inter::mission update
October 12, 2007, 6:45 am
Filed under: blogging, emerging church, friends, inter::mission, Seattle, the purple door

Those of you who know me, or have been tracking with this blog over the past couple of years know that much of my work has involved building a thing we’re calling inter::mission. It’s a dream that began before I was hired into my position, so I don’t take credit for it, except that I’ve had the fun of giving vision and some structure to it. I won’t go through everything that’s involved (you can learn more about it on the inter::mission website if you want). Basically, it’s a live-in experience for students (and a few non-students) which attempts to re-orient life around our identity in the Kingdom of God, and our joining with God in mission.

About two years ago I began work on this thing, and have been working to build it ever since. It’s morphed a few times from its original form, but we officially kicked the thing off a little more than two weeks ago. One of the things it involves is a weekly “family meal” on Thursday nights. We eat together, hang out together, and talk about life together. On alternating weeks, following the family meal, we have teach-ins around Kingdom and mission. My goal is to primarily utilize guest speakers for these teach-ins. In Seattle, we have access to so many innovative, catalytic, super smart people who are actually practitioners, so we’re able to make this happen.

Last night, we were honored with a visit from Karen Ward, Abbess of Church of the Apostles, as our first outside speaker/conversation leader. She talked a bit through the history and ethos of COTA, and about urban monasticism in their context. It was a really good time for the students. Definitely stimulating and challenging. She talked about the way they approach their neighborhood, Fremont, with the mentality that their whole zip code “belongs” to the church/parish, and how it’s the role of the members of the church to serve and minister to the church, regardless of belief, lifestyle, affiliation, or status. Good stuff. Karen is such a humble, kind, and warm person, but with focus, creativity, and the best kind of leadership skill.

The past couple of years, and especially the past few months have been such a busy, maddening sprint to get this dream fleshed out and ready to go. And trust me, we’re far from embodying a ton of what we have in mind. We’re a small, quiet bunch right now, and continuing to add students to the mix little by little. But last night, as I sat and listened to Karen, and looked around the room, I got the sense that yes, this thing is really happening. It was one of those beautiful moments that wasn’t self-satisfaction, but thankfulness for God’s blessing and gifts. I’m really glad I got to be a part of this, and watch it develop. I’m even more glad that I get to continue helping nurture it and be a part of it.

Our vision for inter::mission is to help liberate young adults to experientially own their missional vocation. This is where we begin.

I’ve blogged recently about how easy it is to get caught up in the negative side of critique – especially those who are in any way affiliated with the emerging church vibe. There’s a role for it, but talk is cheap if we’re not actually paying attention to building a better way forward. For as long as God gives it to me, inter::mission is my humble contribution.


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