Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Missional in Seattle 1

We were anything but sleepless in Seattle. In fact, it was a weekend dedicated to a conversation about missional. (The mp3s are here.) I’ll post three times on the Missional Matrix event at Vineyard Community Church, an event sponsored by Off the Map and the fine support of Jim Henderson, author of a brand new book.
Today I want to reflect on the Vineyard church, and Rose and Rich Swetman, and the event itself.
There are lots of fine missional churches; this is one of them. Rose and Rich have worked hard to create a missional environment and have organically — because they listen, look, learn and have linked locally — connected themselves into the fabric of Shoreline and their immediate community. One of the highlights of the event was Rose’s story of how their church has become increasingly missional — and how it has learned to minister to all folks, no matter where they are. You can listen to her talk if you follow the link to the mp3s above.
My favorite line: “VCC is an incubator for people’s passions.” Or maybe it was her idea that “they decided not to grow a big church but grow a church big” (which meant intensively). They have two values: spiritual disciplines and serving others. It took three years. They are learning. There was no hubris, no cockiness, but a steely, confidence that they were listening to the Spirit guide them to be servants in the community. No reason to bash other churches. Just a willingness to be who God wants them to be in their place and space.
Then Rose opened her session to questions … and they were flying all over the place, one of the most interesting of which was whether or not social services are Spirit-work or preparatory work for the Spirit (something along this line). I have a letter to emerging Christians about this topic and I’ll try to post it this week.
My favorite line of Rose’s: “I lloooove that.” I can’t say it as she did; but it was memorable.
I’m running out of space… but it was great to meet and be with Rich.
Other highlights about the event and VCC:
Jim Henderson was a hoot; clearly a great emcee for the event and one who knows how to keep sessions moving.
I saw the longest soul patch I’ve ever seen — no picture but if the young man can post a picture to me, I’m happy to put it here. I mean, this guy had a sooooooooooooooooooooul patch. He was a delightful and engaging young man.
Rachelle Mee-Chapman of Monkfish Abbey led a small group; insightful and thoughtful and suggestive.
Jim Henderson interviewed a young atheist medical doctor, Eliza Sutton, who went to a Missouri Synod Lutheran church catechism class in order to see what Christians believe. Very nice session. You could hear pins fall on carpet.
We were privileged to spend time with Amy Powell who was visiting the Swetmans for the weekend. Amy is planting a church in Appleton, WI and we admire her passion and spunk. Every pastor like Amy needs a mentor like Rose (and Jim).
The spirit of the place: I’ve not particpated in a 6 hour event where people had energy the whole time; no one seemed to be in a hurry to get away so they could get something done; people wanted to hang out to talk. There was tranquility hanging over the whole event. No one was sleeping. The Kelly Carpenter Band was awesome, and the two female vocalists led us all into worship — and a key song was one by Melissa Etheridge. (Man, it was a cool song.)
Tomorrw: a synopsis of the talks of Todd Hunter, President of Alpha.

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posted March 27, 2007 at 2:29 am

It was great to see you and Kris on Sunday.
The worship on Sunday morning was awesome – that woman has one amazing voice.

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John Frye

posted March 27, 2007 at 9:38 am

The VCC event sounds like a most delightful church experience for you and Kris. Jim Henderson’s new book sounds very interesting…an athiest’s view of the varied expressions of our faith. I also checked out *Monkfish Abbey.* Cool.

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Erika Haub

posted March 27, 2007 at 10:42 am

Shoreline is my home town! It is great to hear about the ways this church is engaging the community.

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posted March 27, 2007 at 1:04 pm

I’ve been involved with Monkfish Abbey for almost 3 years now and have really loved being part of that community. Rachelle Mee-Chapman is amazing :-) I go to another church also (emerging as well, but much closer to what a standard church looks like) and its been fun to see the contrast of how different people work out some similar values. Seattle is a great place because so many of these interesting churches are very close together.

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posted March 27, 2007 at 1:21 pm

I was at the event and experienced is in much the same way. It was great to sit and chat with people who have a passion to live missional lives that connect with their world around them. Thanks for the inspiring messages and your willingness to work through questions with us. (I’m still working on why Jesus didn’t mention ‘release to the captives’ to John’s disciples :-) )

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posted March 27, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Atheism, the Gospel, and church basements « the (re)blog of brian davis

[…] the Gospel, and church basements 03.27.07 Posted by Brian in Lutheranism, Missional, Church. trackback Scott McKnight links to a presentation series he was involved with in the Seattle, WA area whichincluded an atheist’s experience of a Lutheran (LCMS, in this case) “adult information class”. You can read Eliza’s detailed journal of the 15 week class here. I would suggest listening to the audio first. The interview with Eliza is good and is not your typical atheist-against-theist (or vice versa) fare. She is very thoughtful and courteous in her reflections. And while what is said could easily be said of many church catechesis classes (she in no way is picking on Lutherans here), this could nonetheless be a good window for Lutherans to see how a similar class might be percieved by someone on the “outside”. […]

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posted March 27, 2007 at 10:58 pm

Scot, it was great to have you visit and speak. I really enjoyed hearing from you in realtime, after an awfully long time of reading you :-)
Well cone, and I hope to be able to connect again soon.

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posted March 27, 2007 at 11:02 pm

I should also note that I liveblogged the conference; your readers can find summaries via this tag on my blog.
Oh, and the guy with the soooooooooul patch is Mark Greer, worship pastor at New Vintage Church.

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Brian Davis

posted March 28, 2007 at 3:53 pm

I just noticed that I mis-spelled Scot’s name in my pingback above. As someone who was repeatedly (and some would say undeservedly) called ‘Brain’ in school year books, I should have caught that!

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posted March 29, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Wish I could have been there! How wonderfully exciting to hear about! :) Thanks for sharing.

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jeff greer

posted March 30, 2007 at 2:07 pm

hey this is the soul patch guy…it’s actually jeff greer, but I am the worship arts pastor for new vintage church. thanks for considering me delightful and engaging… that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about me :). (and a young man at that…that makes me feel good) thank’s again Scot for a great conference; very meaningful, confirming, inspiring and engaging! keep up the good work of the kingdom! where should i post you a picture? let me know! rock on! — jeff

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Scot McKnight

posted March 30, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Click on that link in comment #11 and you can see the early stages of that awesome “sooooooooooooooooooul patch.”

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jeff greer

posted March 30, 2007 at 2:18 pm

yeah, that picture was when we were visiting seattle october of 2005, before we moved here in march of 2006. i’ll post a current picture on my blog so you can check it out. rock on — jeff

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posted March 30, 2007 at 3:09 pm

seachas – ’shay-kaas’ » Blog Archive » 10 inches of soul!

[…] According to Scot McKnight, of Jesus Creed Fame, I have the longest soul patch he has ever seen, and so since there were some that were interested in seeing a picture, I figured I would post a current picture of my ’soul patch’ for all to see. From lip to tip it is at 10 inches, but should probably be longer without things like broken ends and trimming too close, but still it’s taken me 2 years to get it to this point. I don’t have the heart to cut it off since I’ve been growing it for so long so i guess I will see just how long I can get it. Check out Scot’s blog by clicking above and if you are interested, he mentions the soul patch in Missional in Seattle 1 post. rock on! […]

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