Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Mass Email I Sent Out Today

Communion of the Arts renamed
Four weeks of Art&Love
Hello friends,

Thank you for following our progress since our birth less than a year ago. After a long road and much learning, Cota is experiencing a rebirth on Sunday March 18th as Communion. The most significant addition is our awesome new musical worship leader Isaac Wardell. We've been dreaming for a person like Isaac to walk into the life of this church for some time. He brings a wonderful palette of creative arrangements and a broad network of musicians.
Every Sunday at 11am we'll call to worship with lovely unamplified song and thoughtful prayers.

We'll gather in small groups for communion and prayers for one another.

We'll learn scripture by, "teaching one another" in dialog as lead and guided by the pastor and a team who prepared together the Wednesday night before - come join this team and be immersed in scripture while serving the entire congregation.

Finally, we'll move from speaking our love towards God and spend time speaking to one another and enjoying deep relational communion over Indian food!

We have moved from the Lamb's Theater to a new space at 42nd and 9th Ave.

Even though we're young, we've gotten quite a lot of attention nationally from people who are interested in progressive communities of faith, we kind of feel like one of those bands that is huge in Belgium but not as much locally. Our dream is to create a new kind of church that has a real chance to reach the post-Christian generation (who are basically absent from church in America).

Interestingly, Union Theological Seminary here in NYC (where Bonhoeffer taught while in the US) included us on a list of congregations that students were to visit and report on, and they listed us as "Eucharistically experimental". I took great delight in that description. The essence of our "experiment" is - how can a weekly gathering for "church/liturgy/worship" create bonds of love between a group of people that are strong enough to change their lives and the community they live in?

So even though we dropped the word "Art" from our name, we're by no means losing our comittment to exploring it's role in society and communities of faith, and so for the next four weeks join us for Art&Love, a special series looking at art in society and asking how and if it plays a role in creating community...while in parallel, asking how love exists in community...These two streams will help us explore the idea that, what if art is actually a creation of God as a medium of communal love - ie. a way that a large and diverse group of people, "know one another"...Does art mitigate loneliness?...What is it about art that makes it communal? And how do people of faith serve the greater good by embracing art as the medium God created it to be?

We feel that if we start by embracing art in its fullness in our liturgy, then we will be on the way towards understanding it in society (and thus serving society as the body of Christ). But we need you to help us get there, so if you are longing for a fuller experience of relationship in your community of faith and a deep and lovely liturgy - this communion is what we are longing for and believe is the essence of God's dream for the world.

Jeff Kursonis
Pastor, Communion NYC


Sundays at 11:00am
at the office of our friends at Origins Church
581 9th Ave #3B (corner of 42nd St. and 9th Ave.)
Above the papaya dog.
Enter the door on 9th Ave right next to the papaya dog.
buzz number 3B...(if any problem call 917-553-6843)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cohort gathers Monday with LLC

It's Cohort time again in NYC. This time we're gathering with our Latino Leadership Members (LLC) and they are guiding our dialog and helping us to see how they are emerging. David Ramos the founder of the LLC is also a leader at the Cohort.

The NYC Emergent Village Cohort blog is here.

I'm really excited about this months gathering - when we talk about everyone being at the table, this is it really happening. The LLC is a group of young progressive Latin leaders who have been meeting for 5 or more years - they were emergent before most of us heard that word.

If you live near NYC, let me tell you why you might come to this month's gathering if a general interest in their unique outlook isn't enough; The Latin population of America is soaring, we've all noticed their increased political presence and power, you may have heard the very interesting social comment that salsa replaced ketchup as the biggest selling condiment in this country a few years back. If you have a church, it is very likely that you will have young Latin members. You will learn insights about how to best serve them and love them by joining our dialog this Monday night. This is real important stuff.

For me, beyond ministering to people in my congregation, I just want to know the story of a people. They got some huge history and stories that will change my life if I'm listening. One thing I'm passionate about is killing and closing down the social divides in this country, whether they are ethnic, economic or religious (or the tall people/short people thing). This month's cohort is going to be one very important step in the dream of God for healing the world.