Confluence Church formally organized into a community in Champaign-Urbana during the summer of 2010. This dream was planted in the hearts and minds of Kevin and Esther Wilson about ten years ago when in Massachusetts God clearly called them to start a new Church in Champaign, but didn’t make it clear when or with whom until just a few years ago.
So when God clarified that, they talked with some close friends, a small group of about ten adults ranging from 22 to 35, all different kinds of people, and starting praying about what it might look like to be a Jesus-Community that is faithful to Biblical theology, but also relevant to 2010 and beyond. They wanted to build a Community like the one found in Acts 2:42-47, but for their generation of people who one day could say, “I know my grandparents way of ‘doing Church.’ And I know my parents way of ‘doing Church.’ But this Confluence Church is MY Church. And this is a place I feel good about bringing my friends who have given up on Church and God.”
So their hearts are especially soft for people under 40 for whom many Churches have not translated Biblical faith well. But that doesn’t mean we will check I.D.’s at the door! Everyone is welcome at Confluence Church.
To truly understand their story it might be helpful to look back roughly 2,000 years and around the world, to the point in history when a young Jewish rabbi was crucified by the Roman Empire on a hill outside Jerusalem. Three days later his followers, who had quickly faded out of the public eye for fear of their lives at the time of his death, suddenly re-entered the scene making an extraordinary claim: that the young rabbi, Jesus from Nazareth, was alive!
Though far from perfect, everything they do as a community is an attempt to respond to the disciples’ claim. Believing the resurrection to be an actual event in human history, a small group (10 adults and 4 children), some native to the area and some from other states, converged in Champaign-Urbana to create this new Jesus-Community.
So, their hope is to express and experience, in new and creative ways, the love that Jesus taught and displayed in his life, death and resurrection. They do that through friendship and service, teaching and study, discussion and prayer, art and science. They do these things in houses and apartments, parks and restaurants, coffee shops and bars.
And, importantly, they invite you to join them. Whether you think the claim they’re responding to is true or preposterous or beautiful or silly or irrelevant, they invite you. To learn more about that invitation, check out our invitation to you.
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