I have a confession to make. When I was pastor of a local church I rarely made time for the Lay School of Theology. The third weekend of September is not a good time for pastors. When St. John would host it I would always sneak in the back and take in some of the excellent teaching, but I never fully committed myself to the entire event. That is, until last weekend.
I attended Dr. Elaine Heath's class on A NEW KIND OF CHURCH. Dr. Heath is a professor of evangelism and has started a new monastic, missional community in Dallas called NEW DAY. You can visit their web site at http://newdaydallas.org/New_Day_Dallas/Welcome.html
I invite you all to learn more about Dr. Heath's missional initiative. Check out her book titled "Longing for Spring."
Basically, this ministry is about a leadership team covenanting together for their spiritual journey, living by a rule of life, and being bi-vocational. Leaders receive their income and benefits from their employer and donate their time to the ministry. There is no plan to grow a large church. Anchored to an existing church a new community would consist of 12-20 neighbors gathering in a home for a weekly meal and worship. Members would become a close-knit community sharing burdens, studying the Bible, being inclusive and diverse, and an advocate of social justice.
Dr. Heath is interested in exploring how this might look in our Alaska communities. She has a plan for an academy that will develop lay and clergy leaders to start small, missional, monastic communities. This vision has touched my heart and I wonder how God might be working in our lives to do something similar in Alaska. So let's pray and talk about it!
Grace and peace,