Archive for the 'church' Category

21
Apr
10

Our New Plan

As you know, CCfB is in a season of change. In many ways, this year has been our puberty. We’re growing up. It’s been painful, confusing, and sometimes ugly… but that’s the nature of growth, isn’t it? After surveys, email conversations, brainstorming, and many productive conversations, we now present our plan for the future of Christ’s Church for Brooklyn.

The Big Picture:

Starting in June, CCfB will meet at least twice per month as a house church. These meetings will not be on Sunday morning, however. This gives those of us who need (to paraphrase Jenny B) church with a capital “C” the opportunity to worship with congregations that have the resources to provide things CCfB cannot. This also give our families with small children the ability to take their kids to churches where they get organized classes, socialization, etc.

At least one of our monthly meetings will be “regular,” meaning that it will happen on the same day of every month (eg. the first Saturday morning of each month). This regularly scheduled meeting will be a brunch break at someone’s home.

The second meeting will be fluid, meeting at a different place/time depending on the purpose of the meeting. (for example, the timing of a service project might be less fluid since it might be in corporation with another organization, while a Bible study can happen whenever interested people are available.)

The Execution:

CCfB folks will all sign up to be the “logistics coordinator” of a one of the rotating meetings. Since rotating meetings only happen (approximately) once per month, each of us should only have to be a logistics coordinator once a year. The logistics coordinator will only be responsible for securing a location for our meeting (someone’s house, restaurant, bar, park, etc) and finding what day/time works best for everyone. The content of the meeting will be planned by the existing leadership team (and anyone else who volunteers to come on board or has an idea for a meeting, discussion, study, service project, etc.)

Our rotating meetings will be a combination of service projects, discussions, Bible studies, worship, Eucharist (Lord’s Supper), worship, prayer time, meals, etc. If we build a study, discussion, or project that we want to continue for a while, there’s no reason we can’t have an “every [insert day of the week] night” event for a month, or two months, or however long we want it to be!

The Transition:

This new structure will officially begin on June 1.

In order to ease the transition into our new structure, May will be a “hybrid” month. We well meet as usual in the cafeteria at PS 261 on May 2, 16, and 30. The Sundays that we don’t meet together (May 9 and 23) will be go visit Sundays. Go visit Sundays give each of us the chance to check out new churches before CCfB’s new “no Sunday schedule” officially goes into effect.

Before each go visit Sunday, CCfBers who are visiting another congregation will let everyone know where they’re going and invite folks to visit with them. That way, we don’t have to explore new churches alone. Likewise, when we come back together after a go visit Sunday, people who visited new churches will report back on where the went, how they liked it, etc.

So… that’s the plan. If you have any questions, want to give some feedback, or have ideas for how this plan can be done even better post a comment and let us know what you think!

13
Aug
09

Life of the Church.

For the past almost three years, I have been in charge of sending out an (almost) weekly e-Bulletin to CCfB’s members and friends. This includes our praise and prayer, and news and birthdays, reminders of upcoming events. For the purpose of compiling this, I write down all of the things expressed during the period of our service each week that we call ‘Life of the Church’…of the LoC for short. On the pages of my notebooks and calendars and random sheets of paper tucked in, I carry with me our history. Trials and triumphs, worries and elations. The processes of time that have led us to where we are today. I sometimes flip through the pages to see the work the Lord has done in us. It is a beautiful sight.

If you have anything you’d like to us to add to the list, please let us know. You can post it in the comments, or e-mail it to us at info@christschurchforbrooklyn.org. Peace be with you.

06
Jul
09

Nobody Knows

If you showed up at PS261 on Sunday and wondered “why didn’t anybody tell me,” you weren’t alone.

Nobody knows why the gates were locked.*
Nobody knows why the janitor (and his key) weren’t on duty.*
Nobody knows why Stonehenge was built… but that’s another story.

Heartfelt apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced on Sunday by our unexpected cancellation of services.  We’ll be back on track next week.  We promise.

In other news, Ashley sent me this note last week and I thought I’d send it to you as well…

“There’s a really great group called Reverend Vince Anderson and the Love Choir (yes he’s a real reverend) that performs every Monday at Union Pool in Williamsburg.  The shows are free, but they do go on a little before 11pm.  It’s definitely something worth checking out if you don’t mind being a night owl.  You can check out their music on MySpace.  The Reverend has this great raspy New Orleans voice and he’s for so to get the crowd clapping their hands and giving praise.”

*retraction: we now know why the gate was locked and where the janitor was, but it’s not a very interesting story. It doesn’t involve dragons or industrial espionage. Still, we hope nobody went hungry for lack of free bagels last week!

02
Jul
09

Learning to Feel God’s Presence

I don’t particularly trust my emotions, especially when it comes to things related to faith. I have a tendency to think faith is too important to be influenced by flip flopping feelings and ever changing emotions.  A lot of that has to do with my personality type. I’m an INTP on the Myers Briggs scale, and I’m heavy on the T and the I. Basically this means it’s easy for me to live inside my head. It’s easy for me to spend all my time thinking about minutiae and analyzing the world and my own thoughts. But I have a hard time just allowing myself to feel something without dissecting it and analyzing it until I can’t feel it anymore. About 6 months ago I was introduced to the African Bible Study at our Thursday night gathering on Hoyt Street. As we went around the room reading the passage and sharing our gut reactions my stomach was in a knot. I didn’t want to give my reaction because all I kept thinking was, “’What’s the context of this passage? Why are we only reading a few verses out of one book? This is stupid and I wish I could leave.” Then we got to the final section, the section of the study where you say. “From what I’ve seen and heard, I feel God wants me to….” I almost got off the couch and walked out of the room. That’s when I knew I needed to seriously work on myself when it comes to the discipline of meditation and listening to God.  I needed to spend some quiet time, not dissecting, but just being in God’s presence. That was six months ago, and I’m sad to say that I haven’t been completely successful, but I’ve slowly been becoming more comfortable making time to listen for God’s voice.

One resource that’s been particularly helpful to me for the past few weeks has been the Jesuit Media Initiatives “Pray as you Go” podcast. I haven’t been using it every day, but every time I’ve used it I’ve come away refreshed. It follows a simple formula that’s carefully designed to help you reflect and pray and listen. There is the opening call to prayer, followed by some music (usually chant), then the scripture for the day. After which there is some quiet time, and then questions for personal reflection. Then more quiet time, a repeat of the scripture, and time for some final reflection. The first time I listened to one of these podcasts I had the same reaction as the first time I participated in an African bible study. I thought it was hokey, but as soon as I let that go, it became a very valuable tool.

This Sunday, our service will be designed to help us mediate, feel, and listen.. We will be spending most of our time in the Book of Psalms. Our songs will be based on Psalms, our readings will be from Psalms, and even one of our prayers will be from Psalms. Then before Jeremy leads us in communion he’ll have us listen to one of the above mentioned podcasts. And as a group we’ll meditate, each to ourselves, but in the presence of community, and some of us will be comfortable, and some of us will be stretched, and we’ll all be lifted up.

24
Jun
09

I am my favorite subject.

Last Sunday we spent the morning talking about ourselves.

Over coffee and bagels we told stories about the churches we’ve attended.  We talked  about the good things, bad things, right things, and wrong things they taught us.  With neither fear nor judgment, we delved into the past.

After all, how can we know where we’re going if we haven’t explored where we’ve been?

Stories were told.  We giggled and cringed, sighed and cried at the journey that has brought us each to CCfB.  But time was short and the janitor needed to put up the tables, so we packed our boxes and left before there was really time to finish.

But maybe this is a good forum to continue the discussion.  If you couldn’t be with us on Sunday – or even if you were at CCfB and would like to reflect a little further – share a few sentences of your story with us.  Choose one (or two… or three) of the sentences below and complete it by telling us how the church you were raised in formed your current views about God, yourself, and your world:

My church taught me that God is…

My church taught me that I am…

My church taught me that people are…

if you’d like 5 bonus points, reflect on your answers to the top three questions and use that info to answer: “Because of this, I now need my church to…”

-b

18
Jun
09

The Learning Curve of Community

Like the Island of Misfit Toys, we are quirky… but we are complete.

Last Sunday, Jen Thweatt-Bates challenged us that when God comes to us, He does not require that we negate who we are.  While there are images of rebirth, metaphors of the old man becoming new, and promises of a “new creation” throughout scripture, we must never mistake that Christ in any way seeks to change us because of a fatal flaw he’s recently found in his creation.

In fact, it’s probably even accurate to say that Christ doesn’t make us a “new” creation as much as he makes us a “complete” creation – a fuller, richer, more complete version of who we already were.

What does that mean for our community at CCfB?  It means that just as Christ loves us as we were created, so we love each other.  It means we understand that acceptance does not always mean agreement.  It means we welcome diversity because diversity breeds growth. It means we require no person to deny or negate their history, their identity, or their traditions in order to be a part of our community.

This Sunday Jennie will lead us in a discussion about where we’ve come from – both as individuals and as a church – and how that will/should guide where Christ’s Church for Brooklyn is headed in the year(s) to come.

Jennie is preparing for this Sunday, and you should be too.  Come to church ready to not only share some of your history, but also help define the future identity of Christ’s Church for Brooklyn.

-b




Welcome to the Christ's Church for Brooklyn blog. We are a loving community of believers who seek to be the hands and feet of Christ, in service to our neighbors in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and beyond.
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