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Missional or Reformation of “Church”

Some of you will notice that we don’t call ourselves a “church” so much. Although we act like a church in several ways (belief, planting new communities of faith, helping disciples grow, connection with the United Methodist Church, serving God and the world), we also act in ways unlike some “church” experiences.

We have simply been following God in dreaming. We’re not always so sure where it will take us!

One thing we have noticed is this “missional” movement apparent in the church at large.

Many people focus on the word “missional” as we do. But behind the word “missional” is an understanding that God is perhaps doing a new thing, perhaps reviving an old thing, and moving to call “normal, everyday Christians” to lead. Whereas many churches ordain and set aside clergy to lead, the missional movement is a calling to a new way of leadership.

God is providing for his world with people – the “priesthood of all believers.”

It does not equate to the American individualistic claims of freedom (i.e. I am free to do whatever I want). It isn’t so much about “autonomy” as it is the calling of God for a different, transformed world! God wants to make right what has been out of alignment with Him.

The priesthood is very much a connection working among us – to save, to help, to connect us with one another – as the Holy Spirit moves and creates. It is also very much about taking on the character of God into ourselves, as an entire community.

 “The fact that we are all priests and kings means that each of us Christians may go before God and intercede for the other. If I notice that you have no faith or a weak faith, I can ask God to give you a strong faith.”

- Martin Luther in his preface to The Psalter

I’m going to be honest. When I was going to school, it was much easier to work on a project independently rather than in a group. Read More…

Independence Day Party, 7:00 pm


Get all of the information from Eventbrite, Free Tickets required.


How do I know when Jesus is actually saying something to me?

hearing Jesus - compassI was asked this last weekend, “How do I know when Jesus is actually saying something to me?”

It’s a wonderful, honest question, isn’t it? This is the perfect season to engage in some new (or renewed or re-tooled) practices which open us to the spiritual reality of Christ, or God’s kingdom, among us.

Jesus is right here!

Human beings live in a world both physical and spiritual in dimension with the added twist of personalities which are both physical and spiritual, and added textures around what is known and what is not known.

Yet, we are not left to wondering whether, or if, Jesus is talking to us.

Did that sound a bit contradictory?

diagram of physical and spiritual world with practice as the movement between

We sometimes feel confused in the tension between what can be seen plainly vs. what needs to be searched for. In life, most things which really give meaning are not always physical but rather manifest themselves in a flowing way of living which gives physical reality to a less than physical fact. For example, consider a dream of your future. It isn’t physically realized. But it’s no less real in this world. And, it is finally made “physical” as you make actual plans, expend energy, and possibly make purchases for that ‘dream.’

The “heavens are open to us” . . . yet we feel the limits of what we allow ourselves to “see” whether it be ‘a personal vision of good parenting’ or a ‘new way of living’ or ‘looking for a new job’ or . . . ‘Jesus.’ Although seeking these items may seem illusive at times, they are ‘find-able.’ (I think I made up a new word, ‘findable’!)

When I realize I don’t know where my cell phone is, I go looking for it. That cell phone’s whereabouts isn’t immediately known! (Maybe y’all don’t lose your cell phone as often as I do mine!) I cannot “SEE” where it is – at that moment. But I’m confident with a little bit of patience, perseverance, searching, thinking about where I’ve been, and possibly even asking my husband to call it (always as a last resort) … I WILL find that darn cell phone, again!

We search for stuff all of the time. In fact, we probably each have developed normal, and kind of fun, “search” operations for everything from what good movies are out to what cool new recipe to cook to finding out information about good schools!

It’s the same way with Jesus and what He’s saying. It is ‘find-able.’ There is a normal search operation to do.

Just because you don’t ‘see’ Jesus at this moment does not mean ‘he isn’t there’ or ‘he’s unavailable.’

Jesus actually taught us how to find him and hear him! John Wesley, a great spiritual leader in the 1700’s, called this developing our sixth sense. Jesus taught us tools which Christians have named “spiritual practices.” It is the Way to seek Jesus and his words to you. They are effective – because they’re the way Jesus taught us to see him! Read More…

Update on our City Garden in a Vacant Lot

satellite view of seton hill ministry area

We need you.

Tom, Nora, Tim and I met up last week to clean up trash in our vacant lot in the Seton Hill area of Baltimore City. We were “taking the pulse” of the area and trying to figure out what we could do best with our time and commitment to help the community.

We came up with a plan. I’d like to invite you to join us!

We think our greatest moment is when we can get to know the neighbors and they “buy in” to a community garden idea. So, our first project is not to build the garden but to find ways to build relationships where we both learn and grow in friendship. Then, we can build together.

Do you know someone in the Paca St., St. Mary’s Park, housing project area of Seton Hill? Do you know a local police officer? Do you know a community activist or someone in the city planning department? We need connections to find out all we can.

Second, we are thinking about holding a “fun day” on the street of Orchard St. sometime soon. There are plenty of kids up and down the street, and we are working on plans for a creative, healthy adventure for two hours “in the hood.” Would you like to impact a kid’s life one day this summer? Let us know.

Then, we’ll see what we learn and what we collectively hear God saying together about our next move!

You can be the difference in Baltimore City this summer.

Easter on the Water – April 8

Put your Adventure on - for Easter on the Water, April 8 @ 9:00am!

Get all of the details in this article.

We’re planning our second annual Easter on the Water celebration – with a new kick.

Chef Chip Marshall will be with us and at the end of our celebration he’ll help us whip up a great breakfast together. Then we get to eat out on the water! And … at the end of our meal, we’ll put together breakfast sandwiches to feed the hungry out in the Fells Point square.

This is what Easter is all about: Jesus changing real life situations. He shows up.

It’s Jesus who pushes us beyond our “normal” to connect together, give people genuine friendship, and extend His love to those who won’t have a meal except with those who follow Him.

Make this Easter morning a very special one. Bring the ‘hood. Enjoy the peace. Watch the water ripple. Connect in a new way with your family and neighbors.

Put meaning in this Easter.

A few logistics:

Read More…

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