Our friends at Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa, tell their story in their own words:
“Christ Community Church of Des Moines, Iowa has enjoyed the peculiar friendship of the Ekklesia Project since the initial “Declaration & Invitation” of 2001. Pastor Kent McDougal, an early board member, and many of our congregants have participated in yearly EP gatherings.
The influence of EP, however, goes back farther in our shared history. Nineteen years ago CCC was born out of conflict and schism within a fundamentalist mega-church. We found scant resources within our tradition to chart a way toward the peace of Christ. Early on, the friendship and published works of EP members challenged us to continue moving toward a deeper vision of the Christian faith, embracing a more classical, catholic and radical discipleship.
Due in part to our EP friends, we are now a member congregation of the Central Plains Mennonite Conference and Mennonite Church USA. Our adoption into the Mennonite family has, for the past few years, drawn our energies away from our involvement with EP. But as we settle into our new denominational identity, we have once again been moved by a desire to participate in the EP.
Our congregation has attempted to recover the importance of theology for the life of God’s worshiping people, and the importance of the life of God’s worshiping people for theology. To that end, we hope to become, in possible partnership with the EP and others, a host community for the Schola Caritatis (School of Charity), a place of hospitality where the academy and the church could welcome each other in the company of the poor.”
We remain grateful for the friendship, witness, and work of Christ Community Church and invite others among the EP to get to know them as well. (Feb. 2009)