As The Community Haus continues to develop, one of the things that we’re finding the most encouraging and helpful, is to check out what God is doing in faith communities, everywhere – both the traditional and fresh expressions.
In the past we’ve been really encouraged and inspired by visiting communities like Madison Street Church (A Brethren in Christ Community), Circle of Hope, Grace Ubuntu Fellowship and The Anchor Fellowship.
However, more recently, we’ve really put an emphasis on visiting one new ‘inspirational‘ community every month. It’s a journey that could be described as, ‘In pursuit of God stories, stories of community and a good cup of coffee’.
Last month, we were in Holmes County Ohio, on a short vision-casting and family bonding trip. However, on that weekend trip we were also able to engage in some coffee and conversation with some Amish, ex-Amish and fellow Mennonites. We were really excited about a few things when we were out there; (1) Studying the historical influence of the area (2) Feeling and witnessing the fresh missional influence rain down on a traditional looking church we attended (Christian Life Mennonite Church) (3) Finding a great cup of coffee from Better Life Coffee and (4) Exploring what God is freshly calling to the surface, in traditionally plain communities. We were especially encouraged by our time with Mr. Nelson Miller and the stories he shared, of big things God is healing in the lives of many.
This Sunday, we will be in Midland Virginia (Fauquier County). Katie and I lived in the Fredericksburg area of Virginia, from early 2009 to late 2010, where we made home and became involved in the community at Dayspring Mennonite Church. It’s been since my licensing service of December 2010, since either of us have returned to visit the church. Their example of community, that was portrayed and practiced at this church was closer than many family settings and has impacted and stuck with us for a long time. We look forward to the encouragement of worshiping with some old friends again, as we hear what God is calling to the surface, in their gifted community. (In case you’re keeping count, I will grab a cup of coffee at Hyperion Espresso in downtown Fredericksburg)
I am also really excited for the last weekend in March, as I am headed to the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn (New York). I will be visiting some new friends we’ve made in the Atlantic Coast Conference of Mennonite Church USA, and their intentional community-called Radical Living. I expect some great conversation to take place, as I stay the weekend with them. We seem to be a people of like-minded mission. I imagine there will be some perfect first-hand stories that will resonate deeply with our vision and work, hopefully also a place to find a great cup of coffee. (Hint Jason)
As we come into April 2013, we are still seeking a place to witness the fresh expressions and things God is doing through his people, in community. We are considering a trip to the urban renewal hub of Braddock (Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania. However, if you have any invites or suggestions, we’d love for your ideas. (Also, if you’re near one of the communities we’re visiting, please let us know, you know, for the whole story and coffee thing.)
Where do you see God moving in the North East in new and powerful ways; through intentional communities, gathering churches and fresh expressions of our faith?