Not too long ago, Sundays with the family were already scheduled: church and Sunday school and Grandma’s house for Sunday dinner. These days, however, that tradition is the exception rather than the rule. Approximately 60 percent of the population feels alienated from existing forms of church, meaning only about 40 percent of the population is reached through the traditional version of Sunday morning worship services, regardless of how polished the preacher or how amazing the music.
With that in mind, Brandenburg United Methodist Church is exploring what it means to do and be church in new and fresh ways, to meet people where they are through the form of Fresh Expressions. A Fresh Expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.
One form of Fresh Expression – Love In Action – has been in place at BUMC for several years now. What began simply as a meal, free and available to anyone in the community, is growing into something more than a meal with a focus on community and relationships and the addition of guest speakers and musicians who share their musical gifts and a brief, uplifting word with Love In Action guests.
Something powerful happens when folks gather around a table. People begin to share; barriers are broken down. The church is realizing these moments around the table are opportunities for ministry. BUMC is taking that model of gathering around a table into the community with a new Fresh Expression – Fajitas & Faith – which will meet on Sundays at 6 p.m. at El Camino Mexican Restaurant in Brandenburg.
Fajitas & Faith is a supporting, caring community of people exploring faith and life together. It will last between 60 and 90 minutes and will include a time for visiting around the table, a brief Bible story or personal faith story, and the opportunity to share prayer requests. Most of all, it is a safe space where you can ask questions and be yourself. The first gathering will be Sunday, March 1, at 6 p.m.
“The church desires to reach new people, in new places, in new ways,” says the Rev. Jeff Carter, pastor of Brandenburg United Methodist Church. “We want to offer everyone a place to explore faith and life. It may be in the church sanctuary on a Sunday morning, or it may be around one of our Fresh Expressions tables. Either way, all are welcome.”
Love In Action meals are served every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fajitas & Faith meets at El Camino on Sundays at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome at either gathering. For more information, please call 270-422-2810 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.