New York Times?! Who saw that coming? Definitely not me.
And that was my mistake: to underestimate the calling of God.
Somewhere inside, I was still convinced that the vision for a church that focuses on environmental justice was just going to be a 'little thing' that I do with my friends.
However--as is often the case--God had different ideas. The racism, classism, and environmental destruction of our times are too great, and this vision can't be held back--there is just too much on the line.
So, as if to prove a point, God sent Mark Oppenheimer into my life. He's a New York Times reporter (among many impressive titles) who called me at 10:30pm for an interview the next morning.
Both of us knew that it was a long shot for our conversation to actually get published. Editors are choosey--as you might imagine--and a Minneapolitan who cares about the environment isn't exactly newsworthy.
Through Mark's questions, though, we started to piece together that this was not just some Minnesotan's pipedream. There are pastors (and Methodists!) all over the country planting ministries surrounding the environment, and they are growing up completely independent from one another.
Apparently, New City Church is part of something bigger than you or I can imagine!
The whole experience taught me that the worst thing we can do is get in God's way. The act of church planting is an exercise in continually swapping our pint-sized dreams for God-sized dreams and running to catch up.
The NYT article sits in my living room (/office/meeting room/worship sanctuary) to remind me that New City Church should be--must be--more than a gathering of friends. The Spirit is ready!