chimes.sum2013.web0729 - page 38

SFTS is pleased to be a sponsor of this year’s Wild Goose Festival,
a community gathered at the intersection of justice, spirituality, music
and art. The annual 4-day outdoor festival provides space for coura-
geous, imaginative and participative social justice work, creative
expressions, spiritual practice and astonishing music.
For information go to: wildgoosefestival.org
Join SFTS
at the
Wild Goose
Festival!
Participants also looked at alternative
worshiping communities that meet in
public spaces such as businesses and
schools.
White said key ingredients in the
success of these new communities
are creative ideas, the energy to carry
them out, and a drive to minister to
unchurched populations by going out
to the people rather than just expect-
ing people to show up in church on
Sunday mornings.
“What if we flipped the concept
of church being a place where people
come to us and we take our church out
into the communities?” White asked
the workshop participants.
While there is much excitement
among current PC(USA) ministers
and church leaders about creating
new ministries, there is also excite-
ment among seminarians about creat-
ing new ways of doing church. Many
of the workshop participants were
SFTS students moving through the
PC(USA) ordination process who feel
inspired by the 1001 New Worship
Community initiative.
“1001 New Worshiping Commu-
nities allows us as future ministers to
explore creative and unique new ways
to do ministry,” said Faith McCellan,
a recent graduate of SFTS. “It allows
us to try new things.”
Tad Hopp, a third-year M.Div stu-
dent, said he came to the “Get into the
Game” workshop to learn more about
what the PC(USA) is doing to support
those who have a calling to new types
of ministry. Hopp, who has an interest
in exploring a new ministry relating
to arts and drama, said the workshop
helped him feel affirmed in exploring
such a call.
“I liked hearing the dialogue at the
workshop,” Hopp said. “The workshop
seems to be working on ways to help
bridge presbyteries with those who
have been called to do alternative
types of ministry.”
One of the ways White and Wil-
liams are cultivating new worshiping
communities is by being active in the
seminary environment. Currently,
they are working to help establish
groups of students, alumni, and semi-
nary leaders who will foster ideas for
new churches and provide support to
new-ministry pioneers in the creation
of their new worshiping communities.
Plans are underway at SFTS to orga-
nize a support group for students and
alumni who wish to pursue callings in
creating new alternative ministries in
the PC(USA).
While White and Williams noted
that creating new ministry opportu-
nities is a difficult task, they added
that every church that now exists once
started as an idea that turned into a
new church development. Williams
added that the best way to create a
new ministry is to find out what the
needs are in your local community
and create ideas to help meet those
needs.“Pursue your passion,” Williams
said. “If it’s your call to do it, then do
it.”
9
Christopher Schilling is a 2013 M.Div. graduate.
New Ministries
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