Last week I talked about some of my initial thoughts with living radically; some of my struggles and concerns, some of my excuses and wonderings. Travis, in the comments, brought up a great question: How do I do this, especially if I don’t have a community to support me? That’s a great question. I’m not sure it’s possible to do this without community.
Community can take a lot of different forms. As an introvert, I have found great solace/comfort in online community. In fact, it’s been online where I have found other radicals to share ideas with, to learn from, and to get resources. I have found community in the writings of Dorothy Day, the Berrigan Brothers, and others. And I have been lucky enough to find some community locally. Mark VanSteenwyk (the founder of the Mennonite Worker) lives in my town and has been a wonderful resource. I’ve also got the guys at SafeHouse Church to lean on.
But I have to admit that I want more. I want to be a part of a community who are trying to live in the way of Jesus. I have long felt called to start a church and I have written before about House of the Transfiguration. Over the past year we have continued to refine and rework the vision for the community and we are getting ready to relaunch. My plan is to start a launch group in January (around the time that I am ordained to the priesthood) and then to start public worship gatherings in the Fall of 2013. We will be affiliated with the North American Old Catholic Church which is a progressive, independent Catholic denomination.
I’m not going to lie, part of this is my own desire to finally have a church that I feel comfortable in. I realize that might sound selfish, but I think it points to something bigger than just me; I am sure there are others who are looking for a church that doesn’t quite exist yet. A church that combines ancient ritual with modern practice, a church where all are welcome at the Eucharist table and all are fed, a church that wants commitment and focuses on spiritual development and social justice. It’s the combination of things that fed and challenged me when I was in the evangelical church mixed with the theology that stirs my mind and heart now. It’s the mix of Contemplation and Action that I find in the Catholic Left, it’s the social justice and the daily prayer. It’s the fusion of styles and strategies and worlds. This is the community that I want to start in Minneapolis.
I picture a church on fire to change the city of Minneapolis. A group of people who are committed to peace making in the city. I picture house groups that encourage people in their commitment to follow in the way of Jesus, that hold each other accountable, that help to answer Travis’ question of “how the hell do we do this?” I picture lots of communal meals alongside of weekly Mass. I picture cassocks and converse, chant music and drum sets, candles and projector screens. I picture queer people and women in leadership. I picture deep faith and radical action.
I’ll be sharing a lot more about House of the Transfiguration (including a much more detailed vision and plan) in the coming weeks and months. You can follow us on twitter and on Facebook. I’ll also be updating the blog on the website.
In order to make this church a reality, we need some help. There are several ways to get involved:
* You can donate to our indiegogo fund. We need some help with start up costs.
* You can sign up for our prayer list and commit to praying for us. We’ll send out an email probably once a month with specific ways you can pray.
* You can share our indiegogo campaign with others you think might be interested/willing to support.
* If you (or your church) have old church goods (patens, chalices, altar linens, etc) that you no longer need you can donate them.
* You can donate CEB bibles to the community.
* If you have friends in Minneapolis who might be interested, you can tell them about us.