By Pastor Andrew (Drew) Yoos, Light of the Cross Lutheran Church.
What do you think of when you hear the word “church?” No really, take a minute and think about it. Now, try to put that stuff away as you hear what’s going on in the North Creek community (and maybe put it away for good).
For too long, the “Church” has been in the business of not changing. And as a pastor, I will be the first to confess that even though we may think we are the most friendly bunch out there, open to all; when it comes down to it, we just want you for the numbers.
A church’s “welcome” typically means that we want you to come to our worship service, put your kids in our youth groups, and do things the way we like them done- but don’t you dare try to change us!
All this sets up an interesting back-story for the bold risk that a small church in North Creek is taking.
When Light of the Cross Lutheran Church was faced with closing their doors recently, they trusted that God still had a use for them. But it would mean change. So this church agreed that the way to move forward was to help support a new faith community that shared the very same space.
They called my wife, Sara, and I to be the pastors that would join them in this twofold effort to rediscover what it means to be church here by, 1) Finding new ways for “Light of the Cross” to be changed by their neighbors and, 2) Starting a new community of faith that throws what you think about “church” out of the window.
Light of the Cross Lutheran Church. Photo credit: Curt Eidem.
Already, in the first few months of this endeavor, “Light of the Cross” has opened themselves up to the community in new ways.
They are actively seeking ways to be involved in and changed by their neighborhood so that they can join in what God is already doing here in North Creek- listening to neighbors, caring for those in need, and seeking renewal.
As they are finding this new life, they will continue worshipping weekly and carrying on the work of the church.
And now, it is exciting to introduce this new parallel faith community we’re calling 13Point62. The name comes from the square mileage of the unincorporated North Creek area, an area we have discovered to be a diverse, family-driven community that cares deeply for their neighborhood and one another.
13Point62 is not intended to impose what we think is best for North Creek, but to walk alongside neighbors, join people in conversation, and act for the best interest of all.
We want to understand what people in this community care about, what their joys and concerns are, and then respond faithfully.
We think that “church” is more than worship, Sunday school, coffee hour, and food collections. So the faith expressions of 13Point62 may look more like community meals, neighborhood events, partnering with schools and non-profits, gathering with families, supporting youth, seeking responses to homelessness and drug abuse, sharing stories, and learning together.
A time of gathering for a creative, centering worship experience may eventually develop as a part of this vision, but we see all of the things listed above as worship.
What propels this vision for us is fact that Jesus is God’s word who moved into the neighborhood, listened to people, cared for them, and worked for renewal of all things.
If you live in the area, we’d love to hear from you and get to know you. To do that, we want to invite you to visit our websites at lightofthecross.org and 13point62.com, and to attend the North Creek Neighborhood Fair on Saturday, October 8, 2016, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at “Light of the Cross Lutheran Church.”
The fair will be a great way to come together as a community, enjoy some food, entertain the kids, and see what’s going on with our neighbors in this area. For more information, visit www.northcreekfair.com.