Kris and I spent a delightful two days with the folks at New Covenant Church in Champaign, IL. where I spoke on topics from my book, Fellowship of Differents. So piled into our car and drove down — it is always a pleasure for Kris and me to drive through America’s heartland of farms, prairies and flat expanses.
This was the second time in a few years that we have been invited to be with the good people at New Covenant, an innovative and unboundaried church, and it was delightful to reconnect with many familiar faces (see @kt_writes) and meet some new ones. I was much encouraged when a young man both remembered my previous time there when I spoke on the Jesus Creed and also said it had influenced his life. He also had a good question for me after the Sunday morning teaching time.
Highlights: as always the highlight is time spent with people, including a childhood friend of ours, Lorna Engels, who is a librarian at the U of I. A new friend, Pastor Kye Ewing, Lorna and others organized a Saturday evening gathering followed by dinner with a group of leaders from the church. We had a great time together at DeStihl in downtown Champaign. We were at the hotel where the new U of I football coaches are staying — we looked for Lovie but didn’t see him!
When I ponder what a first century church looks like, New Covenant Church comes to mind due to its inclusion of folks from different backgrounds and it’s unboundaried approach. I have written about the complexity of early Christian fellowships in A Fellowship of Differents, but most churches are not so keen on complexity and prefer instead simplicity and sameness. These are wonderful people with a wide array of ideas and a rugged commitment to one another.
Thanks again New Covenant, and great to see you Lorna.