Hey, I've been in a sea of both joy and stress from our first meeting, and then our second meeting, so I haven't blogged. But I was really, really thrilled to finally have our first meeting. Now after two years of prayer, preparation and planning (and freaking out) - we are finally a church.
We gathered in a circle, slowly more people came, until we had 10-12 people (I purposefully didn't count). We had a long time getting to know one another, then I shared about our plans for the fall, and then I talked about how we needed to start by having a time of making sure we were starting in faith and not in reactionism to hurts and frustrations with the church. We had a time of prayer to forgive if we had any of that in our past, and then asked the Lord to heal us. I believe this is an important thing for a new movement like the emerging church to do. We are the body of Christ, and this is one small evolution in our 2,000 year history, and being Christlike and moving out of love and always being quick to forgive is our unchanging 2,000 year old way.
My whole journey on this has been so based in prayer, so based in following Christ every small step of the way, that this was just so clear to me how we had to start. I deeply fear getting it wrong, being divisive or being deceived and so the only way I know how to go forward is by staying really close to Christ. He constantly said he only does and speaks what he sees the Father doing, and so that is my method.
We also had communion now both weeks which has been wonderful, we're trying different ways of doing it. Here is my big piece of solid church planting experience from the front lines...don't use crusty french breads for communion, they leave crumbs all over the floor.
After passing around that loaf, when we put all our chairs away, there was a circle of crumbs on the floor.
So, then the next week I buy this interesting looking loaf from a bakery, and it looks really soft and pliable and not crumbly - and so we open it up, and it's in a little silver tin, and that's there to hold the super buttery bottom! Just oozing, almost dripping with butter! Awesome. So we had to tear the top off and leave the bottom there. I'm starting to get a little idea of how the little communion wafers came into being.