Water’s Edge Partnership began in late 2010 as an initiative of the United Methodist Church.
Tim and Sandy Boone moved onto a sailboat (yes, they sold everything and lived simply!) … to explore the possibility of a very different kind of “church.” What if “church” was a family who did more of the day to day life together? What if creative individuals wanted to “taste and see” what it meant to live as followers of Jesus? What if we could connect to city and society issues in unique ways to solve them? What if the mandate to love like Jesus meant we had a posture of openness and care with a core of conviction of hearing Jesus speak and to collaboratively lead?
Sandy Boone, founding pastor, has been a United Methodist pastor in Virginia since 2002. She and her husband, Tim, started “the Dream” in Baltimore, but now live in Alabama.
In 2016, Steve Burke became the pastor and leader of this movement we call Water’s Edge Partnership (partners together along the waterfront, dipping our toes to see how we could love one another and Jesus really well). Steve, and his wife, Alyce, had been a part of “the dream” before taking over this important leadership assignment. In Baltimore, Steve works bi-vocationally as an Engineer and pastor. His wife, Alyce, works at Johns Hopkins Hospital in research.
In 2015, Gary Ramsburg and Diane Collins, former Board members of Water’s Edge, launched their own “family on mission” group in Norfolk, VA. Gary owns and operates his roofing consulting company andcollaborates with his wife, Diane, on expanding this new model of church there. They have built many friends among the homeless in Norfolk, and among others who desire a true way to experience Jesus and his love.
People often join in with us who have had no to little church background, and are not quite sure where they are “spiritually.” Many are simply interested in “tasting” to see if Jesus might be real.
So, what is the Dream? Keep reading …
Church is really all about community, growing, changed lives, serving and hearing Jesus together. It’s not about four walls of a building or a certain time on Sunday morning.
Doing church as a FAMILY powered by Jesus is our dream.
We are finding people ready to start a new kind of church movement where people are front and center, and every life matters. It’s all about community. As Water’s Edge has evolved, we’ve begun to call ourselves families on mission or missional families.
We actually want to get “the family” part right, where friends, neighbors and co-workers value each other highly, and we work together for the common good of others.
We are located in multiple locations!
We are highly mobile and freely help people get new groups started in the community. That makes us a fast moving network of locations and small communities. We don’t own or rent a building currently. Instead, we meet in people’s homes, in local coffee shops, at marinas, and in borrowed spaces!
Most of us don’t know a lot about the Bible, but we’re learning.
Water’s Edge realizes how hard it is to “just show up at church.” We start at the beginning and help each other. Sandy’s personal story is about landing in church without a clue about where to begin! So, we start with the assumption that you don’t know where to begin and that you just want a good friend who will listen and help you hear Jesus.
For whatever the reason, a “traditional church” is not the right fit for a lot of people. We believe if people come together to genuinely seek Jesus, that’s “church.”
We’re all talented.
We need every person to add their personality, experience, and talents! We count ourselves blessed to be with people of different nationalities, ages, “stages” in life, and family economics. Everyone is talented and the group is better with them than without them.
We hear Jesus saying, “Come on! Let’s do something different!”