We need you. “You” if you are interested in being bound together in a “New Parish” that is emerging at Immanuel Church in the Clifton neighborhood of Cincinnati.
We are a church with a 134 year history. We have seen God move in beautiful ways in those years. We have also seen hurt and have been wounded in many ways in many of those years. We have experienced death and resurrection. We are experiencing the midst of transformation, as we listen to ourselves, our neighbors, and God.
I have been the pastor here for a year now. I am truly excited to see what God is doing in each of us, in our church, and in our community. Even writing these thoughts out gives affirmation in so many ways of God’s call for me and this church. I too have experienced death and resurrection in recent years. I am being transformed by this “call” at Immanuel.
This “new Parish” is not really a new concept, but a new practice emerging from the old tired forms of programming and ways of “doing church” of the recent past.
Our hope is to be a Presbyterian parish (Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French and Old French paroche, from late Latin parochia, from Greek paroikia ‘sojourning’, based on para- ‘beside, subsidiary’ + oikos ‘dwelling’.) in the Clifton neighborhood of Cincinnati. We become this by simply being good neighbors and engaging in meaningful ways with our community, not doing “outreach”, but by simply “coming alongside” and engaging in real friendships with those that we meet.
So, here we are.
“Here” is more about a community of relationships struggling to understand where “new church” is emerging. We recognize that transformation is happening all around us. “Church” is not like it was 50 years ago, or even 5 years ago.
We know we have to change and that will be difficult. Yet, it will also be beautiful. We will be a church attempting love our neighbors well and be “outside-in” focused.
But, we need some folks to join with us. Not to simply fill our pews, but to join into community with us. Community that is more than just gathering one morning a week. Community that is willing to struggle, laugh, cry, and celebrate with others in the midst of everyday life.
We are a small congregation with an emerging new vision as we begin to see God’s activity revealed around us and in us. Slowly, surely, and not all at once.
We have a great building, resources, and are situated in the middle of a great city in a walking, eclectic, and diverse neighborhood next to the University of Cincinnati.
It is my calling along with others to be here at Immanuel. It is my hope that a few more folks would experience this as their call and come be a part of this transformation. In this process, we could see church emerge in new ways that could be a source of hope and deep relationship, deep community for ourselves and so many others.
Yes, we need you, if “you” want to work, play, pray, worship, and see transformation happen in sharing life together in community and through this emerging relational space called Immanuel in Clifton.
If you are curious, and are interested in some other resources for what this “new church” could be emerging towards, we have some conversation partners, organizations that share our ethos that can be found at our website at this link:
Also, if you are looking for a great conversation on “reimagining the church in the 21st century”, come and be a part of this conversation on December 5, 2015 at Immanuel with New Parish author, Paul Sparks: