10/4/13

ROOTED & LINKED: REAL STORIES

Back in 2011, you may remember hearing about Emmaus Road being "rooted and linked." There was a video produced by Parish Collective. What does this mean for Emmaus Road?  It means having a connection to our neighborhood of gathering, Belltown, being rooted in some of our denominational history and practices, being rooted in our own congregational habits and rhythms, and most importantly, being rooted in community, through the particular relationships we share in ministry together, rooted in this body of Christ. Being linked means having meaningful connections with partners: sister congregations, para-church ministries, community groups, agencies, and neighbors. Some of these links are within Belltown, some are across the city, region, or even the globe (our sister Asabe; our missionary friends in Tibet).


Some of Emmaus Road's links are with the Seattle Cluster, a group of Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church of America congregations and ministries around Seattle. Churches and missions among these "sister" denominations are linking more and more in regions across North America, sharing resources and joining in multiplication efforts. In Seattle, stories of collaboration from the Seattle Cluster are being shared through a news letter. If you have not already, read this brief post about a collaboration including Emmaus Road back in July; a more recent post tells the story of leaders from two CRC congregations in Crown Hill and Greenwood, collaborating to launch a preschool from one of the churches. Check out the link here and scroll down to read about P.A.T.H.



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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.