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Comments

Alicampbellyes

Like this . . . trying to create something out of nothing at the moment. Thanks.

Laura

Great Question! Looking forward to reading what Becky has to say.
Thanks for letting us know about the book.

Dbw18

Love the idea of this starting from zero and especially the 'Common Cathedral'. Thanks

Becky Garrison

Thanks Jonny - and I agree it's very piecemeal but that's how the US Anglican emerging scene is at the moment as you know from your conversations with Tom Brackett, Karen Ward, etc. Rising from the Ashes was even more disjointed - it's a struggle as a storyteller to report on something as it's unfolding. I would love to offer a silver bullet that will cure the church but that isn't there. What we can learn from are the struggles of those who have followed the way of Common Cathedral.

Becky Garrison

Thanks Jonny for engaging with the book. I agree it is piecemeal but as you know from your conversations with Tom Brackett, Karen Ward, etc., this is how Anglicanism is emerging in a US context. In particular, many churches do not want to self-identify as "emerging" because of the identification of US emergent as an offshoot of a historical evangelicalism. Though as you noted, like Common Cathedral, they are truly responding to a particular culture not reached by traditional church.

Rising from the Ashes was even more piecemeal - there I was capturing the conversations that were just starting to enter into the US stream by chatting with those who either market themselves to the US mainline churches or like you engage with US Episcopalians.

The next book is interviewing community members to answer the "so what?" question - so someone starts a ministry but how do is this impacting the people in the pews (or sofas, community kitchens, etc.)? This will also sound piecemeal as people have a range of responses.

And as I write for the Washington Post, the Guardian, etc., I'm moving more and more into the secular market where one thing is crystal clear - branded Xns (albeit emergent, organic, missional, hipster etc.) are seen at best as jokes to this larger world. Very eye opening.

Kim

Starting from nothing is a pretty repeateable biblical model, and the mustard seed stuff that looks small and weak and ramshackle is used by God to great effect. We sometimes have to scale back our own ambitions and use the Bible's metaphors to measure 'success' when we are starting something.

It is hard because we know if we start something eyes are on us; many people from 'mainstream' church always want to know 'how many people are coming?' rather than what kinds of conversations are you having, what is the depth of the interchange etc. It seems perhaps we need to step outside of the success models of modernism and just begin to recognise the Spirit at work and go with that. (I run a community drop in/prayer room that provides space for people at the margins)

Thomas Brackett

In a recent conversation with Jimmy Bartz, I heard him say that Church Planters eventually discern that they look to "different metrics." When I pressed him to explain, he sounded alot like what Kim is saying, above. Thank you!

More on Jimmy: http://thads.org/

Thanks Jonny!

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    i have been blogging for a decade or more in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

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