Guess Who’s Coming to Church

Karyn Nancarvis is a member of Akron Mennonite Church and is pursuing a Master of Divinity Degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary (EMS). She has served as chair of the ACC Youth Committee since 2017.

Rounding the corner in my final year as a student at EMS, I’m aware of the liminal space in which I live, work, and cultivate my calling. I’m standing in the space between – a forming vision of what’s ahead in life and ministry after seminary and a rear view of my journey through the courses, formational experiences and growth spurts -some I’ve resisted and others I’ve readily embraced.

In a recent time of discernment, I began to flesh out a deep passion for faith-based corporate worship. I’m energized in community and curious about what motivates us and keeps us engaged in our weekly encounter with God. I’m drawn to the diversity of each congregation, context and practice, so I’ve decided to experience ALL of the church communities who are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference – an ACC Tour – yes, all 32 of them within a year’s time!

What will I intentionally explore once I’m there? Four things:

  • From the perspective of a member congregant / lay person(s): What does it mean for your church to be a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference? I ask to connect briefly with someone during coffee time, or have someone write up a sentence or two to post on the blog I’ve created to reflect my experience.
  • I’m interested in the possibility to introduce myself to the senior youth (9th-12th grades) in hopes of enriching my contribution as Chair of ACC Youth Ministry Team.
  • I want to learn more about whom each church is serving. What makes a church unique in its context? Do they have a strong community outreach? Perhaps a vital house church community?
  • I’ll humbly ask each church’s pastor for a selfie (see below) with
    my to remember my experience!

I’ll finish my tour with a “Letter to ACC” summarizing my learnings and experiences and a report at the ACC Spring Assembly.

It’s been an enriching journey having worshipped with three ACC churches so far. As I tour our family of churches, I’d welcome any who feel led to pray for each congregation and me as I experience welcome and worship, interact with members, and travel to some distant meeting spaces.

Follow Karyn’s ACC Tour and accompanying reflections and selfies at guesswhoscomingtochurch.blogspot.com.

 

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