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Pastor Matt Riley                 pastormattpriley@yahoo.com             Union Sunday Worship 10:30am

Click here to watch the October 4, 2020 Service

“What Is a House Church?”

“How do you describe "church"? A thing you do? A place you gather? A people you gather with? Is it possible that "church" can come together in a number of different places, like sanctuaries, community centers... and homes?

Imagine if we described church this way:

About 2,000 years ago, a grass-roots movement called "The Way" appeared. They were community organizers who met in homes and shared meals together. They followed the teachings of a Jewish rabbi and professed a radical and simple set of practices and politics: sharing resources and teaching that radically inclusive love and nonviolent justice could transform the world. They believed they were creating a new social order that would spread organically from place to place, like yeast through bread or like mustard weeds across an open field.

They called their communities the "Ekklesia," which meant "those who are called out." It sounded better than "those who've been kicked out," which would also have been true, because their Jewish members were kicked out of synagogues, and their non-Jewish members were often kicked out of their homes. The way they spoke about their founder was mysterious and provocative. They claimed that though he had been executed as a rebel, he was still alive, and was still with them in their movement.

This history sounds very different from the large-scale franchise model of church we have today. For nearly 300 years, the Ekklesia did not meet in dedicated buildings; they met in homes, and often in secret. They described themselves as a "household of faith." The center of worship was the table and a common meal.

I see this same Ekklesia operating today, in various forms, both large and small. But I see it especially in house churches. House churches are churches that meet in homes rather than dedicated buildings. They have a strong focus on creating authentic community and training participants to live out their faith in their daily lives. Rather than growing large, their focus is often on channeling growth into starting new house churches.

The early church also described themselves as a "chosen family," because many of them were ostracized from their biological family's faith tradition. That describes many people in our house churches as well — folks who left churches only to find themselves dis-invited from family Thanksgiving dinner, or who have come out as LGBTQ and no longer feel welcome in the church of their childhood. And, of course, some find a home here who never had a church or family in the first place.

Even though we live in the age of the "megachurch" in North America, with auditoriums that seat thousands of people, I believe we're seeing a renaissance of the "microchurch." One big reason is economics: Most churches spend 20 percent of their budget on renting or maintaining buildings and facilities.

Across the world, house churches form for a variety of reasons. In repressive regimes, house churches are a form of the underground church, much as they were in the first 300 years A.D.” By Dave Barnhardt on https://www.umc.org/en/content/what-is-a-house-church
Here is a link to sign up to host House Church


Click here to view the Easter Cantata for 2019

Click here to view the Christmas Cantata for 2018

Prayer List For Those Serving In The Armed Forces

  • Patrick Carey – USMC
    Son of Machel Struckhoff
  • Capt. Phillip Haines -USMC
    Wife: Charlotte
  • Corp. Ryan Marksill - Army
  • Major Terry R Brandenburg- AF
    Wife: Jennifer Daughter: Jordan
  • Mathew J. Smith – USMC
  • Michael Stankovich - Army
  • Sgt. Scott Reese Army
  • Capt Arthur Rendome - AF
  • Laurel Preston – AF
  • Evan Waynefeld – Army Wife: Karen
    Sons: Jordan, James & Jerry
  • Tech Sgt. Toni Ann Wiser - AF
    Sister: Christy Groves
  • Tech Sgt. Shawn Wiser – AF
    Sister-In-Law: Christy Groves
  • 325th Combat Support Hospital
    St. Peters / out of Independence
  • Jaison Ronsick Army National Guard,
    Fort Jackson, SC
    son of Candy Ronsick
    Father of Cloe Ronsick
  • This page updated September 6, 2020
    Questions, comments, submissions jma64658@hotmail.com