FIRST, LET’S DEFINE OUR TERMS…
These three words are often used to describe and answer questions about neighborhood parishes, so it would be helpful to define them to begin with:
Gospel – When we were separated from God in our sin, Jesus took the punishment on our behalf. We now stand holy before God, waiting for the day when Jesus will return and make all things new.
Community – Through his sacrifice, Jesus made us right with God and with one another. At Sojourn, we overlap our lives for the purpose of encouraging, loving, supporting, teaching, guiding, and correcting one another with the Gospel.
Mission – Just as Jesus came to us, he has called us to go and tell others about the Gospel so that they might follow him too. At Sojourn, we do this together as his people, as a community.
WHAT IS A NEIGHBORHOOD PARISH?
A Neighborhood Parish is a smaller family within the church that aims to love one another and serve the people in their neighborhood. It’s a Jesus-centered community that lives out the mission of God together in a specific area, to a specific people by living out the Gospel in tangible forms and explaining the truth and light of the Gospel to others.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT I JOIN A NEIGHBORHOOD PARISH?
Through Jesus’ work on the cross, God made a people who belonged to him and to one another. According to Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, we are now one body under Christ and belong to each other. And belonging to a Parish is the way Sojourn lives out what we hear preached and taught from the pulpit. Joining and serving a Neighborhood Parish is how we obey what God has called us to do: make disciples. Ultimately, we want to stop GOING to church, and we want to start BEING the church.
HOW DO I DECIDE WHICH PARISH TO VISIT?
Location is the most important thing to consider in choosing a Parish. Thus, we encourage you to join the parish family closest to your home. While most events and groups are based upon affinity or comfort, we’re hoping to facilitate close community and effective mission. In joining a parish that is close to you, you give yourself and those in your Parish greater opportunity to live life together. We want to demonstrate and declare the Gospel as a church body, not only as individual Christians
SHOULD I ATTEND SEVERAL PARISH GATHERINGS UNTIL I FEEL COMFORTABLE JOINING?
While we understand that comfort is a large concern in social settings, the ultimate aim of a Neighborhood Parish is not to make sure that people are comfortable. The hope is that a group of dissimilar people would gather around a perfect God, learn to love one another with Jesus as their Savior and their example, and be challenged to share that news with others. To that end, we encourage you to visit the Neighborhood Parish closest to your home
WHAT IF THE CLOSEST PARISH GATHERS ON A NIGHT I’M UNAVAILABLE?
If you have scheduling conflicts that keep you from attending the Parish Gathering closest to you, please visit the next closest Parish. Our main concern is that you are joining the church on its mission to demonstrate and declare the love of Jesus to our neighborhood