It’s not often that contributors to this blog write asking for our community’s prayers. And yet, that’s precisely what I’m about to do. Perhaps we should do it more often.
This week, a small group of faithful, dedicated people are gathering in the pre-planting phase of what, with God’s help, will become the St. Brigids Community in Vancouver. Readers of this blog may or may not know that I’ve been serving as a ministry consultant with Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver since September.
That work has, over the past months, evolved into the development of a new ministry with my friend and coworker, the Rev. Marnie Peterson.
We’ve been talking about planting a new congregation for well over a year, were hired independently of one another at the Cathedral in September, have been working together the past months, and God’s vision has grown amongst us, and beyond our wildest dreams.
For some strange reason, we’ve been brought together, to work together on something we’re both passionate about. One might even suggest that God is calling us to this work. And so with all of this in mind, I want to appeal to you for your prayers.
St Brigids is an emerging Christian community rooted in the Anglican tradition. We’re exploring ways of being church that make sense for Vancouver’s postmodern urban context. Our core community has already been meeting, and identifying ways in which we see God’s calling made manifest in this place.
While we might not be ready to label it in such a way, it seems that the roots of this community display something that Eric Elnes and Brian McLaren have identified as “Convergence Christianity.” You’ve probably come across some of those impulses in the writings of others, like Rachel Held Evans or Nadia Bolz-Weber. And you may have seen a similar ethos displayed in communities like our beloved Wine Before Breakfast community in Toronto.
And so, as this new community continues to form, we’ll gather to share in the Eucharist, to be transformed by our encounters with God and each other, and to be sent out into the world. As a burgeoning community, we’re aspiring to live integrated lives where we will be agents of Christ’s reconciling, shalom-seeking and justice-oriented love in the the culture and cultures of which we are a part.
If there’s one word that keeps coming up for us, it’s reconciliation. All things are reconciled in Christ, and yet we know that ours is such a fragmented culture. Report after report in Vancouver talks about our fragmentation, our loneliness, and despair. Ours is a city of immense beauty, fierce independence, and deeply-seated trouble.
As we move forward, our hope and prayer is that we might play some small role in Christ’s reconciliation here in Vancouver.
We don’t know what will come. We seek simply to follow this growing sense of call, to nurture this growing community of Christ-followers, and to respond to the needs we encounter in this world in Jesus’ name.
It’s an exciting journey. And it’s a scary one. And it’s all in God’s hands.
This week, we’ll begin worshipping together as we encounter the story of the Emmaus road. I’m not sure what Gospel could be better suited to these beginnings.
Will you pray that Jesus make himself known in our midst? Will you pray that Christ be made manifest amongst us? And will you pray that this community may in fact be the hands and feet of Jesus amongst those he’s calling us to?
I am ever-grateful for your readership, friendship, and your prayers.