Back to News
Longmont Collective: When a Church Visits Its Members »
Church community-building is behind a pastoral initiative at the Boulder Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many, if not most, of the city-setting churches have ceased to be traditional parish congregations. Today, members of congregations do not live within short distances from church buildings and must commute to worship services for miles. Such is the reality for Boulder’s Mapleton Avenue congregation.
The Boulder pastors took note of the predicament of church members who commute long distances. “The gist of what a collective is for us is moving away from ‘Would you like to come to Boulder?’ to actually saying, ‘Let’s go where they live,’" recalls Japhet De Oliveira, senior pastor.
Together with Elia King, associate pastor, who coordinates the project, they refer to the initiative as a step to bring new life to their congregation.
“Let’s actually take ownership for God. There must be a reason for you to live in Longmont. Let’s find out what that is and really work on this,” he added.
The first collective event with the church visiting its members brought together 17 Boulder church members who live in Longmont, and travel to worship services and other events at their church some 12 or more miles away.
Apart from a picnic-style food, the meeting aimed at getting to know each other better. “If we leave knowing each other better, we have succeeded for today,” Elia opened a sharing of our Longmont stories. Among the opening questions were: “What brought you to live here? How are you connected to Boulder Church? and What has the church not been able to do for you?”
It was the stories shared by the "Boulderians living in Longmont" which became the obvious outcome of the gathering on May 6, the first of three meetings planned for Longmont. "I think we become strong families together, supporting each other,“ Japhet commented.
Patti Chamberlain, who together with her husband, Peter, were hosts for the first Longmont Collective expressed her hopes for the initiative. She commented, “My expectation is to create relationships with the Boulder Church members that live in the Longmont area to support and care for each other.” Brigitta Beam, one of the Boulder Church young adults, said she appreciates the opportunity "to get to know my church family outside the church walls. I am really looking forward to exploring what this collective can do for our immediate community and seeing how we can impact the lives of those around us."
Collectives offer opportunities to invite somebody new to the table and fast forward someone else’s dream, the Boulder ministers shared.
[Text and photo by Rajmund Dabrowski]