Part of what we hope to create are expressions of church that engage with a changing culture and meet people who are seeking spiritual community in new ways. These kinds of church almost never arrive fully formed as a worshiping congregation. More often they come into being through a period of listening, through acts of love and service together, creating relationships and opportunities for community to develop and exploring questions about faith and discipleship. A worshiping community often emerges at the end of this process. That being said we have all different kinds of communities and experiments. Some of the experiments we created, things like flash compline, moveable feasts, or contemplative prayer gatherings have helped shape the communities that gather today. And we have found that inherited churches and fresh expressions of church are partnering together and learning from one another in exciting ways!
Espiritu Santo started as an after school Homework Club just for kids, and has become a community center for families, we are now growing into our new identity as a church community open to all. We are a new church community being formed in Forest Park, OH. We are Spirit-filled, fun-filled, and seeking to grow in relationship with our neighbors. Led by the Rev. Maggie Foote this is our first Latino church plant in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Espiritu Santo has a variety of programming on Tuesday and Thursdays each week and monthly or seasonal worship services. They plan to begin weekly worship October 2019.
Northside Abbey was an emerging, experimental ministry in Northside. By drawing inspiration from ancient monastic heritage and rooting into the common context, we hosted and created sacred space where community could be nurtured, questions asked, bread broken, meals and stories shared, justice and reconciliation pursued, and where creative collaboration flourished. After over two years together, we held our last gathering. There is much to learn from this community and several of it’s members have partnered with the cathedral in launching the Noon Service (see below). We continue to share their story here so you can find inspiration and because we believe that communities are the seeds that God uses, some keep growing and some fertilize other communities in the future. We are so grateful to Northside Abbey and especially the visionary creative, Brianna Kelly. She continues to bless us with her soulful music and spiritual longing.
Saint Matthew’s, Westerville, has been rethinking church for the last few years. They’ve moved from a church building to a house on East College Avenue, they have become a neighborhood presence, the priest holds regular discussions with passers-by on the front porch and welcomes neighbors and non-profits to share space and build community. They gather for Sunday worship on the third floor of the Old Bag of Nails Pub, and host Pub Theology there on Wednesday nights. They’ve partnered with a local coffee shop to hold concerts and story telling nights. Through it all, they’re committed to being “The Weekday Church.”
New Hope Fellowship is a community of people from Africa living in the Dayton area. The fellowship gathers for worship in Kiryarwanda, the native language of Rwanda and also works to offer outreach and assistance to refugees and those new to America. They are building a community of support and friendship and working to unite people across difference. They worship at 1 pm on Sundays at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
This new worship service is a space for those who are looking for a faith community that is a little different, a place for questions more than answers, for conversation where we wonder together at what God is doing in us and through us. We also sing and pray and break bread together and welcome . The Noon Service gathers at Christ Church Cathedral on East Fourth Street on Sundays at noon. They also gather for Bible Study, Moveable Feasts in people’s homes, Brunch Church, a concert series and other gatherings.