Press Clippings

The United Methodist News Service did a story on experimental faith communities in Portland and SFC is one of the communities mentioned.  Read on for another take on the context of new faith communities and the SFC journey. United Methodist News Amanda & Eilidh are quoted in the article from...

The Functional Community

Last Sunday my family was in California.  (There will be a forthcoming blog post about the amazing ministry that unfolded on the trip.) Since we were out of state we missed dinner on Sunday.  Our amazing house sitter set up for dinner.  He heated up the soup I had provided and made sure the house was tidy.  He welcomed our community and participated in the conversation.  Busy with my extended family, I totally forgot it was even Sunday and was delighted to get a text that night saying that all went well and that a good sized group had attended the meal. The next morning on Facebook one of our community members posted about dinner.   It was such a lovely, positive post about her experience of both that night’s dinner and our community in general. Then I received notification from PayPal of several gifts to our community from community members.  While our family was gone the community went on. It’s tempting as the leader to think that the community functions best with me and my energy.  Really I am a piece of a vibrant community. All of us contribute to the functioning of the community and shape it by our presence and gifts.  Our community continues to evolve and change as people join us and bring their full selves into this endeavor.   I love being part of a community that functions so well and where each of us both leads and follows....

The Beauty of Explaining Who We Are

A few weeks ago Jeff & I had coffee with a gentleman who found SFC online. It was a little trippy to talk to someone who knew all about us from our blog posts, Facebook, and our website, yet who we had never met. He asked lots of really great questions. Once again Jeff and I found ourselves trying to articulate what we understand church to be. One of the beautiful things about our community is that it is shaped by each new person who comes. This means that while we have no plans to ever own a building or have traditional Sunday morning worship we actually don’t know what our community will look like in the future because we don’t know who God is sending to us. Our community is continually being crossed pollinated with the callings and ministries of each person. I may have a certain God given call and vision yet it blends with the God given calls and visions of our community. This is even more complex because I firmly believe that there are lots of different ways to be church. There are many traditional churches in our area that are just killing it on Sunday mornings. For people who are looking for sermons, Sunday school, great music, and much more there are places that excel in these areas. Who we are interested in at SFC are people who have a different spiritual type or learn in different ways or maybe aren’t accustomed to the culture of the church. We are trying to create church for people who don’t go to church and maybe never...

Easter Life

Every Easter we have a sunrise service at the Sellwood Faith Community. We gather at the Sellwood Riverfront Park where we sing, read scripture, and engage in some sort of activity that reminds us Christ is risen. This year as we were gathered we welcomed into our midst a young woman who was homeless and struggling in that moment with fairly significant trauma and a residual mental health issue. I was once again so incredibly touched as members of our community welcomed in this person and invited her to join us. Radical Christian hospitality was being lived out under my nose. It was not me as the pastor or Jeff as one of the paid leaders who reached out. It was the people of this community who truly live out belief in the love of Jesus. As the young woman hesitated to join in it was clear that she was overwhelmed. I followed the modeling of our community and reached out to her in love. She and I stepped away from the gathering and chatted for a little while. My time as a chaplain at the state psychiatric hospital helped me to see that she needed some immediate intervention. Someone from the gathering looked up the mental health crisis line and I called them. After speaking with the staff they determined that we needed medical services and a response team. While we were waiting for help to arrive the community returned to worship and they began to sing a song with lots of hallelujahs. As we sat together on the bench just up from where the community was gathered...