“…if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy”
(Romans 11:16b).

“that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel”
(Ephesians 3:6).

In the Letter to the Romans, chapter 11, St. Paul shares the work of God as a “Blended Ecology”. He uses the example of an ancient olive tree (Israel), and the new branches (Gentiles) that are grafted onto the ancient tree by God. God is at work in the deep traditional roots of Israel and God is doing a new thing by making the Gentiles “fellow heirs”, “members of the same body” and “sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel”.

The Blended Ecology of God. It’s not an “either or”, but a “both and” expression of church. It is not traditional vs. contemporary, attractional vs. missional, or established vs. emerging. God is at work in the traditional (inherited) church, and God is doing a new thing (fresh expression) out in the community and world.

One of the things we noticed through the Imagining Renewal Microgrant Initiative is the imagination, vision, and enthusiasm so many of our folks have to work with God to renew their communities. There are folks in all of our parishes who are excited to reach out with the love of God by loving the neighbor. What if our traditional churches were willing to serve as “mission hubs” to encourage and resource innovators to extend the mission of Jesus into the community? Imagine a Holy Spirit led movement in which we walk alongside our neighbors who are currently unconnected to a faith community, build relationships, share the love of Jesus, and open our hearts to a deeper relationship with God and each other. It has never been an “either or”, but a “both and”. God loves you and God loves our neighbor. God loves the church and God loves the community. The Blended Ecology of God is one of the ways God partners with us to renew the world.

The Blended Ecology of God. This is what I have been learning from Rev, Dr. Michael Beck and Fresh Expressions. I want to invite you to come and learn with me.

To learn more about God’s gift of a Blended Ecology check out Pastor Michael Adam Beck’s book (Kindle), podcast episode, and virtual learning session scheduled for this Saturday, October 10 from 1-2:30 p.m.

Kindle book: Deep Roots Wild Branches:
Revitalizing the Church in the Blended Ecology.
Pastor Michael Adam Beck’s Book
Thinking Outside the Church Podcast: Episode #3 “Blended Ecology:
Both / And Church” February 10, 2020 (36:36 minutes).
Blended Ecology Podcast
This Saturday, October 10 from 1-2:30 p.m. A Virtual Learning Session with Rev. Dr. Michael Adam Beck “Fresh Expressions of Church for a Changing Culture”
Click here for the Virtual Learning Session Zoom Link