As a part of being a church planter, I am using this space to share some reflections about this journey in the hopes that it will be an encouragement and aid to others. Check out the rest of the diary.
We are about halfway through our launch group process for House of the Transfiguration. I can’t believe how quickly it’s going. Each week we are looking at part of our Vision Frame.
Things have been going really well so far. There’s been a few steady people with others drifting in and out. It feels like people are starting to get excited about the vision which is really great to see.
One of the things I am learning is that there is a lot of translation needed. For folks who have been Catholic all of their lives some of the conversations about evangelical practices seem to not make sense. For folks who haven’t had much exposure to the Catholic Mass that remains a bit of a mystery. That’s the tricky part about doing a fusion of traditions and styles. It’s also the tricky thing about doing a launch group where you are talking about vision and not necessarily doing the stuff you’ll be doing in your weekly worship gathering. As we finish up working through our vision, our conversations will shift more towards what the worship gathering will look like.
In addition to the Launch Group meetings (which happen weekly), I am also working on securing space for us to worship in. I think we are really close to working things out with a host church which is really exciting. I reached out to a bunch of churches that were different enough from us stylistically but were in line with our values to see if anyone would be willing to host. Most of my emails weren’t returned. I had better luck connecting with folks I knew from other areas. It’s helpful to be able to visualize the space that we’ll be in and to start to think about what it will be like to be a worshipping community.
We are beginning to work on putting things together for the first preview gathering. Trying to find either a donated projector and screen or have someone donate money for a projector and screen. Still trying to find some musicians that can do both praise music and ancient church music, etc.
The other big project I’m/we’re working on is our presence at Pride. We got a generous donation that is allowing us to get a table at the Pride festival which is at the end of June. I am really excited about this opportunity because we’ll be able to get our materials into the hands of a lot of people very quickly and it’ll be just in time to invite folks to the first of our preview gatherings. The hard part is affording it. The donation covered the booth at Pride, a banner for the church, and a few giveaways. We still have to fund more printing and some other stuff for the table. The joy of Pride is that you reach a lot of people, the tough part of Pride is you need a TON of materials to be able to hand out to those people. We are fortunate that someone did some wonderful design work for us and so we have some really strong branding already so that means that our materials will look really nice.
We’re also going to be handing out glow in the dark rosaries which will be really fun. It’s a way to both show off our Catholic identity and have a little bit of fun. We’ve been asking folks to donate boxes of rosaries for us to hand out. They are $30 for a box of 100, so it’s quite reasonable. We also found a site that sells silicone wristbands that we got printed with our church website on them for really cheap so that’s cool.
The other thing that I am thinking through is what, exactly, to put on all of the printed materials. How do you succinctly explain who you are and what you do? We’re a part of a tradition that people aren’t very familiar with and even within that tradition we are doing things a little differently and so that’s hard to explain as well. I think the biggest thing is to let people know that we are open and welcome to queer and/or trans* folks. The rest can be figured out by looking at the website, etc.
I would love to hear from folks in the comments if you’ve had any particular success stories with tabling for your church or organization at Pride or some other community event! What did you hand out? What did you find people wanted to know? What did they ask? Etc. Let’s help each other out!
On a personal note: I am struggling with the fact that I don’t have a car. It makes it really difficult and time consuming to get to meetings, to trek equipment and materials all over the places, etc. I’ve been saving money, but it’s slow going. I would appreciate prayers for someone to either donate a car or donate money towards a vehicle because it would definitely help me do ministry more effectively.
The other thing I have been working on personally is my own leadership style. I’ve been working in a world where the idea of leadership has been frowned upon and so I have neglected that part of my personal development. I am doing a lot of reading about leadership, a lot of thinking about what works and doesn’t work for me, and a lot of praying that God will develop me as a leader and help me to lead from my strengths.
All in all, I am so thankful to be doing something that I have dreamed of since I was in high school. I have felt called to church planting for years and years and to finally be doing this work and ministry is a blessing every single day. I am so, so grateful.
Did you miss the announcement of the new project I’m working on? Check it out!
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