Why Another Church in Haverhill

images (2)There is a generation  who have heard a splintered and shattered Christian voice.  Like a pane of glass broken by a stone, yet still in the frame, they realized the American Christian religion was skewed and distorted.  This generation are children who were taught to belong “only if” you know the right questions with their corresponding right answers and lived exclusivily in the christian community.   To ask questions outside of the sacred doctrine and were told they where in spiritual danger.  When questions arose regarding same gender loving individuals and transgender people, the children found themselves unable to stop asking, unable to reconcile themselves to the creeds.   Because they got to know these marginalized people and discovered God among them and wondered why they were excluded.   Conflicted in faith and in practice they sat in pews daydreaming and detached; finally deciding to leave.  All across American mainline and independent churches witnessed the great exodus.

You see you can’t put new wine in an old wine skin.  Mothers and fathers and others were confounded and grieved by this.  Where are the children?  Why are they leaving? Why don’t they just do what we did?  The Children had no peace because others were excluded. They could not stand the insincerity and scattered.

Some went to other religious traditions or practices. While others went on a quest to find the real Jesus, the real Good News! They were free to ask the forbidden questions and low and behold the answers came like a cleansing spring rain.  The answers were new but ancient.  The scattered came together and as they spoke, they realized they had all found   pieces of deep truths long forgotten and whey they came together they rejoiced!

They had discovered that Jesus was radically inclusive. He was a rebel rouser. He asked forbidden questions and spoke truth to power. He ate and drank with the marginalized and outcast. He welcomed all at his table even the oppressor and hypocrite. “Jesus did not impose salvation as a solution: He narrates salvation into being through leisurely conversation, intimate personal relationships, compassionate responses, passionate prayer and putting it all together a sacrificial death”[1]. The children were excited and free! They had found the real good news and set out to show others by tell the story,  by building relationships, by being compassionate and passionately praying. They called themselves the Emergent Church.

Phoenix Rising is a reemerging Christian community. Whose parents  are some of the children fromFirst Congregational Church Haverhill. These small band  had rediscovered the radically inclusive Jesus. They wanted to continue to ask questions    So they sold their brick and mortar institutoin and set out to be become a church made of living stones.  NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHERE YOU ARE ON LIFE’S JOURNEY YOU WILL BE WELCOME HERE TO COME AND ASK YOUR QUESTIONS AND DISCUSS YOUR DOUBTS AND DISCOVER YOUR BELONGING TO GOD AND OTHERS!


[1] Peterson, Eugenie H. The Gospel of John pg 4 ©2003, NavPress

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