ReInvention: Stories from an Urban Church

Wood Lake Publishing Inc.
Free sample

In these days of declining membership in mainline congregations, a new church plant is a rarity. Even more so, perhaps, when the church plant involves an existing 145-year-old building, and a focus on ministry to college and university students, young adults living in the neighbourhood, and those experiencing homelessness and dealing with poverty.

In ReInvention: Stories from an Urban Church, Mark Whittall shares the insights and wisdom he and a small-but-dedicated team gained as they worked to establish a new congregation in St. Albans Church, the second oldest Anglican parish in Ottawa.

The challenges the team faced were not small: the renovation of the original building, negative reaction from the community to the placement of a day program for the homeless, creating new liturgies and a new kind of church experience, and learning how best to reach out to and involve people with little or no prior church involvement. The result of all these efforts, however, has been the transformation of St. Albans into a vibrant centre for worship, a beautiful venue for the arts, and place of shelter and safety for many of the city’s most vulnerable inhabitants.

Read more
Collapse

About the author

The Rev. Mark Whittall is the pastor of St. Albans Church and a priest of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.  He is an engineer by training, and obtained graduate degrees in Theoretical Physics and in Development Economics from Oxford University.  His first career was as an engineer and executive in the high-tech sector, rising to the position of CEO and earning recognition as Ottawa’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000.  Soon afterwards he left his business career and turned to the study of theology. He served as Professor, History of Science at Augustine College in Ottawa from 2002 to 2007 and was ordained as an Anglican Priest in 2008.  After a brief stay in a rural parish, he was tasked with building a new congregation at St. Albans Church in downtown Ottawa in 2011, where he currently serves as pastor. 

www.markwhittall.com

Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Wood Lake Publishing Inc.
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jan 12, 2016
Read more
Collapse
Pages
160
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781770648067
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Religion / Christian Ministry / General
Religion / Christian Ministry / Missions
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
This book is not an attempt to offer hope, help, or even advice on what denominations need to do. However, it is a book about a significant turn-around of a middle-level administration of justice in one Protestant denomination and it does offer hope that other like administrations might be able to experience a better and more effective existence. Everyone's experience is unique and therefore cannot be replicated. However, the implementation of foundational all-encompassing principles, the development of new strategies, and the performance of specific tactics that are successful in one situation does offer hope to others that their modeling of the principles, adapting the strategies, and creating specific tactics to fit their context can bring change.

"This book is a gutsy look at denominational life, leadership and vision, and offers new paradigms for the local church, middle judicatories and national denominational life. A must-read for anyone interested in bringing renewal to the local church and our denomination. Clearly, Borden has hit the bull's-eye with regard not only to our denomination's needs but also how renewal begins in the local church." - ABE News

Foreword to Hit the Bullseye by Leith Anderson

July 2003

"Some look at things that are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?"

-- George Bernard Shaw

There are approximately 400,000 churches in the United States and the vast majority of them belong to denominations. Some are healthy, vibrant, and growing. Most are tired, struggling, not growing, and don’t know what to do.

Plenty of critics and cynics take surveys, analyze data, and write books about what is wrong with the churches of America. As if following the theology of
Chicken Little they are convinced that the sky is falling and there is little we can do except seek cover. Proposals for renewal often are offered by theorists who tell practitioners what to do but have never actually done it themselves.

What if?

What if there was a way to help declining churches to grow? What if we could teach pastors how to lead their congregations to spiritual renewal? What if thousands of churches changed from maintenance to mission? What if a movement began with 200 churches that grew to 200,000 churches? What if millions of unchurched people came into lasting relationships with Jesus Christ and the church? What if the denominations of America with all of their people, property, and potential became the epicenter of this spiritual earthquake that became known as the Great Awakening of the 21st Century?

Maybe all this sounds too good to be true. Well, it has already begun. Centered in the earthquake zone of northern California, the American Baptist Churches of the West have demonstrated that a plateaued and declining region of mainline congregations can become a model of healthy and growing congregations. They have overcome the usual excuses that “our churches are too small,” “we have too many older people and congregations,” and “property here is too expensive.” They followed a powerful formula of biblical strategies, courageous leadership, and much hard work. What is most amazing is that the turnaround took less than five years.

Why not?

Here is the dream. Denominational leaders, executive ministers, bishops, district superintendents, regional directors, seminary teachers, pastors, and lay leaders will discover what God has done in northern California and say, “Why not here?” “With a few creative adaptations we can do the same thing in our denomination and in our churches.”

They will start small and multiply. They will risk their traditions, finances, staff, and jobs. They will respond to misunderstanding with teaching and take criticism with grace. Then there will be one successful church transformation—new vision, new faith, new people, and new excitement. One will become ten and ten will become one hundred. Church by church, region by region, denomination by denomination—a true reformation will bring a great new era to the people and churches of our generation. It can be done. It has been done. This is a dream of the way things can be. Be among those who say, “Why not? Let’s do it!”

Read the critically acclaimed #1 New York Times best-seller with more than one million copies in print. Same Kind of Different as Me was a major motion picture release by Paramount in fall 2017.

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” – in the 1960’s – by hopping a train. Non-trusting, uneducated, and violent, he spent another 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high priced art deals -- concerned with fast cars, beautiful women, and fancy clothes.

And the woman who changed their lives -- Miss Debbie: “The skinniest, nosiest, pushiest, woman I ever met, black or white.” She helped the homeless and gave of herself to all of “God’s People,” and had a way of knowing how to listen and helping others talk and be found – until cancer strikes.

Same Kind of Different as Me is a tale told in two unique voices – Ron Hall & Denver Moore – weaving two completely different life experiences into one common journey where both men learn “whether we is rich or poor or something in between this earth ain’t no final restin’ place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin’ our way toward home.”

The story takes a devastating twist when Deborah discovers she has cancer. Will Deborah live or die? Will Denver learn to trust a white man? Will Ron embrace his dying wife's vision to rescue Denver? Or will Denver be the one rescuing Ron? There's pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.

Continue this story of friendship in What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing, available now. Same Kind of Different as Me also is available in Spanish.

The Insanity of God is the personal and lifelong journey of an ordinary couple from rural Kentucky who thought they were going on just your ordinary missionary pilgrimage, but discovered it would be anything but. After spending over six hard years doing relief work in Somalia, and experiencing life where it looked like God had turned away completely and He was clueless about the tragedies of life, the couple had a crisis of faith and left Africa asking God, "Does the gospel work anywhere when it is really a hard place?  It sure didn't work in Somalia.

Nik recalls that, “God had always been so real to me, to Ruth, and to our boys. But was He enough, for the utter weariness of soul I experienced at that time, in that place, under those circumstances?” It is a question that many have asked and one that, if answered, can lead us to a whole new world of faith.

How does faith survive, let alone flourish in a place like the Middle East? How can Good truly overcome such evil? How do you maintain hope when all is darkness around you? How can we say “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world” when it may not be visibly true in that place at that time? How does anyone live an abundant, victorious Christian life in our world’s toughest places? Can Christianity even work outside of Western, dressed-up, ordered nations? If so, how?

The Insanity of God tells a story—a remarkable and unique story to be sure, yet at heart a very human story—of the Ripkens’ own spiritual and emotional odyssey. The gripping, narrative account of a personal pilgrimage into some of the toughest places on earth, combined with sobering and insightful stories of the remarkable people of faith Nik and Ruth encountered on their journeys, will serve as a powerful course of revelation, growth, and challenge for anyone who wants to know whether God truly is enough.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.