Doors to Entry and Partnership - Issue #69
New Light is a three-year-old United Methodist faith community in the Portland, Maine area. The congregation primarily involves young adults. Their mission is to provide a safe place for exploring who Jesus is and to demonstrate God's love within their neighborhood and the world.
The congregation's primary entry point consists of weekly LIFE groups that meet in participants' homes for a meal, conversation, and prayer. LIFE group participants receive a daily Scripture for reading and reflection via e-mail. The weekly group meetings usually focus on one of the week's Scripture passages. Participants explore the meaning of the passage through a variety of formats, including art and music. Once a month there is a community worship gathering that brings together all of the LIFE groups.
New Light shares their pastors with the Chestnut United Methodist Church, an older congregation in the area whose vision of reaching younger people helped to birth New Light. Chestnut UMC has also experienced growth since the beginning of New Light. Together they are developing a new center for mission and ministry called Hope.Gate.Way. The two faith communities are discovering ways to cooperate in ministry, even as they offer experiences that nurture the faith and discipleship of adults at different ages and stages of life.
Some Questions for Discussion
What entry points do you provide for adults of different ages?
How do your classes and small groups assist adults in exploring Scripture?
If your congregation were to consider birthing a new faith community, what would be the reaction of various groups within the congregation?
Carol Krau is Director of Adult Formation and Discipleship at the Discipleship Ministries. She can be reached at [email protected]. To learn more about New Light and Chestnut United Methodist Church go to http://chestnutchurch.blogspot.comand http://www.newlightportland.org.