A Word of Thanks – To God and To You
In this season of thanksgiving, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for all those who are connected to Ecclesia and to Jesus for the work He is doing among us. This has been one of the most exciting and fruitful years in our short history. Not only are more people seeking us out to plant new congregations, but more existing congregations are being drawn into the Ecclesia family as they discover what it means to be in a network that is doing life and mission together in these unprecedented times.
This year also brought along conversations with several existing denominations that want to spur new forms of church planting and how we might work together more concretely. The more time goes on, the more sure I am that we are filling a critical and unique space in the wider landscape of God’s movement in these days. Next month, I’ll also have some exciting staff announcements to share with you. Until then, please peruse the news on this update, check out the links, and don’t forget to register for the National Gathering.
Register for the National Gathering!
March 5-7, 2012
This is just a reminder to register early for the Ecclesia National Gathering and receive the best price possible! The early bird rate is available through December 31st.
Our focus this year is on how our churches can function as centers of reconciliation, where we learn through the power of the Spirit to live as one reconciled family of God across racial, economic, and generational lines.
We’re blessed to have Dr. John Perkins, Dr. Ivy Beckwith and Dr. AJ Swaboda joining and leading our conversation. More info and register here.
Listen and Subscribe to the Ecclesia Leadership Podcast
One of the things that has always been a mark of Ecclesia is the conversations we get to have when we are face to face. Since we can often go a year between those we’ve developed the Ecclesia Leadership Podcast. This is built around casual conversation with leaders in and around the network on how different church communities are understanding mission in their context. John Chander and Todd Hiestand are the hosts and the first few recordings from (Winn Collier, Clay Carver and Leslie Webster, AJ Swoboda) are on iTunes and definitely worth your time! This week Todd and John will be recording a conversation with Eric Phillips of East End Ecclesia in Pittsburg. Be sure to check it out early next week.
Church Planters Assessment
December 9-10, 2011 | Richmond, VA
We know it’s last minute, but we can include one more planter/couple in our Fall planters assessment this December. If you are looking towards church planting with Ecclesia, this is an important step. If you are interested in participating, please email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Funding the Mission: Ministry Partner Development Training
December 6 – 8, 2011
Funding is often an issue and barrier for missional leaders, preventing them from moving into the hopes God has placed in their heart. Recognizing the missionary nature of our ministry context here in the US, Ecclesia regularly hosts trainings related to fundraising for God’s mission. Based on 20+ years of experience in raising funds for mission, the process of this training will equip you with the necessary mindset and tools to be an effective fundraiser for ministry. 15 + people are attending this years equipping time and we have a few spots left. For more information, or to register, visit the Ecclesia website here.
Welcome Rythm Church (Miami, FL) to the Ecclesia Network!
Rhythm Church began brewing about three years before it was actually planted. That’s when a circle of friends in Miami began feeling that God was calling us to give birth to a fresh expression of the church in the future. The simple question we began with was, “What does it look like tofollow Jesus in the place and time?
“As one of our leaders headed off to seminary, we decided to meet up every six months or so for a retreat. We shared meals, laughed, caught up on stories, and pressed into God seeking vision about the future. When our church officially went “public” we met in a home for four months before moving into a church building next to the University of Miami. A handful of families within the community are in the process of relocating to this neighborhood. We want to commit to a people and a place. It seems everybody is into upward-mobility these days but we feel Jesus calling us to practice downward mobility; to live close enough to share possessions, have common prayer times, and help raise one another’s kids. We like the idea of a network of neighborhood churches working together – so once we have enough people coming to our church from another part of the city we’ll look at starting a neighborhood church there.
We chose the name Rhythm because that single word describes the sort of common life we’re seeking. Through daily and weekly practices we’re trying to align our lives to a common rhythm – a rhythm that’s in tune with God’s kingdom, that revolves around worship and mission, loving God and loving others. Rhythm is co-pastored by Keas Keasler and Matt Alexander.”
Welcome Church Planters Worth & Beth Wheeler and Boised Mustard Seed (Boise, ID) to the Ecclesia Network!
Boise Mustard Seed is a newly forming church community of Jesus followers who have their hearts set on living out the grace and peace of Christ in the city of Boise and the Greater Boise Metro Area
“We endeavor to live out the Way of Jesus in innovative forms through an incarnational approach within our context. As such, we are learning to live like Jesus individually and together – amongst friends, neighbors, and future friends – in a way that expresses God’s Kingdom more fully. In this way, we hope to cultivate the formation of more missional communities in our neighborhoods of Boise, and to seed other missional communities around the city, throughout the Northwest, and the world.”