After months of dreaming, praying, researching, discussing, budgeting, writing, and wondering the next phase of Sellwood Faith Community is official! We will be collaborating with Trinity United Methodist, which is just in the next neighborhood over. I am fortunate enough to be serving with a pastoral team that includes Jeff Lowery and Amanda Bollman as we continue to nurture SFC in its growth and partner with Trinity in the work they have begun to discern what is next for that ministry.
Jeff and I began dreaming of a new faith community years ago, and finally were able to launch SFC in 2013. Amanda became one of the leaders of our community over time. Together we developed this new vision for the ways a nontraditional faith community could partner with a traditional church to develop and strengthen both communities.
The name of this new venture is Southeast Portland Parish. While both SFC and Trinity will continue to exist they are now intertwined in reaching out to the neighborhoods of this part of Portland in a parish model ministry. I will continue to provide the administrative leadership of the parish and take on the majority of pastoral care. Amanda will be engaging community organizing practices and leading community faith development. Jeff will continue to coordinate music for SFC’s gatherings, lead the youth group, and coordinate our service experiences. I will get back to preaching 3 times a month at Trinity, while Amanda will be preaching once a month.
I am looking forward to having an office that isn’t in the kitchen. I am looking forward to getting to know and love a whole new crop of faithful people who will help me to know God more fully. I am excited about the possibilities of this new form of faith community relationship and the difference we can make in this area. I am worried about the logistics of it all and how to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of this new arrangement. And I am filled with hope as I realize that this is my only worry.
I have been so fortunate to get to work with Amanda and Jeff in dreaming this dream of how we can live out faith in community. I have been so fortunate to have those in leadership in the United Methodist Church who catch our holy vision and support this work. I am so fortunate to walk alongside an amazing, vibrant community that is ready to try new things and make mistakes together as we find our way to follow Jesus.
It seems hard to wait until July to get started on the next phase. However I am appreciating this time to wrap up some of my current projects and take time to renew and prepare for the intense work ahead of us. When we began we had no idea we’d end up here, and I will continue to blog weekly about the highs and lows of this community life and the things we learn along the way.