term effects of COVID-19 on faith communities and how are we tackling them? In Bridges to the Future: Addressing the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Faith Communities, ECF staff, in collaboration with Diocesan teams, share “new ministry models to ensure the sustainability and vitality of these communities over the long-term.”
Leaving your comfort zone and trying new things is always a learning experience. Sometimes it’s also incredibly fun. In TikTok and Real Ministry, Ben Maddison describes his foray into TikTok which started out as a way to make people laugh and has now become a powerful source of real ministry.
How Are You Building Community?
Your congregation exists to offer strength and love to God’s people. How does your congregation extend ministry beyond church walls to build Beloved Community in your neighborhood? How might your buildings or your parking lot or your grounds or even your endowment transform lives among the people who know only the outside of your buildings? How might God imagine putting those assets to work? To begin exploring how to use your assets to serve God’s people close to home, contact ECF (email@example.com / 800-697-2858).
Editor, ECF Vital Practices