St. George’s Anglican Church is the first church plant that has come out of the ministry of Plant Medina. Over the past four months our gatherings have usually been confined to a house, a coffee shop, or a city or county park pavilion. While our times together have been rich in building relationships with one another, as a worshipping community there was a growing hunger to not only gather in a home and talk about Jesus, but to also gather around the Lord’s Table for public worship as we participate in the mission of God in Medina County. There has been a desire for a building/worship space that we could use for our church’s worship services that meshed with our Anglican style of worship… so we have been praying…
… Well our prayers were answer this week when Harvest Presbyterian Church’s leadership graciously voted to allow St. George’s to use their building and facilities on Saturday evenings for our worship services!!! This is an ideal fit for us since Harvest Presbyterian shares a similar vision in matters of Evangelical theology, a faith rooted in the historical and orthodox tradition, an appreciation for liturgy, and the proclamation of God’s Word.
We will be meeting at Harvest for worship on Saturday Nights starting a week from this sat. Below are the tentative dates and times we will be meeting for worship this year:
- Sat, November 19 at 6PM – “Practice Service” – @Harvest Pres.
- Sat, November 26 at 6:30 PM – Worship Service (Bailey Stafford’s Baptism) – @Harvest Pres.
- Sat, December 10 at 6PM – Worship Service – @Harvest Pres.
- Sat, December 24 at 6PM* – Worship Service (Christmas Eve) – @Harvest Pres.
Starting in 2012 our rhythm for meeting as a church will look like this:
- Missional Community Gatherings – 1st and 3rd Saturdays at the Kocak’s House (763 Patriots Way) – 6-8 PM
- Worship Services – 2nd & 4th Saturdays at Harvest Presbyterian Church
This past Sunday I gave a presentation outlining the mission of Plant Medina and announced the name and location of our first church plant in Medina. It was an exciting time for many of the people who were present. It helped to clarify and direct what our mission is as a church in Medina County. Fortunately, for those who were unable to attend, I was able to make a video of the presentation and upload it. You can watch (or review) it below.
The video is about 1 hour in length, but I encourage you to take the time and watch it! It will lay out many things including: the primitive core values of our church plant, the meaning behind the name of our first church: St. George’s Anglican Church, what type of help we need, what Missional Communities (MCs) are, the calendar for the rest of the year, and our midterm and longterm goals as a missionary organization.
As you watch the video or flip through the slides, I pray the Spirit of Jesus in me connects with the Spirit of Jesus in you.
Here is the FULL presentation with audio and commentary:
If you would like to view a .pdf of the slides you can download that here.
There have been a lot of powerful events that have happened the past two weeks in my life (and many more to come in the next two weeks: Ordination to the priesthood, daughters first birthday).
1- The Joint 9/11 Service - On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (some now refer to this day as ”Patriots Day”), myself and a couple of Evangelical pastors in Medina held a Christian prayer service. We read scripture, confessed our sins as a community, heard comforting words from pastors, and prayed for our community. I gave a challenging speech urging us to not only “reach for the flag” on the 12th of September, but to also “reach for the cross.” I wove these two images together in my story and how 9/11 was one means by which I reached for the flag and enlisted in the US Air Force. But what changed my life was reaching for the cross. My friend Tony Myles actually requested for a copy of the speech and published it in the local paper, you can read it online here.
2- Anna Rose’s Baptism into the Body of Christ - One week after 9/11, this past Sunday, Anna Rose was baptized at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Hudson, Oh.
Over the past six weeks we have been having “vision alignment sessions.” During these times we share a meal, pray, hear how God is active in our lives, hear Scripture, and discuss a topic relating to church planting: community, church, culture & values, and most recently mission. Before we began our conversations last Sunday, we watched a video on mission and heard a wonderful testimony of how one member from our church plant was connecting with her co-workers. Below are some thoughts on mission harvested from our session.
What does this have to do with Plant Medina? Our mission is to participate in the mission of God: of announcing the redemption that is only made possible in Jesus Christ. At Plant Medina this mission looks like an intentional desire to grow (mature) in our relationships:
- with God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (upward)
- with Family: biological and spiritual (inward)
- with Neighbor: actively and intentionally loving those in our broader community (outward)
On Sunday we continued our “Vision Alignment” series talking about “Church.” After a time of eating together, prayer, reading scripture, and singing we watched this short video on “What is the Church.” Not that we agree with every comment in the video, but it opened the floor for a time of honest sharing, encouragement, and truth telling.
In the coming weeks we will be discussing the following topics: values and culture, Anglican distinctives, worship, and leadership. You can download our “roadmap to retreat” for more information.
Yesterday we began a series of “vision alignment” discussions where we will be discussing some of the dynamics of our church plant. Due to people’s schedules, summer vacation, and jobs I am going to be doing video recaps to try to summarize some of what we talked about.
Before you watch the video below, I recommend you revisit one of our previous posts, a video post on Airplanes and Missional Community . This will help give you a context for the recap video.
In the coming weeks we will be discussing the following topics: church, values and culture, Anglican distinctives, worship, and leadership. You can download our “roadmap to retreat” for more information.
After the reading the previous post, there may be some of you who would like Plant Medina to alway be entirely more of another expression: More Sacramental- wanting a high mass with all the vestments, incense, and liturgy that comes with it. Others will want more of a Charismatic expression- very little or no liturgy, extemporaneous praying, long music sets, and praying in tongues. Others still may want a more Evangelical feel- a 45 minute sermon, a coffee bar to stop at on the way into service, a 50 acre campus, and video presentations with power points, and fill in the blank puzzles for the adults in the audience…
Part of being Anglican is living in the tension of all these elements and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring balance to our worship as we engage in mission. Anglicanism has been described as a via media or middle way between the extremes of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. The beauty of all this is that as a movement of planting the seed of the Kingdom of God in Medina, certain church plants may be more Sacramental or Charismatic or Evangelistic or Monastic …. but …. not to the total disregard of the elements within the “seed vision.”
Last week we looked at the phenomenon of Organics and how plants and churches grow naturally in the context they find themselves. Next we considered what this would mean for worship: How the ancient patterns of worship that have nourished Christians for millennia find new life, appreciation, and expression in our worship today.
An organic, Spirit-filled, ancient-future, Jesus worshiping community can also be described as planting a movement that is rooted in the Kingdom of God. In the last section we talked about how everyone is called to this mission of “sowing the seed of the Gospel” no matter where they find themselves in life. We have now arrived to what that seed of the Gospel may look like for our church.
The seed is our primitive vision, the unwavering D.N.A. of who we are and who we want to be as a community of believers in Christ.
A Network (a unified cluster of churches, each with their own personality) of Organic (naturally occurring Gospel communities) Churches (worshiping communities) in Medina, Ohio (best city ever) that are Missional (locally and globally active in what God is doing), Scriptural (all Scriptures are God-breathed), Charismatic (an intentional desire for both the gifts & fruit of the Holy Spirit), Catholic (meaning ‘according to the whole’ – a willingness to partner with other Christian denominations), Orthodox (we submit to the orthodox teachings of the historical Creeds of the Church), Sacramental (God administers grace and forms us through the Sacraments), Evangelical (salvation by faith in Christ alone), and distinctively Anglican (the middle way).
This seed vision provides us with freedom within fences by which we can grow naturally where God would have us plant churches or ministries in Medina, Ohio. The idea is that we are accountable to being a “network of organic churches in Medina, Ohio that are: Missional, Scriptural, Charismatic, Catholic, Orthodox, Sacramental, Evangelical, and distinctively Anglican.”
While this eliminates things like denying the Trinity, not celebrating Eucharist, denying the Holy Spirit as being active today and the like it also gives us freedom to contextualize in the neighborhoods or townships that the Lord would have us plant.