Sabbatical Blog

...chronicling some of my projects and learnings during this time apart from parish ministry

Friday, April 07, 2006

Multi-Site Multi Venue

This exciting development in church life was pioneered in the 1950's and 60's by All Souls Church in Washington DC, and resulted in the founding of Unitarian Churches throughout the suburbs. (Odd that it has never been tried since, don't you think?) Lately, the evangelicals have taken the lead with this stratgy of providing video feeds or DVD's of an earlier service to groups meeting off campus.

Here are some websites about this phenomena:
An Article from Christianity Today
A blog of a Multi-Site RE Director
Multi Site Website
A Blog Entry from Monday Morning Insights, with comments critical of Multi-site.
Wikopedia Entry on "Multi-Site Church"

Most of these authors are writing about mega churches (main campus services serving several thousand persons per weekend). What I have in mind for New Mexico is slightly different: our modestly large church in Albuquerque serving house groups in outlying small towns too far away for folks to come in to Albuquerque regularly but close enough that they could come in for training, RE, and celebrations. In particular, I have in mind Grants, Edgewood, Belen, and Socorro. We might also take the edge off of our space problems by starting groups in Tijeras, Bernalillo, or the SouthWest part of the city.

We could use the same technology to serve small groups farther away: Portales, Roswell, Gallup, and Las Vegas are all places which we know have UU's, or even groups meeting. These groups could subscribe to a series of sermons and have the opportunity to be better connected to Unitarian Universalism and be able to concentrate on other aspects of worship and church life

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