6/6/13

PASTOR LIKKEL ON BELLTOWN BLOG

After the March 9 Asset Based Community Development training event, a few neighbors and business people from Belltown decided to come together and launch myBelltown.com, a "community managed news blog." Pastor Likkel was invited to be a regular contributor, to write about non-profits, social service agencies, volunteering, and spirituality and religion in Belltown. The first entry, announcing New Horizons Ministries' WALK event, can be viewed on myBelltown here. Got suggestions for future posts about Belltown? Let Pastor Likkel know.

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The Emmaus Road Story

In the winter of 1997, we began as a small team of about 10 people, committed to gathering and growing a church that would connect with others like ourselves; people interested in connecting with God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, but disconnected from the activity of many mainstream congregations. With the financial support of a larger church organization, our pastor was able to work full time with the team in planning, leadership development, and meeting people in the community.

Our first meetings were open discussion forums. We talked about prayer, scripture, spiritual discipline and the issues with which we all struggle. As friends talked to friends, the first group expanded and we multiplied into two.

Inspired by the journey process as a metaphor for spiritual growth, we searched for a name which would reflect that idea. In the resurrection narrative of Luke 24, we found our name "on the road to Emmaus."

After our first worship event on Good Friday of 1997, both groups began to gather together for worship once a month. In various coffee shops and rental spaces, we gradually increased our worship times to twice a month, and in September of 1998 we decided to gather every Sunday. Since the beginning, numerical growth has been gradual but steady, most often through the personal contact of friends talking to friends.

Today, several small groups continue to meet for open discussions on prayer, scripture, and the process of encountering God in daily life; we all gather for worship each week.