This Sunday is the first Sunday of Lent, and also happens to be the first public Sunday of Christ Community, which is what we decided to name the community we’ve been cultivating. You can check out some basic info here, but we’re still working on the "real" website behind the scenes. Somehow this icon of Jesus has ended up all over our literature (mostly because we don’t have an "official" logo yet):
But now some of us have grown kind of attached to it – it’s an icon from St. Joseph’s Abbey, a Trappist monastery in Massachusetts. Anyway, we’re meet Sunday nights at 6pm at the second floor chapel at Indiana Tech’s Andorfer Commons (map). Here’s how we’re describing ourselves:
Christ Community is gathered around liturgical rhythms; worshiping in ancient and home-grown ways to see Christ formed in us, to be a living witness of the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I hope you can come join us for worship (Sundays at 6pm, remember). We joked as a team that Lent was a really cheery season to start a church service… so it goes! We’ve all immensely enjoyed worshiping together, and we’re looking forward to making things a bit more public and seeing what comes of it.
Speaking of Lent, we are trying to find something to do as a community together (yes, a tad late). In the process of looking for some things I came across something I am planning to do myself: read through the early church fathers during Lent. The church fathers (or apostolic fathers) is the term used to designate the collection of earliest extant Christian writings outside the New Testament. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the life of Christians in the postapostolic period (A.D. 70-135), a time when the church was struggling with the transition from having capital-A Apostles around (the ones who were with Jesus) to the time after their deaths. There were questions of authority and governance, new challenges and pressures (both internal and external).
Anyway, I’m reading them as a devotional exercise, not just a historical one, which means I am wondering what the church fathers’ response to the challenges of the 1st century might have to teach us about the challenges we face as the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st century. Happy lenting!