If you look back in the first century B.C., one of the most influential and important collaborations that took place was the trade route built between Spain and China, referred to as the “Silk Road.” It was a road that connected five very different empires together for the exchange of goods. The goods of these empires, those resources and skills unique to each of them, found in this great road a way for them to be shared and appreciated by others through trade. It became a way to experience and exchange aspects of different cultures. And what would often happen at the trading posts along the way was the “rubbing off” of cultures, where the multiple cultures came together to form something new. A fusion occurred.
We’d like to be a trading post on what the first Christians called, “the way” of Christ. We think that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has created a road that transcends all cultures, differences, and barriers. It is a road that reconnects mankind with God, and mankind with each other.
Thus, our prayer is our church would be a trading post where the goodness of God would intersect with the needs and desires of mankind. We want to be a sort of intersection between heaven and earth, in a way that God is richly experienced and encountered and the goodness of earth cultivated.
As well, our prayer is to be a place where there is the exchange of lives. In the deep yearning that God has placed within mankind for abiding relationships, we hope to be a place where people can belong in a way that they feel free to bring who they are and the baggage that they have. We aim to be a place of love that links arms with one another to move towards greater flourishing in Christ.
The challenge, though, is doing this in one of the most diverse sections of a city worldwide. We are asking how we can be a place where different cultures can come together, in a way that preserves the uniqueness of each culture, but also creates a fusion that demonstrates a unity found in Christ. We believe we more richly experience and reflect the peace offered by Christ in bringing our different cultures, experiences, and preferences together, instead of segregating off to what is most comfortable. We desire to live out the multicultural reality of God’s kingdom in our church. We are well aware that it is difficult enough to communicate with people similar to us, much less with those who are strikingly different. Only in Christ can such a fusion occur.
We are not perfect in any of these areas, but hoping to develop in all of them. We are pilgrims on the great road of Christ, learning from our great teacher. Maybe God wants you to join us?