New Spaces

There’s something about “new” that most people find satisfying. Even if it is only “new to you” there’s something that brings a sense of enthusiasm. Sometimes it isn’t material goods, but going to a new restaurant, theater, or hiking trail that can generate just as much excitement. And often, the anticipation of something new coming our way is as thrilling as the actual thing itself.

I love the season of Advent. The anticipation, the expectation, the hope of this time of year, feeds my soul. Personally, I like to ease into it. No Christmas lights the day after Halloween for me. Rather, I like living in the space of waiting, watching and wondering, because it causes me to ponder and reflect on that which I am hoping is coming. Too much pre-Christmas, for me spoils both the anticipation, and frankly takes a little awe and wonder out of Christmas. Honestly, I have been seduced by immediate gratification, like most of us, which is why, in part, I really try to appreciate the spiritual discipline of waiting which Advent provides for us.

In many respects, I have been living in an Advent space for the last six months. And I know I am not the only one, because almost every encounter I have with someone in ECMN in recent times includes, “Are we there yet?”

During these conversations, for my own psyche, I have leaned heavily on my Advent disciplines – even if it was only September or October. I have tried to embrace the waiting, watching, wondering about what the new “there” will be like for us. Well, I could not be more pleased to tell you that we are now there – our new ECMN Offices on Broadway and Emerson in North Minneapolis!

As I previously mentioned, there is a lot of excitement for our “new” space. Yet the excitement goes far beyond the newness, to all the possibilities of what the Spirit will manifest in this new space. Beyond the offices of the Bishop and Missioners, we will have multiple new gathering spaces that will accommodate from 6 to 100, office space for partners and a completely remodeled Sammy’s Cafe – one of our favorite caterers! As well, we are fortunate to have over 70 off street parking spaces and all of this within minutes from both I-94 and downtown Minneapolis.

However, as exciting as new can be, there always comes a time of adjusting and living into one’s new reality. It was clear that the “new” Messiah that folks were anticipating was different than what most had imagined. And yet, as we can all attest to now, this changed not only their lives, but the world, in ways far beyond what anyone could have expected. While we do not have messianic expectations for our new space, we do have great hopes that it, too, will be a space, a container, where God’s mission will be engaged, the Kingdom of God will come near and transformation will take place.

Stay tuned for the upcoming Blessing of the Building and Open House!

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