This is a great question with a not so simple answer. Our process in planting a church is very different from most traditional church plants. We didn’t have plans for a building (where will you be located?) or a worship service (what kind of music will your service have?). Our simple plan was to get to know the community first.


I, Jason, placed myself at any table that would let me be present. I invited many of you to coffee, lunch, dinner, beers because I felt that it was significant that I heard the heartbeat of the community. And I hope I listened well.


Here is what I have heard time and time again that people are looking for a community of people that isn’t prescribed and packaged. They simply want a community that will accept them for who God created them to be and give them the space to lean into that beautiful reality.

People also reflected to me that they wanted to be a part of a diverse community of faith that at its cored valued relationships.


When talking about the church most people reflected that they longed for a sense of belonging and hope in a community of faith. Rarely did the conversations go to worship style, big band worship, preaching and teaching.


We began to dream of how we might begin to bring this remnant of a community together. So we created the “Gathering” (I know it sounds cultish) this is kind of like worship and creating space to get to know one another once a month.

The simple purpose was to bring about a since of community.


These past few months have been about experimenting with this time every month.

Our NEXT step on this journey is struggling with the question how we intentionally deepen our relationships with one another. We are now dreaming of community groups that will meet a couple of times a month to begin deepening community with one another.


Our FOCUS in the next few months will be on implementing these local community groups (we will be talking about this more at our March Gathering) and experimenting.

We are tabling the question for right now, “Do we need to worship every Sunday?” It is one we want to come back to after we get our community groups moving.


For us it is all about being thoughtful and listening to one another.

This is so different from traditional church plants. And for some of us we like cookie cutter church that has a clear path. We just feel that if we do what other churches are doing for sake that is what many of us are use to… we will be forsaking our vision and values.


The answer will we worship every Sunday is delayed. It is a question we will struggle with later. But for now we are so excited to see roots begin to grow in this community.

  • Storied Church

written by Kiah Gaskin

“One of the reasons people avoid community is because other people are disappointing.”

So much of my heart is in Kate Bowler’s interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber. She's a straight shooter who names the things everyone else is afraid to say.


I’m going to be honest. My excitement around coming up with a name for our church was met with much anxiety. If we called the church “Storied Church”, I was probably going to have to at some point share my story.


I’d rather small talk the logistics of the name: the UMC said we needed one and we liked “story” but went with “Storied” because there was already a “Story Church” in Rancho Cucamonga California (of course).


I’d rather theologize the meaning of the name: God entering into our human story, we the Church bringing our burdened selves to each-other, and Christ making unbroken our places of suffering and pain.


But if I’m honest with myself, I’m just hiding behind all that small talk and theology.


It’s a really hard thing to tell the truth about ourselves. It’s awkward, it takes practice, and it’s likely at some point to be- my biggest fear- disappointing.

But I’m learning that my need for community is often times confrontational- it provides for me what I can’t provide for myself. I’m holding on to the hope that there is light underneath the stigma, shame, and disappointment.


Nadia goes on to say, “by being in community, we take turns being the ones who are disappointing. And then, forgive each other and move on. Maybe it’s that guy’s turn to be disappointing, but next week it’ll be me. It’s that culture of turn-taking when it comes to being the ones who need grace, or who are giving grace, or who remind each other that grace is a thing.”


So if you’re like me and would rather run from this story telling experiment- it’s OK.


If you’re like me and have been hurt by church- church people, the institutional Church, or just the every-day indignities of our dishonoring “Christian” culture- it’s OK.

If I have any prayer for Storied Church it is that we would have gentleness, patience, and openness toward one another. I pray that by walking in new friendship, God would grow us in wisdom to love ourselves and each other in ways that are ultimately, a little less disappointing.

writer: Sarah Williams

Last year I started hosting a supper club and we often have a theme, both for the food and the attire. Our next one is the 1990s themed which has had me thinking back on all my favorites from growing up. For food, our main dish will be bagel bites with goldfish as an appetizer and teddy grahams for dessert. (We usually have more legitimate, homemade dishes but are trying to keep on theme here with some of our childhood favorites.) Some friends are bringing a crockpot of Chef Boyardee ravioli while others are bringing gushers, bugles, and dunkaroos. Because it seems the 90s only consisted of horribly processed food, I put out a call for something remotely healthy and one creative friend committed to bring “ants on a log” which took me right back to kindergarten snack time. I’ll be curious to see what people come up with for their attire but I’m hoping to track down some old concert t-shirts from something like N-Sync or the Spice Girls and maybe even crimp my hair and add in some butterfly clips.


I say all this to point out the W.W.J.D. bracelet and how this supper club theme got me thinking about it lately. Do y’all remember those? For any of you who may have forgotten or missed that fashion trend, they were neon fabric bracelets with W.W.J.D. sewn in standing for “What would Jesus do?”. I feel like everyone and their mother wore them in the 1990s. I used to wear mine every day. It got me thinking: what if I wore one daily again as a visible reminder to stop and think how Jesus would act, especially as we head into this tense election season?


What if all of us brought back the W.W.J.D bracelet, as a fashion statement and a mindset?


What if we were reminded throughout our days, our social media posting, our conversations, etc. to stop and think “what would Jesus do?”? I’m not even talking about which candidate to vote for or which way to take a stance on social issues.


I’m talking about being people who, regardless of their candidate or stance, “encourage each other and build each other up” (1 Thes. 5:11), are “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19), and “do not judge others” (Matt. 7:1) – just to name a few things scripture calls us to do.

I know I definitely didn’t live that out in the last election and have a lot of room to grow toward living out W.W.J.D. with my actions as the impeachment, election, international politics, etc. polarize so much of our society. Do your words and actions set you apart as someone who tries to live like Jesus? I think it would be incredibly powerful if we, as a body of believers, could be in the world but not of it as these tensions in our society build. What an example we could set.


Regardless of your party or your candidate, I invite you to join me in bringing back W.W.J.D., if not as a fashion statement, at least as a mindset.