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Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:35 AM Post #19275
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Is any one familiar with the Next Generation Christian Science Fellowship in Brentwood, Missouri? I watched the video summarizing their activities, http://www.nextgencsfellowship.com/NGCSF/Our_Story.html, and wanted to know if anyone has any experience with this group.

I've also recently heard of someone named Dick Davenport who founded Higher Ground. This appears another one of these CS next gen movements.
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 11:56 AM Post #19276
Guest 
My understanding is that the members of this group recently combined with the members of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Brentwood, MO. So they are now an official branch of The Mother Church.
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 12:59 PM Post #19277
 

OldtimerOldtimerOldtimerOldtimerOldtimerOldtimerOldtimerOldtimer
I knew Dick Davenport at Principia, but don't know what he's been up to recently.

Ann
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 1:08 PM Post #19278
Guest 
Here is a link to the Covenant that people sign who unite with the Brentwood Church:

http://www.nextgencsfellowship.com/NGCSF/Our_Story_files/NG-Covenant-Final-4_1.pdf
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 1:10 PM Post #19279
Guest 
I have seen this group's Covenant and it sure articulates a lot of biblical and Christ-centered, Jesus-patterned emphasis. There is more of both in Mary Baker Eddy's life and Writings than the dominant Christian Science culture has fully embraced or promoted. Many of the points objected to on this site would be more truthfully contextualized by a more comprehensive look at Eddy's thoughts than Christian Scientists, let alone her critics, have wished to do.

While I realize many who read this would not embrace Rob Bell, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, William Young, Harvey Cox, and others...some of the issues they raise sound a lot like the language and design of the Next Generation Christian Science Fellowship. Thank you for suggesting the group's website and people going to primary sources for information as to what they are saying.

Surely many here would be loathe to affirm any movement of the Holy Spirit among a group of Christian Scientists, but who are we to judge the means and methods of the Spirit at work.

One of the hallmarks of this group is that it has more than a dozen individuals who take turns in rotation leading the outreach Gatherings (contemporary worship) and it is not under the leadership of any single individual. Visit http://nextgencsfellowship.com/NGCSF/Our_Story.html and watch their video and read their Covenant.
Posted Friday, May 20, 2011 10:34 AM Post #19284
Guest 
From the Next Gen website, looks like there's a similar group in Chicago at http://whatishappeningchicago.wordpress.com/.

Does any one know how large the groups in Missouri and Chicago are? Also, why does someone need to sign a covenant to unite with a church? Like the traditional CS churches, do they make you become a member, through this covenant, in order to serve at the church or gatherings and vote in meetings?
Posted Friday, May 20, 2011 9:52 PM Post #19286
Guest 
Covenants are common forms of expressing the values, ideals, and commitments that bring people together into marriages and churches. With the Next Generation Fellowship in St. Louis signing the Covenant is something short of membership by which people of any church or religious affiliation can indicate their affinity for the purpose, vision, and convictions of the Fellowship and then represent it in a leadership capacity -- from teaching Sunday School to organizing its many community service and outreach activities to leading worship.

They may do all this without "joining" the church, or leaving a membership elsewhere. Contemporary congregations in many denominations are re-examining the assumptions behind membership categories. Many younger folks find this a more helpful way of entering into church life...a commitment that is authentic for where they are without requiring of them a more formal step they feel unready to make. Covenant, of course, is a concept deep in the oldest parts of the Bible and should not be entered into lightly.

For those who wish to, when they are ready, there is a membership option for those who have signed the Covenant that then grants voting rights and the capacity to be elected to serve on the Leadership Team (similar to an Executive Board) of the Fellowship.
Posted Friday, May 20, 2011 10:20 PM Post #19287
Guest 
I do know that the people involved in both the Chicago and St. Louis Fellowships are very aware of the leading elements of biblical scholarship, Christian theology, and church development across denominational lines. In St. Louis, four of the nine members of the Leadership Team have been trained at graduate theological seminaries across the country.

In both cities, the Fellowships are also deeply involved in interfaith leadership initiatives and witness.
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