Sometimes people ask me, "Just what is 'Ancient-Future'? And what's an 'Epiclesis' anyway?" Well, we believe that the "road to the future runs through the past," as my theological mentor Robert E. Webber used to put it. Our worship and our spirituality are deeply rooted in the classic Christianity of the ancient Church, for we believe that the faith and practice of the ancient Church will engage postmodern culture more effectively and provide a way forward in a time of great transition and change.
The word "epiclesis" (pronounced "Eh-peh-KLEE-sis") is Greek for "transforming prayer", and most especially, the prayer at the Lord's Table when we ask the Holy Spirit to change the ordinary into the extraordinary-- when we ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to make the elements become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. And really, that's the prayer we have for ourselves, too: That God would change us, and use us, for His purposes.
Ancient-Future is not a style of worship, it's a theology and a way of life-- a life modeled, in many ways, after our brothers and sisters in the early church.
There's a lot to learn from the ancient Christian church-- those amazing saints who hammered out so many tenets of the faith in a hostile world not so different from our own. But sometimes what you find there can feel pretty counter-intuitive. In fact, some of what we've embraced from the early church seems to go against the modern ideas about church life and church growth. But our pastoral intention is to challenge a modern consumer church mentality and connect with folks who truly want to live out biblical values.
We're not looking for more church members for the sake of numbers. We are seeking people who want to join God's amazing story— the story of the redemption of all creation— and to worship Him with abandon and passion.
If you feel God is calling you to a similar vision and mission, we invite you to join His story along with us at Epiclesis, seekers and the faithful together loving God, loving each other, and walking out our baptisms in the world around us.
Questions? Comments? Let's keep the conversation going. I'd love to hear from you! (Write me an email at "PastorChris" followed by "@" then Epiclesis.org).
The Lord be with you!
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For an article by Pastor Chris titled "What Makes Us Ancient-Future?", please click here.