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NEW Study & Teaching Series! (Fall 2019)

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In our TABLE groups this Sunday, we are launching a NEW study and teaching series!

After finishing up our 2 1/2+ year journey through the "big story" of scripture, from creation to new creation, closing with our extended series in the Book of Revelation, we're going BACK to the beginning. In this series entitled, "Called", we'll be going through scripture to study every(?) instance where we find the Lord God SPEAKING to a person.

For The Commons, understanding ourselves as "called" people, and growing in our ability to discern the calling of God over our lives, is central to what we see that God doing in and through us as a community and a movement. And so, it becomes important to ask:

What does the voice of God "SOUND" like? When God speaks to a person, what are the sorts of things that he tends to SAY? What are the callings, invitations, exhortations, challenges and correctives that God has communicated to his people, throughout the ages? And, how might becoming better acquainted with the voice of God as we encounter it in scripture help us to better discern, understand and obey the voice of God as we encounter Him in our lives, today? These are the themes and questions that we will be diving into together in our new series, "Called".

See you on Sunday!

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To See the Kingdom

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Don't look away.

I know it's exhausting, confusing, and terribly complicated. I know that it's hard to know what any one of us could possibly do that might make any difference. I know how the digital storm of a 24-7 news cycle hits with ferocity, and moves on so very quickly. I know what it is to be left to wonder, thus, how we could hope to digest a given day's headlines in any meaningful way. I know we've all got our own stuff and struggles, and that it's hard to muster much energy for the messes of the wider world, most days. In truth, I'm fairly paralyzed and don't know what to do about it, myself. But, I know that the answer will not be found in UNseeing; whatever course and other action may ultimately be required, it begins with the will to see, and the willingness to be restored to sight in the places we are now blind.

In the week ahead, our nation will celebrate the declaration and subsequent revolution that cut us loose from one historic global empire, while laying the groundwork for another. And while there is, truly, much that is exceptional and praiseworthy, to be rightfully credited to the great experiment in democracy called these United States, there is much to be confessed and repented of, as well. And this is not in any way to say that the United States is a particularly bad nation, or that we ought not be deeply grateful for the benefits of our citizenship, which are many! However, for the follower of Jesus it is important that we face and SEE the realities of our nation, as it were, in full color and dimension. It is important that, fond as we may be of her - in truth, often, too unflinchingly fond - in the economy of Christ and in juxtaposition with His Kingdom she is only another nation. She is only another iteration of the world's version of power and goodness and merit. In the language of the Book of Revelation, she is only another "Babylon"; she is OUR Babylon, to be sure, and thus we may be tempted to imagine in her greater degrees of righteousness than previous iterations. But she is an earthly kingdom that ultimately stands apart from (and in not insignificant ways, in direct opposition to) THE Kingdom of Jesus, and in the end she will find herself judged and entirely undone in the presence of the King, alongside every other earthly power.

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Jesus is not remotely concerned with America's "greatness". He is, however, profoundly concerned with his own people's Christ-likeness. And those who sacrifice the latter in pursuit of the former will in the end find themselves fully vested as heirs in the inheritance of judgment which belongs to Babylon.

As the people of Jesus, first and foremost among our allegiances, we must SEE our nation for who and what she is; gratefully commending that which is commendable, and humbly confessing that which is lamentable. Specifically, and presently: To the humanitarian, political and spiritual crisis that has emerged on our southern border, we must not fail to LOOK. The people of Christ must not fail to SEE and, ultimately, to speak and act according to the call and character of that heavenly Kingdom to which we belong. We must not allow nationalism, fear, partisanship or political posturing prevent us from decrying that which is simply evil in our midst, and being done in our name. The conditions we have created, the policies we have enacted, the trauma we have inflicted, are as inhumane as they are unnecessary, regardless of one's stance on immigration. In allowing these conditions to continue, we not only do unconscionable violence to the most vulnerable, we do profound violence to our own souls. We must repent.

In the end, this manner of violence is simply part and parcel of life in any and every Babylon; it is the underbelly of every empire. The least, the last, the weak and the vulnerable of the world are always the collateral damage of kingdom-building, according to the terms and strength of the world. But, may willing ourselves to look upon this darkness - and all like it - remind every follower of Jesus that WE are a people of another Kingdom, entirely; remind us, that our allegiance, our voice, our lives belong to a different manner of King. And may we live boldly into that allegiance, as the presence of Christ himself in and for the nation of our present exile.

While it has never in fact been ours to work and hope for a Christian nation, Jesus himself has never ceased to work and pray that the world might have in her midst a truly Christian CHURCH. A people; for God's glory, and our neighbor's good. May such be said to be true of us, when these days of ours have come to their conclusion, according to the purposes of the Lord.

Humbly, and Prayerfully.

Pastor Chris

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A People Marked by Repentance.

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My scripture reading this morning brought me to this passage, from the Gospel of Luke:

"When John's messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings' courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,

who will prepare your way before you.’

I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)" (Luke 7:24–30)

It's a familiar passage, of course, but this morning it was Luke's commentary that grabbed my attention. His declaration, that the Pharisees and lawyers - the religious elite - had "REJECTED the purpose of God for themselves" by virtue of their not having been baptized by John. This is a striking statement.

It caused me to wonder: What was it about the baptism of John that made it a prerequisite - for these people - for their reception and participation in the purposes of God for their lives and, furthermore, for their ability to receive Jesus, the one toward whom John's ministry would point? And then, the thought emerged: John's baptism was a baptism of repentance.

These religious folks, apparently, did not believe that it was necessary for them to repent.

When the entire countryside had emptied into the wilderness to be baptized by John, to ask the forgiveness of God and re-align themselves with His covenant purposes for them as a people, the Pharisees and lawyers assumed that this renewal movement simply did not apply to them. After all, THEY were the self-appointed guardians of ritual purity in their community. Sure, the riffraff around them naturally had plenty to repent of, and sins to be washed clean from (weren't they themselves always telling them so?), but the RIGHTEOUS had no need to participate in such public displays of penitence, did they?

Unaware in their blinding, religiously held self-righteousness, they rejected the very purposes of God for them. They assumed repentance was irrelevant for them, and they missed it. They missed HIM.

In this season of Lent, it is worth pausing, here. Because we live, today, in a culture that is desperately allergic to repentance. Shuttered up in self-reinforcing media "silos" designed to amplify the merits of our own opinions and thought-tribes while fostering (and monetizing) outrage at the "other", repentance seems outmoded. After all, what have WE to apologize for, when the "other side" seems so obviously, rabidly, wrong? When complex and long-standing evils get reduced to binary, partisan talking points; when we can't face our own sins and the limitations of our own perspectives for fear of losing ground in a political turf war; when the Church is subsumed by unreflective nationalism and driven by fear such that humble self-awareness, empathy and a tangible spirit of grace are lost to us, we can be sure that we, too, have missed it.

When we can't denounce white supremacy.

When we can't mourn with those who mourn.

When we can't take the side of the poor.

When we can't risk our own interests.

When we can't admit our mistakes.

When we can't face the human cost of our political convictions.

When we can't embrace the "other".

When every new tragedy or unveiled systemic evil becomes merely a talking point to be deflected, or leveraged, in our relentless pursuit of remaining unmoved and unchanged... We must repent. Or, we will quite likely find that we have rejected the very purposes of God for us. In truth, no people on the planet should be as well and regularly practiced in the art of repentance as the people of Jesus. Because, in Jesus, we know that we have nothing to fear in having our sins, flaws, and brokenness confessed and laid bare; we know that what we need is not more self-righteousness, but Christ-righteousness. We need forgiveness. We need grace. Knowing this we repent, even joyfully, because we believe and declare that grace is precisely what we have received, in the victory of Christ.

"Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14–15)

Those who believe the Gospel will be marked, not by the defensive, polarized, politicized intransigence so common in our day, but by repentance. May the Church of Jesus so demonstrate the Kingdom to which we belong, today.

*** We weep with the people of Christchurch, New Zealand, in the wake of this week's white-supremacist, deadly terrorist attack upon the Muslim community, there. We repent of any way in which our own national history or present political climate may have inspired, emboldened or be construed to sympathize with such an act. ***

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Let's Get (Snow)pacalyptic.

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Hello Friends,

So, this is a little out of character.

The word on the street is that we've got some *snow* headed our way. January in New Hampshire. It happens. But such is the timing and forecasted significance that it's pretty well guaranteed to make a mess of most Sunday morning plans. 

Now, my New Hampshirite pride (and personal experience with weather forecasts) pretty well dictates that 1.) You don't change plans based on a forecast alone and 2.) You don't want to be the FIRST one to cancel Sunday services when the snow DOES fly. Around here, we generally prefer to give winter weather a good, hard, Clint Eastwood stare, right down to the last possible minute before conceding defeat. 

However, since at this point it sounds like the only real debate the meteorologists are having is about whether we're going to be looking out the window at 10" of wet snow or 24" of fluffy snow on Sunday morning, AND because I personally have too much going on over the next couple of days, before heading to the AIRPORT Sunday afternoon ( yes... pray for me, church ) to spend the next 48 hours giving the hairy eyeball to the doppler BEFORE finally calling it, I'm just going to go ahead and say that we're not going to plan on GATHERING together, in person, for worship this coming Sunday.

INSTEAD, for those who are so inclined to pause their shoveling/Netflixing/snow-daying for a few moments in the morning, I will plan to hit Facebook Live at 10:30am to offer a brief "fireside chat" version of what would have been my teaching for this week. With the chance to begin our journey in the book of Revelation this Sunday, and to mark the legacy of MLK Jr., to boot, it just doesn't seem fitting to do *nothing*! So, we'll take advantage of what opportunity social media gives us, this time around.

This teaching will be live through the Facebook page for The Commons, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/thecommonsecc/

Again: Live feed at 10:30am, Sunday

Stay warm, dry, and safely off the roads this weekend, friends, and we'll see you on the other side!

Every Blessing,
Pastor Chris

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Local, or Nothing.

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Dear Friends,

Undeniably, technology has accomplished some amazing things over the years. Medical advancements, transportation and communications revolutions, exponential increases in information access, etc. But, for all our collective cleverness and technological advancement, we've not yet *legitimately* conceived a way for the Church to BE the people of Jesus in the absence of the primary, necessary ingredient of living, breathing relationship with other... people.

Not to say we haven't tried, though.

Just this past week, an American mega-multisite church announced with great fanfare the launch of their newest "location". Not in Nashville. Not in Houston. Not in Boston. Not in ANY city, in fact, but in ( wait for it )... an APP. Unable to keep pace with nationwide demand for their brand, this church announced that their newest global "location" would be, "The phone in the palm of your hand." Church, as app. Church, "in the palm of your hand." I'll admit, that's catchy. It does have a certain ring to it.

But, no. 

No, friends. The Church may be many things, and take myriad forms in the world. But an individualized, palm-sized, digital, excarnate, bourgeois, value-added, social-media, spiritual consumer experience it is not. Please make no mistake on this: the only person who will EVER hold the Church in the palm of his hand is the Lord Jesus Christ, himself. The Church is OUR context, not vice-versa.There is simply no such thing as "Church" in the absence of the messiness of life, together. There is no church in the absence of a living, breathing, sacrificial LOCALITY. In the end the Church is LOCAL, or it is not, at all. It is perilous to imagine it could be otherwise.

Here with The Commons, we take our locality very seriously. We believe deeply that "church" can never properly be reduced to an event, program, building, experience... or app. We understand that the Church is a PEOPLE, a movement of God's Spirit in the world, made FLESH in the self-giving love of those who would follow after Jesus, praying and living his now-and-coming Kingdom into reality. Our aim is to see the "location" of the Church multiply into every crack and crevice and people group in our region; not digitally, but personally, as living, breathing followers of Jesus are gifted, called and sent into the world to reach, love and serve those whom the Spirit would make them neighbor.

And so, appropriately, this coming TABLE Sunday, the local churches of The Commons will meet throughout our region in the cities, neighborhoods and people groups to which they have been called for a time of shared meals, scripture study, and prayer for one another. For those who are new to our community or not otherwise connected with a TABLE group, our CENTER TABLE is available to you! We meet at the Rochester Hill campus of Grace Community Church, 159 Rochester Hill Rd., 10:00am, and we would be blessed to have you join us.

Come, and see! Come, and BE the Church, with us.

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Calling Lab - November 2018

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What's your CALLING?

The concept of “calling” has been discussed at length in the Church over the centuries, and all the more so in recent decades, it seems. The great “Who am I?” of our postmodern world instills a particular sense of urgency in our quest for clarity and understanding around our purpose in life. We ask, again and again at critical moments throughout our lives: ”What was I MADE to do?"

At the heart of this community and movement called The Commons is the conviction - rooted in the clear teaching of scripture - that each and every follower of Jesus is, by His grace, a bearer and conduit of the Holy Spirit of God. From the very beginning of the world, we find that God has created us ON purpose, and FOR a purpose. By the Holy Spirit, we are saved and sent into the world as witnesses of Christ and citizens of His Kingdom, uniquely called to put God's redeeming and restoring work on display in and through our lives. Altogether, this means that each and every Christian carries within themselves the very seed of the Church, God's embodied purpose in the world. Every Christian is called by God, uniquely and specifically, to follow Jesus into the cracks and crevices of our broken world that YOUR gifts, experiences, personality and circumstances make you uniquely suited to touch with grace.

Frederick Buechner puts it this way: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

Every follower of Jesus HAS a calling - the loving voice and purposes of God spoken uniquely over their life - but it remains for us to HEAR that voice and DISCERN that calling. And for The Commons, we believe this discerning is critical to the journey of discipleship: as a church, OUR calling is to help you hear, and obey, YOUR calling!

For this reason, in partnership with The Underground Network, this November we will launch the first in a recurring series of "Calling Labs", a 4-part Learning Community experience designed to help you understand how God has gifted and called YOU. Far from being a novelty or intellectual exercise, we fully expect that as our community at large gains clarity about the specific ways Jesus is calling each of us, this clarity will determine what The Commons looks like, moving forward; guiding the future of our ministry, and the manner of work that we will collectively invest in. 

Our first CALLING LAB will kick off on Saturday, November 10th. Details and registration can be found at churchofthecommons.org/calling-lab . Participants will need to purchase a book beforehand, so don't delay! We would be excited to have you join us for this experience. Come, and see!

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A People, Together, by the Spirit of Jesus.

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At the heart of this grand experiment that is The Commons lies a basic, underlying conviction about what the Church is: a global and local movement, of the Holy Spirit, in and through people, bound in relationship with the Lord and one another. We are a people, in surrender to Jesus and on mission together, by the compelling and empowering of God's Spirit, made available to us in Christ.

The Church is US. Together. By the Spirit of Jesus. 

The staunch, deep-rooted individualism of our cultural context challenges our ability to truly appreciate this, most days. And the broad influence of the western business model upon the church here in the United States further compounds the issue, as the CHURCH is systematically broken down by our language and metrics: no longer the church, together, we are reduced to "church-goers", "giving units", and the like. We are discipled by this culture to understand ourselves primarily as individuals and consumers of religious goods and services. Through this lens the "church" becomes a venue for affordable, value-added family entertainment, and little more. 

But the Church IS - and must be - more. By grace, we must understand ourselves as something more, other, than that which our culture would determine us to be. We are not mere individuals. We are more than simple consumers. We are the PEOPLE of the King; together, demonstrating and announcing his Kingdom, come.

This is the "why" of our TABLE groups. A growing network of small, neighborhood and mission-centric communities, The Commons seeks to catalyze space for genuine fellowship, hospitality, formation, life-and-mission, communities throughout our region. Diving deep in to scripture, sharing meals and prayers, serving one another and alongside one another, we seek to grow together in our wholehearted pursuit of Christ and his purposes in the world. A grand vision and calling, to be sure; only imperfectly and often fitfully realized. But this is what it means to BE the Church, by the grace of God and the power of the Spirit, together.

This Sunday, we meet in TABLE groups around our region. Our "open" Table - for those new or not otherwise connected to another TABLE group - will meet 10:00am, at the Grace Community Church campus on Rochester Hill (159 Rochester Hill Rd.). Come, and See!
 

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September 2018: New GATHERING Location!

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Hello Friends,

Missiologist Alan Hirsch has said: 

I believe that every believer has the potential for world transformation in them...(E)very seed is a potential tree and every tree is a potential forest. All the potential of a forest is contained in that one seed. In the same way, every believer has the potential for world transformation. There is an ‘ecclesia’ in every one of us and in every ‘ecclesia’ there is a potential for a movement. When we begin to see the church this way, everything changes. It is a massive shift in the way we see ourselves as God’s people.”” 

As we have learned again and again over these 4+ years of our church planting adventure thus far: the Church of Jesus is not a building. It is not an event, a program, a product or an experience. At her heart, the Church is a people. We are a tribe of grace, a MOVEMENT of Jesus' Kingdom upon the earth, here and now. And by the empowering and calling of the Holy Spirit of God, we declare that the seed and full potential of that movement resides in the heart of every follower of Jesus. It is simply ours to listen, discern, and wholeheartedly follow the leading of Christ for our lives, as we find ourselves caught up in the unfolding of his eternal purposes. 

This is our conviction. Our posture is one of expectation that the Spirit is on the move in, around, and through us. And, we have learned over the years not to get too comfortable in any one place or circumstance. You just never know what the Lord may be up to, next!

As such, it may come as small surprise that our time hosting GATHERING at the Rochester Performance & Arts Center is coming to an end. For a year, now, we have enjoyed this place and the relative locational stability it provided. We are grateful for the gift of this time. For the year ahead, however, the RPAC is no longer in a position to accommodate our space and scheduling needs. So, the PEOPLE of God must now find a new PLACE to Gather in worship and fellowship. We are, once again, on the move! Thanks to a strong and healthy extended family of faith in our region, the search for this new space has been a short one, this time!

Beginning in September, our GATHERINGS will be hosted at the Rochester Hill campus of Grace Community Church ( 159 Rochester Hill Road, Rochester NH ). The GCC family has graciously afforded us the opportunity to maintain our 10am Sunday morning Gathering time. Again, we are grateful for the Lord's provision and care! 

The Commons is church, ON THE MOVE! Please continue to lift up this movement in prayer, as we continue to lean in to the calling of Jesus for us here, in northern New England.

Every Blessing,
Pastor Chris

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The Rhythms of Summer

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With July 4th behind us, and 94 degree heat upon us, it's safe to say that SUMMER has arrived! 

There's something uniquely frenetic about summer in New England. It's as if, having survived the snows of winter and rains of Spring, New Englanders leap into the heat and sun of summer - these school-less weeks of otherwise un-programmed space - with something of a wide-eyed abandon that verges on panic; we're so terrified that we're going to MISS it!

And so, summers tend to be particularly full. It's a different sort of busyness than that which carries us along during the rest of the year, but it can still be overwhelming. With the "normal" schedule and daily rhythms pushed to the wayside by beach days, family trips, blueberry picking and summer camp, it's easy to reach the end of August sticky, sunburned, oddly harried, and more or less wondering what has just happened to us as we prepare to send the kids on back to school.

I find that often it is in the midst of the blessing of these open, undefined, recreating days that holding fast to our rhythms and disciplines - while more challenging - become all the more valuable. In endeavoring to hold fast to our regular rhythms of grace - time in scripture, time in prayer, time in fellowship, etc. - we actually prepare and foster within our hearts the ability to truly receive the gift of this time, and season, rather than simply finding ourselves run over by it! 

This Sunday, our family of faith will come together, in various locations, for TABLE: a shared meal, time in prayer, and time in scripture. An opportunity, for those who will receive it, to pause and thank God for his goodness, calibrating our hearts for the week ahead, whatever it may have in store!

As always, if you yourself are not yet connected with another Table fellowship, the RPAC/Downtown Table ( 10am, 32 North Main St. ) would love to have you join us! Come, and see.

Come, and dine!

Every Blessing,
Pastor Chris

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Gathering, to remember.

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Hello Friends,

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
     And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
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Deuteronomy 6:4–12

This Sunday, The Commons family will Gather together for a time of worship, teaching, prayer and story. We're jumping back into our yearlong "God || Story" teaching series, exploring the redemptive work of God from Creation to New Creation. This week we are digging into the Book of Judges, journeying with the people of Israel, now in the land of the Lord's promise to them, and struggling to remain faithful.

At the heart of Israel's struggle is a question of memory: will they REMEMBER the Lord, his mighty works and promises to them, or forget these things? Will they remember who they are as a covenant people, or lose themselves amidst the culture and worship of surrounding nations?

What is the story that shapes our worship and identity as the people of Jesus, today? Do WE remember, and lead our lives in light of the story of our salvation and hope in Christ, or is another story that guides our steps?

Join us this Sunday as we remember, together, the goodness and calling of God over us in Jesus!

Every Blessing,
Pastor Chris

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The TABLE is Set!

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Hello Friends,

We're back!

After setting these weeks since Easter aside for a special "All Gathering" season, for concerted prayer, corporate discernment, and seeking the guidance of the Lord for the years ahead of us, THIS Sunday, we return to the TABLE: relaunching our rhythm of dedicating the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month to the missional/micro/neighborhood expressions of church that we call the Table; spending time together over shared meals, in prayer, digging into scripture, and encouraging one another on mission with Jesus. While this will look largely familiar to most folks who have been with us for any length of time, there are some meaningful differences that come with this new beginning.

This "relaunch" season will begin with three Table groups:

1.) Spaulding (Rochester): located near Spaulding High School, led by Jared and Jenn Deame, with Carroll and Susie Stevens.

2.) Bellamy (Dover): located near Dover High School, led by Doug and Kathy Deame, with Keith and Dienne Howard.

3.) Downtown (Rochester): located at the Rochester Performance & Arts Center, led by myself, with Becca, and Jon and Leah Roth.

These three groups currently meet every 2nd and 4th Sunday, 10am - 12pm.

All of these missional communities (and any that will launch in the year ahead) are "open" groups: simply reach out to one of the leaders or myself if you'd like to get connected. The Downtown Table Group, however, is specifically and intentionally set aside as a "default"/all-play Table community for anyone who may be new, is not yet connected to another group, or feels particularly called to reaching our downtown neighbors. Downtown, the basic structure and value of the meal/prayer/study form of Table will be modeled, while also endeavoring to offer an open door to those who reside near the heart of Rochester. Whether it be an exploratory visit, a stop on the way into a different/new Table Group, or a potential long-term community for you, we welcome you to join us Downtown on any Table Sunday.

Through the year(s) ahead, we look forward to seeing more communities dreamed up and launched all over our region! While not placing a timeline on it, or pressuring unduly toward this end, our aim is to become a community that discerns, equips and sends well; setting the WHOLE church free to BE the church in every crack and crevice of our region that the Lord calls us into.

What's your dream? What's your calling? What is the burden God has placed on your heart? How can we help you step out into obedience to that call? These are the questions we are encouraging everyone within our family of faith to ask, while seeking to be faithful to organize the right central structures and resources for this regional mission as we wait upon the Holy Spirit to raise up those who might need them as they are called/sent. The Commons is, now as it has ever been, church, on the MOVE! The adventure continues.

This Sunday, the Table will be set. Come, and dine!

Every Blessing,
Pastor Chris

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Sunday Brunch & Conversation + 10am RPAC

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Hello Friends,

This Sunday, for Gathering; Let's Eat!

10am, at the Rochester Performance & Arts Center (32 North Main St.) bring your favorite *brunch* dish to share (as you are able): we're going to share a family meal together as well as some guided conversation. We'll pray, and tell stories, and explore the ways that God has been speaking and leading us during this season.

Along the way, we'll be exploring the idea that eating - the sharing of meals - as a Kingdom practice. As something that Jesus models, and a practice that He invites us into. Is it possible that our neighborhoods - our world - could be reached and restored... through eating? This will not be a Sunday to be missed!

See you soon.

In Christ, WITH you,
Pastor Chris



A reminder: From Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday (May 20th) this year, we are stepping into an ALL "GATHERING" rhythm.

These seven weeks do not mean that we have moved away from our Table strategy and structure. Our aim is to set aside a corporate season of prayerful discernment about the shape, mode and missional reach of our Table ministry in the years ahead. These weeks will be dedicated as a missional "huddle": to prayerfully clarify, revise, and reform our missional communities, before ultimately re-launching after Pentecost.
 

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