Showing posts sorted by relevance for query new seattle churches. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query new seattle churches. Sort by date Show all posts

New Seattle Churches Mapped

More than 100 new churches have taken root in Seattle, WA since 2001. Explore the churches on this map I created which lists websites, Facebook and Twitter pages, denominational identity, and founding date.
To learn more about the New Seattle Churches Project, follow me on Twitter for study findings @newSEAchurches.

See King 5 News Coverage of New Seattle churches here.
Hear NPR's KUOW interview with me here
You can listen to the Rose City Forum interview here.  

Third Places and/as Sacred Spaces: Innovation among Neighborhood-rooted New Seattle Churches

Seattle is home to a number of new churches that are embodying their belief that the gospel is good news to neighborhoods. Seeking to incarnate the Kingdom of God, they fashion themselves as a tangible assets to their community.  Several do this by providing a "third place"-- a space that is open to all and fosters community and advances the well-being of the neighborhood. Here are some of the church-connected third spaces in Seattle.

Aurora Commons 
This 'neighborhood living room' includes a public kitchen and lending library, as well as various programs. It was started by Awake Church along one of the city's most troubled streets, Aurora Avenue.

The Collaboratory
Billing itself as an 'incubator for social change' this space includes a co-working office, a learning kitchen, an events venue, and a community park and garden. It was started by Valley & Mountain in collaboration with Community Arts Create.

Pilgrim Coffeehouse 
Still seeking funding, this coffee shop along Aurora is an initiative of Epic Life Church.

The Green Bean Coffeehouse
This coffee shop in Greenwood--now in its third (re)location--was started by Sanctuary. 

 Fremont Arts Abbey
Officially a (reduced-rate) tenant of Church of the Apostles, Fremont Arts Abbey curates and offers creative performances and fulfills a portion of COTA's mission to serve the community.

Kakao and 415 Westlake
Kakao is a chocolate and coffee shop is located in the heart of South Lake Union. In the same building houses 415 Westlake, a venue for cultural and fundraising events.  Both were started by Union Church.

The Maple Leaf Living Room
Launched as Lux Coffee Co, but rebuffed by zoning issues, this space was started Lux Communities in a church building in the Maple Leaf neighborhood.

Port & Anchor
A community center and cafe inside the large church building serves as an art co-op and source for counseling services started by Emmanuel Church in Phinney Ridge.

Q Cafe
A coffee shop and event venue located in Interbay and started by Quest.  (Unlike the other churches on this list, Quest's identity is less neighborhood-rooted and more strongly linked to their multi-ethnic composition.)

If you know of other third places/sacred spaces in the city of Seattle, please comment!

Check out the links below to learn more and catch some of my interviews about my research among new Seattle churches. 

Here's the King 5 News coverage of my research and several churches included in the study here.
Here's my interview with Marcie Sillman, of Seattle's NPR affiliate, KUOW, here.  
You can listen to the Rose City Forum interview here

King 5 News Coverage of New Seattle Churches

This Holy Week, King 5 News in Seattle, decided to do a series on some of new church plants in Seattle that have been the focus of my dissertation research and writing, including Community Dinners, Vona, All Saints, and Awake.  I was delighted to be able to share some of what I've been learning about the context with Alison Morrow, and even more pleased that they've been lifting up how important service to the community is for many of Seattle's newest churches.  You can check out their coverage below.

If you're interested in the findings of my research, I'll be rolling some of it out over the coming months here on JesusDust, so feel free to subscribe and/or follow me on Twitter @chrisbjames.

You can also listen to my interview on NPR's KUOW here (5min) and on the Rose City Forum here (50min).

Check out the map of New Seattle Churches here.

Identity and Practice in New Churches: My Dissertation Proposal in Brief

I'm officially ABD (all but dissertation) which means I'm being asked regularly what my dissertation is on.  Here's a shortened version of the "statement of the problem" from my prospectus. 

At the beginning of the 21st century in the U.S., despite historically low confidence in organized religion and the rise of the “Nones,” new churches and new forms of church are springing up across the country. Many of these assert the centrality of missional identity and practices of Christian witness, but the effects of such missional priorities on the faithfulness and spiritual vitality of these churches are uncertain. As a project in “practical ecclesiology” this study of new churches will utilize both sociological and theological methods to explore the dynamics between ecclesial identity—a church’s corporate self-image and implicit ecclesiology—and practices of mission, community and spirituality. My thesis is that some of the resources needed by Western Christianity in 21st century are being developed by the newest cohort of churches, but that uncritical adoption of their practices and perspectives in pursuit of effectiveness is theologically (and practically) perilous.

The project will develop in three moves. First, using survey and qualitative work in Seattle churches founded after 9/11/2001, it will offer an interpretive typology of the ways in which corporate identity and practice are related in ecclesial life, thus making a contribution to congregational studies research, which has given limited attention to new churches. Second, departing from the productionistic logic prevalent in church planting literature, this project will contribute to this field by offering robust theological assessment of the types and practices of new churches, drawing upon scholarship in Christian witness, Luke-Acts, missional ecclesiology, Christian spiritual formation and missional spirituality. Third, and finally, this project will draw from the ecclesial practices and the theological literatures to make constructive and practical proposals for church leaders seeking to lead the Western church into missional faithfulness and spiritual vitality in the 21st century.

Ecclesial Pioneers in the Pacific Northwest

If you're a church planter or doing ministry in Seattle or Portland, you should check out "Ecclesial Pioneers in the Pacific Northwest," which I wrote as a contributing editor for Christ & Cascadia, a new online collaborative journal thinking about God in Pacific Northwest culture.  The piece is based on my ongoing research on new Seattle churches (church plants, emerging churches, multisite churches, etc).  It explores why the Pacific Northwest is a uniquely fertile environment for religious innovation, points to some new churches in Seattle breaking the mold.

The Sociology of Catalyst Conference Pt 1: Anonymous Evangelicalisms Hip New Hub

In October of 2010, 13,000 zealous Christian leaders gathered and talked about changing the world. This study applies some of the tools of the sociology of religion to an understanding of the organization behind this gathering, Catalyst. The research that informs this work includes participant observation at the annual Catalyst East Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on October 5-7, 2010, analysis of Catalyst’s presence on the internet, attention to participant comments via Twitter and relevant written sources. The primary questions pursued in this research center around the posture of Catalyst and those who affiliate with it toward the wider culture. In this respect, the work of Christian Smith and others on American evangelicals has proven immensely helpful.

A Radically Ancient Way to Plant Churches

I've begun my dissertation research on new Seattle churches, and was delighted to discover this uniquely simple, beautiful, and compelling approach by the Christ-followers behind  This Pentecostal church asked themselves "what would Jesus be doing in our neighborhood" and has begun taking steps toward offering free community meals in all of the 27 walking villages of Seattle (they're currently at 5 or 6). They're also working to provide housing, training, and employment. 
But this isn't just another church providing a social service.  Each meal is followed by "time to encourage the soul by retelling a short story about Christ and offering a prayer for those who want to stay."  This is church, and they know it.  In their own words, "Community Dinners in Seattle are not a feeding program or an outreach; they are Dinner Churches modeled after the Agape’ Feasts of the first century."  I can't wait to see these communities in action!  Check out the video.

The Deconstructed Church: Marti & Ganiel on the Emerging Church

The Emerging Church Movement is here to stay.  So say researchers Gerardo Marti and Gladys Ganiel in their new book, The Deconstructed Church: Understanding Emerging Christianity.  I'm looking forward giving it a careful read and drawing on their research as I reflect on my study of New Seattle Churches.

Marti and Ganiel's research is "based on ethnographic observation of emerging congregations, pub churches, neo-monastic communities, conferences, online networks, in-depth interviews, and congregational surveys in the US, UK, and Ireland" and the book intends to offer "a comprehensive social-scientific analysis of the development and significance of the Emerging Church Movement. Emerging Christians, they find, are shaping a distinct religious orientation that encourages individualism, deep relationships with others, new ideas about the nature of truth, doubt, and God, and innovations in preaching, worship, Eucharist, and leadership." (from the Amazon blurb)

For more of their findings, check out these videos in which Marti defines ECM and discusses its demographics, distinctive practices, and the role it plays as a "last stop" for those on the way out of Christianity.  Below, I've also included excerpts from an interesting interview with Marti and Ganiel. 

'The Future of Religion: A Researcher (that's me) looks to Seattle for clues' [NPR interview]

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised when I got an email from NPR's affiliate in Seattle (KUOW) asking about my research on church plants in Seattle, and what it suggests about the future of church in the urban, American context.  The interview with Marcie Sillman was a blast, and it was a privilege to get to tell a different, more hopeful narrative than the dominant one these days about religious decline.  I'm not disputing that the numbers can tell that story, I'm simply pointing out that decline, death, and disaffiliation aren't the only thing happening.

The Easter season is a time in which Christians are called to meditate on the central Christian story of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  It's a good time to be reminded that the Easter story means--among other things--that even in places of apparent defeat and despair, God is actually at work bringing forth new life and hope for the future. My research suggests that this is concretely true, even in the 'None Zone.'

You can listen to the 5 minute interview here

If you're interested in learning more, you can check out King 5 News coverage of my research and several churches included in the study here and an extended interview on Portland's Rose City Forum here

New Wineskins for New Wine: My interview on Rose City Forum

The bit of buzz in Seattle around my research into church planting in the city led to this hour-long interview with Andee Zommerman, host of the Rose City Forum in Portland. The show has recently hosted such guests as Doug Pagitt, Christian Piatt, and Rachel Held Evans.

The conversation ranged from the nature of religious life in the Pacific Northwest to the theology behind "third place" approaches to Christian ministry.

You can listen to the Rose City Forum interview here

If you're interested in learning more, check out King 5 News coverage of my research and several churches included in the study here and my interview with Marcie Sillman, of Seattle's NPR affiliate, KUOW, here.