Launching in The District
The sun is shining today, but sitting here in the University Bookstore, I can tell you Fall is just around the corner. Students are stocking up on textbooks and UW gear, and later this week the rain and cool weather will return to Seattle. Here at Sinners & Saints, we’re preparing to launch monthly worship gatherings in the University District this September. Why are we in the U-District? Read on, and ask yourself whether you would like to join us on this journey.
The Gospel of Luke paints a picture of Jesus communicating to the disciples and the Israelites what the Kingdom of God on earth should look like: the poor will be blessed, the hungry will be satisfied, those who weep will laugh, you will be blessed when people hate you. In more difficult language, woe to the rich and the well fed, woe to those who laugh and to you when everyone speaks well of you. You should love your enemies, you must pray for those who mistreat you. Do good without expecting anything in return. You should not judge, you must forgive and you should give to all who ask you. (Luke 6)
The picture Jesus paints as he teaches the disciples and preaches to the people of Israel describes first God’s own heart toward our world, and then tells us how we, like Christ, should act in order to live out God’s heart in our own lives.
As a church, our mission is living out God’s heart and God’s unyielding love in our world, our city, our neighborhood, and our own lives.
Strategically, we have chosen the University District after much prayer for a number of reasons; first, we live nearby. Pastor Leah has lived in the University District much of her 11 years in Seattle. The U-District represents a pocket of socioeconomic and ethnic diversity unusual for North Seattle, and yet its churches are very homogenized and segregated. Visiting a large, mainline church on Sunday morning could give you the impression of a monoethnic, upper middle class neighborhood with a few students. Visiting the local food bank would tell a different story: multiple languages, recent immigrants chatting with folks born in Seattle, new parents and homeless teenagers, working single dads, grocery store checkers, and college students all together for a few hours each week. What if church looked like that? What if a church provided life for the neighborhood, became a gathering place, listened to the needs of the neighborhood and came alongside as together people in the U-District built a house of faith for everyone?
The University District is an opportunity to live out that radical vision Jesus spoke of when he opened the faith as the Pharisees understood it to women, gentiles, those considered unclean, the poor, the sick and said ‘theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom of Heaven is a radically inclusive place where all are welcome at the table. Join us as we embark on a journey of reconciliation and redemption as we attempt to live like Jesus, who “became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14, The Message)
Q: Do I have to live in the University District to join?
A: If you live in the U-District, great! If not, you’re also welcome. We are on a mission together to live out God’s love in our city. As a church, we are focused on living out our ministry in a parish fashion, in the U-District. All are welcome to join in that mission. It is possible that at some point in the future, we would support other Seattle neighborhoods would like to plant their own church.
Q: How do you partner with the neighborhood?
A: We volunteer with local organizations that could use extra hands. Much great work has been started in the U-District, and our goal is to help that work succeed. Currently, we volunteer on Thursday evenings with the University District Food Bank, and are exploring other partnership opportunities in education and working with the homeless. We partner with religious and non-religious organizations, believing that living out our faith is the important thing.
Q: Where do you meet on Sundays?
A: We don’t have our own building, and for now are meeting Sundays at Alan and Leah’s home in Wallingford and Tuesdays on the Ave in the U-District. Look for us to begin meeting Sundays in the University District starting in September.
Want to join us on a Sunday, or just learn more? Email Pastor Leah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace to you this week,
- DINNER & A FRISBEE
Join us for our second Frisbee Picnic at Gasworks Park Tuesday, August 17, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. We will be spending some time chilling out together at the Park. Join at the bottom of the hill near the parking lot around 6:30, and we’ll find a good location to enjoy the sun (hopefully) and throw the frisbee around. Plan on bringing a sack dinner, a blanket if you’ve got one, and a friend. See you the 17th! Questions? Connect@sinnersandsaintschurch.com
- THURSDAY NIGHT FOOD BANK ROTATION: U-District Food Bank, 5-8pm
Join us on Thursday nights as we hang out with our neighbors, sort food, laugh, bag groceries, and have a good time. Up to 5 volunteers per week, send an email to email@example.com to sign up or for more info!
- SINNERS & SAINTS CHURCHWIDE RETREAT
Our first-ever churchwide retreat for August 27-29. Note the date change! Let me know if you can make those dates, and we’ll see you at the Lake House. If you haven’t signed up yet, or would like more info, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- S&S SUMMER FUN!
This summer, Ramen Night is transitioning from once-a-week Tuesday night event to once-a-month. Join us September 7th for our next Ramen Night! Other Tuesdays will be devoted to fun activities planned by church folks. If you’d like to join in planning fun events, casual outings like picnics at Gasworks, kayaking on Lake Union, or dinner at Paseo’s near Golden Gardens, let me know! email: email@example.com
- SUNDAY DINNER POTLUCK: 5-7:30 pm
Join us for Sunday Dinner and Bible Study at Alan and Leah’s home from 5-7:30. The meal sign-up is below, email me if you’d like to bring something to share. firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or for more info!
- This Sunday, 8/1: Potluck Night!
It’s Rice Bowl night this Sunday! Join us for Sunday dinner from 5-7:30 this week. Sign-up for the potluck by choosing an item and shooting an email to email@example.com
Stir Fry Veggies: ______________________
Stir Fry Meat (Teriyaki Chicken/Marinated Beef/??): _____________________
Egg Rolls/Mandu/Gyoza: _______________________
Kimchi/Side Dish: ______________________
See you Sunday!