The Renewal House: Locally Rooted Care

00 When I first co-planted our church, we struggled to find jobs with livable wages. Years ago we were strangers trying to cultivate roots in a new place but along the meandering journey we meet other strangers; strangers with greater challenges than our own.  We encountered Refugees attempting to resettle in this city from Burma, from the Congo, from Somalia, from Sudan and from Cuba. Our city welcomes almost 1000 refugees each year and 12% of the children in our city schools are refugees. 30% of the population in our city live below the poverty line.  ~ Onondaga Citizens League We listened to their stories and our hearts were broken open to their struggles.  Many refugees struggle to find ways to survive as basic as finding a minimum wage job, learning how to drive, acclimating their children to our school system and most importantly finding faithful friends that will walk the journey with them.  Over the years we’ve become bonded friends with those struggling to make a new life here; walking the path with them in anyway that we could. In our work we’ve discerned the need for a designated local space for pressing into this issue. This space will exist to empower our refugees neighbors to move beyond […]

Reclaiming the Kingdom of God

00A snapshot from the study/conversation our Axiom church planting team is currently journeying through. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are all in their various ways about God going public on earth about the kingdom of God. The central message is that the Creator God, Israel’s God, is at last reclaiming the whole world as His own, in and through Jesus of Nazareth. That is the message of the kingdom of God, which is Jesus’ answer to the question, What would it look like if God were running this show? Arguably the fullest vision of what the Reign of God looks like is contained in the great discourses of the Gospels, The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew (Matthew 5-7) and The Sermon on the Plain in Luke (Luke 6: 17-49). Here we are presented with beatitudes which turn the world upside down. The things which the world blesses; violence, greed, power, comfort, hoarding, self-defense, physical-indulgence, vengeance, selfishness and wealth are not blessed by God. Instead, Jesus says that God blesses the meek, the teachable, the generous, those who hunger for truth, the desperate, those persecuted for their loyalty to Jesus, those who carry burdens for others, the pure in motive, […]

What if?

00What if for one year we took a hiatus from politics? What if the entire evangelical church across the U.S.A took a one year pledge to abstain from watching, talking, blogging, or attending anything politically related? What if we said not this year? This year we’ve got some realignment to do. What if instead we decided that for one year we would zip it politically and consecrate ourselves for the intended purpose of focusing on how to be the church? I wonder if the renewal we so desire in America might actually begin to birth as the churches light begins to get cleaned up. How about instead pouring ourselves into coming along side the poor, practicing true authentic community, reversing the divorce rate by loving and leading our families better, and practicing radical generosity with our next door neighbors? What if we exclusively decided to sanctify ourselves to be the collective beautiful bride that Christ so longs for? What if we turned our conversation and pontificating about “how bad America is, where it’s going and what rights we are losing” to an impassioned internal church conversation about “what shalom does God want us to bring, what love does God what […]