I stumbled on something called The Sharehood today that I wanted to share here.  The vision of the Sharehood is that they would “enable sustainable communities by encouraging you to share resources and get o know people in your local area” (see here).

This may be a bit like the fax machine (i.e. it won’t work until you have a certain critical mass) but they have some great ideas.  Among them are some great ideas for connecting with neighbors including: picnics/barbeques, swaps, movie nights, sports days, super garage sales, progressive dinners, kids parties, Christmas parties and street parties (see here for the original list with explanations)

Check out more ideas for connecting with and caring for your neighborhood (see also Sharehood’s idea of the community library, which I think is awesome!)

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Let me encourage as many of you as are interested to head over to gcmcollective.com to connect with some great people serving on mission all over the world!

You’ve already heard me talk about and quote lots of the people you’ll find over at the GCM Collective: Jeff Vanderstelt, Tim Chester, Jonathan Dodson and Steve Timmis.  There’s also a thriving community section to the site that has been up for some time.

The Last Word: Definitely check out the Resources section of the site.  There you’ll find downloadable articles and trainings like “Engaging in Story”, “Gospel Fluency”,  a “Contextualization Assessment Starter”, as well as Soma’s great Soma School training audio.

Check it out!

Thanks for writing your thoughts from the summer Kari.  It was really encouraging for us to read about your time here this summer. For everyone else, I hope you enjoy reading another perspective on the events of the summer.  The post that follows is really exactly the same as the note Kari wrote here on Facebook (so don’t feel bad if you don’t understand the inside jokes :)) We are so excited for where God has been and is continuing to take us! Enjoy!

“Oh Holland, How I Miss You”

By Karinna Hagelganz

I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to actually finish this… but here is it. My thoughts and stories from the second half of our mission trip to Europe, located in my favorite country.

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Just listened to a fantastic message from Tim Chester on the people of God and the mission of God.  Great whole Bible run through over the people of God and God’s mission.  “At the heart of the mission of God is the creation of a people of God”  Its an hour, but get some popcorn (Who hasn’t wanted popcorn in church?) and check it out!

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The Road is Coming Clearer

October 23, 2009

Jesus has changed me.  In fact, he has made me totally new and now I will never be the same.  Every day my new identity in Jesus is played out, growing in new ways to take root in every part of my existence.  This life is no checklist to be accomplished.  It is holistic and leads me in to a new way of living.  My family, my understanding of myself, my priorities and every other area of my life will be changed.

At the same time I am continually formed and reformed through my relationships with other Christ followers.  We form a learning community together as we pursue Christ and the restoring of all things in our own personal lives and relationships.  Together our love for Jesus marks our identity as his followers.

Besides my own personal formation, which is constantly being played out, and the life I lead in support of and supported by my triad, I am also banded together with a larger group of Jesus followers on mission to renew our city and community.  Together we have the ability to engage larger projects of renewal in our city.  My life in Christ and triad are enriched by others in the group who know God’s story and have begun to participate in it in ways that stretch me.  This larger group does not bear the same kind of near constant presence my triad does, though we still meet regularly.

Finally is my extended family.  God is at work in many ways in my region and city and so I also gather with an extended group of believers to celebrate our God and to seek him together.

My dream is that one day the above testimony, or some cognate, would be spoken by a Dutchman on the other side of Holland.  The long beneficiary of today’s renewal.

“How do we understand our mission biblically–Old and New Testaments?  How does my identity in Christ, formed by mission, form me for mission?  How do we organize around what God is doing and joining him?  Where is the balance between Spirit and form?  What are the rhythms of life that my new identity in Christ leads us in to as an individuals?  as a community?  How do we re-join God in the restoration of all things?  How do we make our lives about this restoration, trimming back the excess?

These are the questions we are facing today.  And, these are the questions we just beginning to answer as we step out in baby-step like answer to God’s gargantuan call.

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Recent Musings

June 16, 2009

As I continue to reflect on contextualizing the Gospel in our current setting, I have begun to compile a list of questions that will help me and us reengage our purpose here as a church (and especially the youth side of that).  I guess I’m mostly thinking in terms of living out the theology we profess to believe, but often fail to display.  You might put it this way: “If the Bible declares this to be true, then how are we living that truth out?”  Here’s an example of one of these questions:

Since God has invested so great a power in us (Eph. 1:19-20), what are we doing, or how are we living, that would require so great a power to be successful?  Is there anything which we have committed to as a church and as a youth group, which could be said to require so much?

And another: Since God creates from community (Trinity) being which, in order to reflect him well must be in community (“Let us create Man in our image”–image is also relational in nature), how are we overcoming our Western inclination toward individualism to reclaim a holistic, Godly community?  How well does our present community (maybe you can read “church” here) provide a foretaste to that future community into which we are being born (the city in Revelation and the restored people of God)?

I’m going to continue asking questions like these of myself.  I’d love to hear what questions you are struggling with and what Gospel truths you are searching to find evidenced in your life and community.

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