Often paired with “church,” emerging refers to a conversation among many in the church about how the gospel transforms lives in a postmodern world. The conversation embraces traditions, rituals and practices that have authentic meaning in the context of the community. Emergent describes congregations and people â€¨who embody ideas stemming from the emerging conversation.
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These ELCA-affiliated ministries build community with face-to-face and virtual interaction—connecting across all areas of people’s lives.
• Church of the Beloved, Edmonds, Wash.
• House for all Sinners and Saints, Denver.
• Netzer Co-op, Seguin, Texas.
• The Well of Hope Lutheran Church, Pineville & Charlotte, N.C.
• Mercy Seat, Minneapolis.
• Jacob’s Porch, campus ministry at Ohio State University, Columbus.
• Church of the Apostles, Seattle.
• Jacob’s Well, Minneapolis.
• Shekinah Chapel, Chicago.
Other emerging ministries are (or soon will be) under way in: Detroit; Nashua, N.H.; Waterfront, N.J.; San Antonio; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Champlain, Minn.
Those willing to engage in the "emerging conversation" may find a surprising correlation with Lutheran theology.
The emerging church isn't another program. It's not a prescription to "fix" congregations. And it's not about church growth, contemporary worship, or youth and young adult ministry. Emerging leaders simply wish to engage in dialogue with the whole church-past, present, and future-about what it means to follow Jesus.
Martin Luther warned that the church should always be reforming — we haven't been entirely faithful to this call. The emergent conversation's greatest gift to Lutheran congregations may be its invitation to reclaim the fundamentals of our faith, rediscover the essentials of our Lutheran and Christian heritage, engage our culture today and join the whole church in dialogue.
But be warned: accepting this invitation means giving up any aspects of "being the church" that are impediments to God's core mission.
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