Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Post-Christian New England?

Through an interesting six-degrees-of-separation chain of events, Mary Jacobs of UMReporter, based in Dallas, ended up reading my blog post on the Random Acts of Kindness Day our New Light community sponsored a couple of weeks ago, and on Monday afternoon, I had an extensive telephone conversation with Mary, while she was visiting Boston. Over the course of an hour or so, we had a chance to talk about all that's happened and is now happening in Portland: the decline of the former Chestnut Street United Methodist Church, the sale of their historic 44-room facility two and half years ago, and Sara and I being appointed here to help revitalize this small remnant congregation while planting a new community of faith. She seemed excited about this partnership between old and new, the new vision for ministry that we're in the midst of discerning, and the out-of-the-box (and out of the building) direction that we're going with New Light. It looks like she's going to write an article for UMReporter about what we're up to, which is very exciting.

In addition, Mary had a chance to talk to a number of folks in the Boston area and is continuing to explore some ideas about our post-Christian context for another story. "New England is one of Methodism's toughest mission fields," she says, and I think she's right.

Check out Mary's post on the UMReporter blog, "Post Christian in New England," and particularly if you're in New England or have some familiarity with New England culture, including religious culture, take a minute to weigh in. Mary is anxious to get other people's perspectives as she pursues this story.

You're welcome to comment here, but if you wish to share some thoughts directly with Mary, and maybe even get quoted in her upcoming article (woo-hooooo!), comment here.

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