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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Monday, November 15, 2004

There's church. . . and then there's church.

We (the kids and I; Bruce was out of town at an aikido training seminar) went to church twice yesterday.

In the morning, we worshipped with one of my field ed parishes for the first time. St. Andrew's by the Lake is a lovely little congregation in Michigan City, IN. Not so small as they used to be, I might add: the 40-50 people in attendance are nearly double the number of a few years ago. They are a relaxed, friendly community; a blend of contemporary and traditional music and worship; and a comfortable, encouraging approach to lay leadership and Christian witness. I'm going to like it there. (I forgot to take my camera with me this morning; I'll put up pictures next time I'm there).

In the evening, we went up to Rogers Park for worship with Jesus Christ, Reconciler. This, as you'll recall, is the little church plant we're trying to start; and last evening was our first time worshiping together in our new digs. We're renting space at a local coffee house: the Chase Cafe.

It is a different sort of structure there, because of the effort to blend with integrity the three traditions, and the group with whom we are trying to share the Gospel; but this is also good. A cappella singing, supported by strong voices, is solid praise. Preaching that challenges, and disscussion that follows, both seek to understand and to serve God's will. Serious worship in a casual space, amid a backdrop of city noises and distractions. A different sort of Christian witness.

On the surface, these two churches do not appear to have much in common; but undergirding both is the spirit of God, working through loving, faithful, committed people. So if you're ever in the neighborhood of either place, stop by; we'll be glad to see you.


Blogger Clueless Christian said...

What is the "group with whom you are trying to share the Gospel?" What is the Chase Cafe?

Is it a truck stop?

I have often thought, that if I were going to try to plant a church, a truck stop would be fertile soil. There are lonely folks there, far from home, close to temptation, cut off from traditional churches (where they can't even fit their rigs) who tend to have the same runs, week after week, and could find community, and Christ in an outpost on Sunday.

November 15, 2004 8:48 AM  

Blogger Justin said...

Chase Cafe is a coffee shop in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. We chose that for many of the reasons you mentioned.

Rogers Park is fertile ground to sow the seeds of Christ's love.

November 15, 2004 10:28 AM  

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