A Mobile Church Following The Movement Of The Spirit
Here at The Neighborhood Liturgies we believe in supporting the local churches in prayer and friendship. One very special friendship that's developed is with Tim Mezera, a local pastor and one of two men brave enough to pastor me during my loss of faith. Tim recently knocked on my door while handing out flyers for their church's recent venue change. We prayed and laughed together and I asked him to write about his time in our city. Tim's letter reads like a modern day letter to the community Christians. One unique aspect of this church is that it is completely mobile. They can pack up and move at a moments notice to follow the movement of the spirit to be near to the broken hearted. We are so glad to have them in the neighborhood! -Allie & Charlie
"A little less than two years ago the St. Clair Shores Campus of The Woods Church launched at South Lake High School. We arrived with a deep conviction that God had brought this group of people together to be more than just another event to attend on Sunday mornings. From the beginning we have believed and lived out the conviction that as followers of Jesus Christ, we are not called to merely just talk about the gospel. Instead we are called to live it out in tangible ways in the midst of our community.
As we looked out on the ecumenical landscape of our country and particularly our community, we saw that by and large most people are tired of church in the traditional sense. People are tired of programs. People are tired of filling their weekends with merely another event. Instead, what we have seen is that people are hungry for "the real". People are hungry to be a part of something greater than themselves and to be a part of making a real and lasting impact in their community.
So armed with these deep convictions we began to look for the needs of the community. For much of the first six months our time was spent volunteering anywhere and everywhere the people of our city needed help. Whether it was with the senior center, the farmers market, or working the Memorial Day Parade, we just wanted to let people know Jesus loved them and love our city.
As time went on however, one partnership began to take precedent in our hearts and in our resources. After getting to know the staff and students at a local public elementary school we began to see the incredible need that was present. In our interactions we found that children going hungry was a real present issue with between 80%-90% of the student population coming from impoverished situations. As we learned the culture we learned about the ‘eviction flip’ that happens every February as almost 1/3 of the school population changes over due to their families being kicked out of their homes. We learned about broken families, hurting children and a community in need of the love and redemption of Jesus.
Seeing this need we began our partnership with Avalon Elementary school in full. In sitting down with some of the staff of the school, we found that there was an incredible openness and desire to see resources and help being poured into the lives of their students. As we began the meeting I didn’t mince words about who I was or what our ultimate agenda is. I explained that, “We are a church and to be honest we have an agenda. We want everyone to come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.” But I went on to explain, “but we believe that along the way we want a lot of the same things. We believe that Jesus is not ok with kids going to bed hungry. We believe that Jesus is not ok that brokenness and poverty is the theme of these kids lives". We believe that Jesus does want healthy, strong families, safe, educated and happy kids. Ultimately we want a safe and thriving community.
As I began to explain all of this to their staff, I was amazed as they didn't bat an eye and wanted to dive right in to meeting some of the needs of their community.
In the process of everything that God has done over the past couple years, I am convinced that the next movement in the Church in the United States will be when God’s people, local churches, begin to rise up and simply meet the needs of the community and live out the gospel."
-Tim Mezera, Campus Pastor of The Woods Church in Saint Clair Shores MI