Tuesday Youday: What’s Emerging in the Church?

Somehow I missed the fact that there was a synchroblog going on yesterday about the emerging church conversation. I guess that’s what I get for leaving all my tweets and gooreader subscriptions until late at night. Missed opportunity – but I’ll play catchup today. Better late than never, right?

There were lots of people in this conversation. Sojourners posted a round-up of many of them. This post, by Bruce Epperly is probably one of my favorites of the day.

Here are a couple other articles that have lots of good things to munch on:
Rachel Held Evans on changing, not emerging
Sarcastic Lutheran on House for all Saints and Sinners

And then I found this one about how the emerging church is dead. It’s interesting to me that so many of our mainline denominations are just now beginning to talk about how they might be “more emergent” when some people are claiming that it’s dead. And then I ask myself, is it really dead – or are we just shifting into something else that we won’t call “emerging”?

For me, what’s emerging is an understanding that grace prevails. Some of you might say this isn’t emerging – it’s been there all along. I think a bigger awareness of that grace IS emerging. I think a return to ancient practices is emerging. Many mainline denominations have felt threatened by the emerging church movement – like this new “emerging church” was going to take people away from them. In all the reading I’ve done, I’ve discovered that the emerging church conversation has moved me back toward my Lutheran tradition. It has made me appreciate what we have as Lutherans – a deep appreciation for tradition while at the same time a deep understanding that grace prevails.

I don’t think the conversation is dead. In fact, I think a new conversation is just beginning. I hope that our churches use this opportunity to partner with one another to build the kingdom of God. After all, we are ALL the body of Christ – and there’s no one denomination that has it all right. Maybe that’s what’s emerging in the church … partnerships. I sure do hope so.

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