Creator's Web of Relationships
Pieces of the Lutheran Web
Creator is a church in the Oregon Synod. They have an intention for themselves, their partners and Oregon Synod churches to build "a wild web of relationships among churches and other partners, associates, communities and individuals. Here are the following statements they have discerned.
Moved by the Mystery of Love, we are and are becoming a wild web of relationships, a communion of communities, cultures, and diverse faith experiences walking into life, as we seek the life of the world together in the Spirit Jesus promises.
Without condescension or proselytizing, we journey together, sharing bread as each one of us is changed through this sacred encounter. we move together in spiritual and transformational friendship.
Agency and Dignity: we seek to honor the unique voices, practices, and memories of all created beings, seeing one another as participants and co-creators in God’s creative and ressurective action.
Integrity: we attend to our words and actions, seeking and learning, so that our practices embody our values, our witness becoming more whole, through mutual accountability, evaluation, transparency and shared respect.
Wisdom from the Edges: trusting in the presence of God in all life, particularly in the ones whom the world would sacrifice, we connect the edges of the community with our own pushed aside, buried, and silenced edges, opening wild imagination, courage and resilient capacity for new life.
Honesty and Humility: courageously and compassionately, we seek to bring our whole selves and shared life into conversations and challenges, naming hard things and seeking to understand, as we trust god to waste nothing in the nurturing of community.
Our Stepping Stones
Scripture and Spiritual Practice: team meetings, community gatherings, educational ventures, and shared actions begin with spiritual grounding. Leaders are rooted in the life-giving stories and symbols of the ancestors.
Shared Power and Respect: all people, lay and ordained, are recognized as part of the priesthood of all believers and collaboration is central to our work at every level.
Sustainability: our collective work aims to be thoughtful and durable, not oriented to quick fixes. Financially, ecologically, spiritually, and physically we seek to serve not only the living but also the seventh generation.
Story: our mission is rooted in our authentic stories and we listen for the ways God’s liberating story moves within them. Acting out of the depth of our stories, we seek to build a wild web of relationship, rooted in God’s justice and peace.
Siblings: we seek deep connection not only with other Lutherans, but with Christians or every tradition, interfaith partners and people who claim no faith tradition.
Shameless, Fearless Innovation: we experiment, collaborate, dream dreams and see visions. We dare to make mistakes, fall down, and get up again.
There are thirteen clusters in the ELCA Oregon Synod, organized geographically.
Creator is part of the Oregon Trail cluster.
The cluster has organized church leadership events, and celebrations as well for installations, anniversaries, dedications, as well as other rites.
Creator is inspired by Story Dwelling, a Bend, Oregon community that is the fruit of a collaboration between the Lutherans (ELCA) and the Methodists (UMC), especially Nativity Lutheran Church and Bend Church. They seek to appreciate the commitment to God’s grace and social justice that these traditions pursue, and also imagine a community beyond denomination. Their spirit is contagious.
In other words: Story Dwelling is less about being Lutheran and Methodist, and it’s more about community, belonging and meaning-making that transforms. Creator shares that spirit with Story Dwelling.
Storyline Community is a collective of humans from all over our neighborhoods. Making space for neighbors to know and meet the deep needs of their neighborhood. Making space for our stories to be connected … all our stories. Our stories of Christian faith. Our stories of being wounded by the church. Our stories of no faith at all. Our stories of lived inequity. Our stories of privilege. Our stories of love and loss.
Central is a welcoming and progressive Christian community in NE Portland joyfully building community, doing justice, and making peace. Creator's history with Central is deep and rich. Their current pastor, Pastor Amanda Zentz-Alo memorably interned at Creator. Central members trained and guided Creator's work in our Reconciling in Christ process. Our ministries have become intertwined is many ways over the years.