Come join us in worshiping Christ together! We're a multi-denominational fellowship currently based in West Central Illinois. We're an emerging church with an emphasis on traditional Christian family ministry through Biblical Law of Attraction. Our worship services focus on traditional litugical worship and sharing God's Word straight from the Bible. We're pleased to teach from the King James Version because we believe God's Word should be understandable to everyone. We encourage strict Christian discipline, but everyone is welcome to dress as he/she feel fit. Whether you're interested in becoming a member or would simply like to attend any of our services, you're always welcome at Society Christian Church!!
Contact: General Pastor: The Ven. Rev. E. Strunk (217) 653-0398 (text only)
(For additional staff info., please contact the local media!)
Traditional Worship with Communion=1st & 3rd Sundays @ 10:30 am
Service of the Word (Traditional without communion)=2nd & 4th Sundays @ 10:30 am
Matins=Sundays @ 8:15 am (matinal liturgy every 1st Sunday)
Vespers=Saturdays @ 5:15 pm (vesperal liturgy every 1st Saturday)
Compline=Wednesdays @ 7:00 pm
Moleben (prayer service)=TBA
Pet Blessings=by appointment
Car Blessings=by appointment
Pet Burials=by appointment
Revivals=Memorial Day, July 4, & Labor Day Weekends @ TBA
Baptisms, Confirmations, and other services=by appointment or TBA
Advent Services=Sundays @ 9:00 am (no matins); Wednesdays @ 7:00 pm with Hours
Christmas Eve=Candlelight Service @ 9:00 pm
Christmas Day=Traditional Liturgy @ 9:00 am
New Year's Eve=Traditional Liturgy with The Midnight Office @ 11:30 pm
Epiphany Day=Traditional Liturgy every Jan. 6 @ 7:00 pm
Ash Wednesday=Traditional Liturgy @ 7:00 pm
Lenten Services=Sundays @ 9:00 am (no matins); Wednesdays @ 7:00 pm
Holy Week: Palm Sunday=Traditional @ 9:00 am, Holy Monday=Compline @ 7:00 pm, Holy Tuesday=Moleben @ 7:00 pm, Spy Wednesday=The Way of the Cross @ 6:30 pm, Maundy Thursday=Traditional @ 7:00 pm, Good Friday=Traditional @ 5:00 pm, Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday=All Night Vigil begins @ 10:30 pm or sunrise service at TBA.
Ascension Day=Traditional @ 7:00 pm
National Day of Prayer=Moleben @ noon & 7:00 pm
Day of Pentecost=Vigil @ 7:00 pm (if does not fall on a weekend)
Reformation Service=Last Sunday in Oct. @ 9:00 am (no matins)
All Saint's Sunday=Sunday following Nov. 1 @ 9:00 am (no matins)
All Soul's Sunday=2nd Sunday in Nov. @ 9:00 am (no matins)
Thanksgiving Day (EVE)=4th Wednesday in Nov. @ 7:00 pm
Note: Office Hours and Confessions by appointment!!
Sunday School and other classes TBD by Dept. of Christian Education!
The emerging church (sometimes referred to as the emergent movement or emergent conversation) is a Christian movement of the late 20th and early 21st century that crosses a number of theological boundaries: participants can be described as evangelical, Protestant, Catholic, post-evangelical, Anabaptist, Adventist, liberal, post-liberal, reformed, charismatic, neocharismatic, post-charismatic, conservative, and post-conservative. Proponents, however, believe the movement transcends such "modernist" labels of "conservative" and "liberal," calling the movement a "conversation" to emphasize its developing and decentralized nature, its vast range of standpoints, and its commitment to dialogue. Participants seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a "postmodern" society. What those involved in the conversation mostly agree on is their disillusionment with the organized and institutional church and their support for the deconstruction of modern Christian worship, modern evangelism, and the nature of modern Christian community.
The emerging church favors the use of simple story and narrative. Members of the movement often place a high value on good works or social activism, including missional living. While some Evangelicals emphasize eternal salvation, many in the emerging church emphasize the here and now.
Some have noted a difference between the terms "emerging" and "Emergent." While emerging is a wider, informal, church-based, global movement, Emergent refers to an official organization, the Emergent Village, associated with Brian McLaren, and has also been called the "Emergent stream."
Key themes of the emerging church are couched in the language of reform, Praxis-oriented lifestyles, Post-evangelical thought, and incorporation or acknowledgment of political and Postmodern elements. Many of the movement's participants use terminology that originates from postmodern literary theory, social network theory, narrative theology, and other related fields.
Emerging churches can be found throughout the globe, predominantly in North America, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. Some attend local independent churches or house churcheswhile others worship in traditional Christian denominations.
There has been a strong bias in the US to ignore a history to the emerging church that preceded the US Emergent organization. This began with Mike Riddell and Mark Pierson in New Zealand from 1989, and with a number of practitioners in the UK including Jonny Baker, Ian Mosby, Kevin, Ana and Brian Draper, and Sue Wallace amongst others, from around 1992. The influence of the Nine O’clock Service has been ignored also, owing to its notoriety, yet much that was practiced there was influential on early proponents of alternative worship. The US organization emerged in the late 1990s.
What is common to the identity of many of these emerging church projects that began in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, is that they developed with very little central planning on behalf of the established denominations. They occurred as the initiative of particular groups wanting to start new contextual church experiments, and are therefore very 'bottom up'. Murray says that these churches began in a spontaneous way; with informal relationships formed between otherwise independent groups and that many became churches as a development from their initial more modest beginnings.
According to Stuart Murray, Christendom is the creation and maintenance of a Christian nation by ensuring a close relationship of power between the Christian Church and its host culture.[ Today, churches may still attempt to use this power in mission and evangelism. The emerging church considers this to be unhelpful. Murray summarizes Christendom values as: a commitment to hierarchy and the status quo; the loss of lay involvement; institutional values rather than community focus; church at the center of society rather than the margins; the use of political power to bring in the Kingdom; religious compulsion; punitive rather than restorative justice; marginalization of women, the poor, and dissident movements; inattentiveness to the criticisms of those outraged by the historic association of Christianity with patriarchy, warfare, injustice and patronage; partiality for respectability and top-down mission; attritional evangelism; assuming the Christian story is known; and a preoccupation with the rich and powerful.[
The emerging church seeks a post-Christendom approach to being church and mission through: renouncing imperialistic approaches to language and cultural imposition; making 'truth claims' with humility and respect; overcoming the public/private dichotomy; moving church from the center to the margins; moving from a place of privilege in society to one voice amongst many; a transition from control to witness, maintenance to mission and institution to movement.
In the face of criticism, some in the emerging church respond that this it is important to attempt a "both and" approach to redemptive and incarnational theologies. Some Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are perceived as "overly redemptive" and therefore in danger of condemning people by communicating the Good News in aggressive and angry ways. A more loving and affirming approach is proposed in the context of post-modernity where distrust may occur in response to power claims. It is suggested that this can form the basis of a constructive engagement with 21st century post-industrial western cultures. According to Ian Mosby, the suggestion that the emerging church is mainly focused on deconstruction and the rejection of current forms of church should itself be rejected.
The emerging church is a response to the perceived influence of modernism in Western Christianity. As some sociologists commented on a cultural shift that they believed to correspond to postmodern ways of perceiving reality in the late 20th century, some Christians began to advocate changes within the church in response. These Christians saw the contemporary church as being culturally bound to modernism. They changed their practices to relate to the new cultural situation. Emerging Christians began to challenge the modern church on issues such as: institutional structures, systematic theology, propositional teaching methods, a perceived preoccupation with buildings, an attractional understanding of mission, professional clergy, and a perceived preoccupation with the political process and unhelpful jargon ("Christian-ese").
As a result, some in the emerging church believe it is necessary to deconstruct modern Christian dogma. One way this happens is by engaging in dialogue, rather than proclaiming a predigested message, believing that this leads people to Jesus through the Holy Spirit on their own terms. Many in the movement embrace the missiology that drives the movement in an effort to be like Christ and make disciples by being a good example. The emerging church movement contains a great diversity in beliefs and practices, although some have adopted a preoccupation with sacred rituals, good works, and political and social activism. Much of the Emerging Church movement has also adopted the approach to evangelism which stressed peer-to-peer dialogue rather than dogmatic proclamation and proselytizing.
A plurality of Scriptural interpretations is acknowledged in the emerging church movement. Participants in the movement exhibit a particular concern for the effect of the modern reader's cultural context on the act of interpretation echoing the ideas of postmodern thinkers such as Jacques Derrida and Stanley Fish. Therefore a narrative approach to Scripture, and history are emphasized in some emerging churches over exegetical and dogmatic approaches (such as that found in systematic theology and systematic exegesis), which are often viewed as reductionist. Others embrace a multiplicity of approaches.
Some emerging church leaders see interfaith dialogue a means to share their narratives as they learn from the narratives of others. Some Emerging Church Christians believe there are radically diverse perspectives within Christianity that are valuable for humanity to progress toward truth and a better resulting relationship with God, and that these different perspectives deserve Christian charity rather than condemnation.
The movement appropriates set theory as a means of understanding a basic change in the way the Christian church thinks about itself as a group. Set theory is a concept in mathematics that allows an understanding of what numbers belong to a group, or set. A bounded set would describe a group with clear "in" and "out" definitions of membership. The Christian church has largely organized itself as a bounded set, those who share the same beliefs and values are in the set and those who disagree are outside.
The centered set does not limit membership to pre-conceived boundaries. Instead a centered set is conditioned on a centered point. Membership is contingent on those who are moving toward that point. Elements moving toward a particular point are part of the set, but elements moving away from that point are not. As a centered-set Christian membership would be dependent on moving toward the central point of Jesus. A Christian is then defined by their focus and movement toward Christ rather than a limited set of shared beliefs and values.
John Wimber utilized the centered set understanding of membership in his Vineyard Churches. The centered set theory of Christian Churches came largely from missional anthropologist Paul Hiebert. The centered set understanding of membership allows for a clear vision of the focal point, the ability to move toward that point without being tied down to smaller diversions, a sense of total egalitarianism with respect for differing opinions, and an authority moved from individual members to the existing center.
Participants in this movement assert that the incarnation of Christ informs their theology, believing that as God entered the world in human form, adherents enter (individually and communally) into the context around them, aiming to transform that culture through local involvement. This holistic involvement may take many forms, including social activism, hospitality, and acts of kindness. This beneficent involvement in culture is part of what is called "missional living." This approach leads to their focus on temporal and social issues, as opposed to a perceived Evangelical overemphasis on eternal salvation. Drawing on research and models of contextual theology, Mosby asserts that the Emerging Church is using different models of contextual theology than Conservative Evangelicals, who tend to use a 'translation' model of contextual theology, (which has been criticized for being colonialist and condescending toward other cultures), where the Emerging Church tends to use a 'synthetic' or 'transcendent' model of contextual theology. The Emerging Church has charged many Conservative Evangelical Churches with withdrawal from involvement in contextual mission and seeking contextualization of the gospel.
Emerging-church groups use the Internet as a medium of decentralized communication. Church websites are used as announcement boards for community activity, and they are generally a hub for more participation based new technologies such as blogs, Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, etc. The use of the blog is an especially popular and appropriate means of communication within the Emerging church. Through blogs, members converse about theology, philosophy, art, culture, politics, and social justice, both among their local congregations and across the broader Emerging community. These blogs can be seen to embrace both sacred and secular culture side-by-side as an excellent example of the church's focus on contextual theology.
(See definition on internet church on www.Wikipedia.org)
WE confess (to declare faith in, or adherence to) the faith of the apostolic Christian Church as it is taught in the three Ecumenical (Universal) Creeds, Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian. Namely, that there is only one true God, and yet in this one God there are three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.
WE confess that all are conceived and born sinful, standing under God's wrath and are unable to save themselves.
WE confess that God the Son was born of the Virgin Mary. This Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man, died on the cross and rose to life again in order to save the world from God's wrath. He ascended into heaven and we now wait for Him to return on the Last Day to judge both the living and the dead.
WE confess that we are saved by God's grace, for Christ's sake, through faith alone.
WE confess that this saving faith comes to us as Gods free gift through the work of the Holy Spirit as Christ's Church proclaims the Gospel and administers the Sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper).
WE confess that the only authority for Christian teaching and life which is never in error, and never leads us astray is God's Holy Word, which He has given to us in the Old and New Testaments. For US Scripture (The Holy Bible) is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
WE believe that the Bible is inspired.
We believe, teach and confess that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God the Holy Spirit and that God is therefore the true Author of every word of Scripture."
WE believe that the Bible is inerrant, or infallible (without error.)
WE place themselves under Scripture to be judged by it, not over it to judge it!
WE pray with the Church through the ages:
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of Thy holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which Thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ, who lived and reigned with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God world without end. AMEN.
The Apostles Creed - the Holy Apostles did not write this creed but it does contain their teachings. It is the earliest of the three creeds and is a basic summary of our Christian faith. We find this creed being used in the early Church in both the baptismal and worship services. The Apostles Creed does three things for us. First, it gives us a simple way of telling others what we believe. Secondly, it gives Christians a basic statement of faith in which we celebrate our oneness in Christ. Thirdly, it gives us a handy tape measure to see if certain teachings are Christian or not.
Nicene Creed - This creed seems to have been developed out of the early baptismal statement of the Church and was written in particular to safeguard the deity of Jesus Christ. Namely, the fact that Jesus is true God as well as true man. There were some people in those days (the early 300's) who thought that physical things were evil. Since they knew Jesus was true man they reasoned that there was no way that he could also be true God. They taught that Jesus was mere man. Still others went the other direction and taught that Jesus not man and only God. So it was in the year 325 A.D. that the Roman Emperor called together a Church Council to settle the dispute. One of the prominent leaders was a man by the name Athanasius. Eventually, after much study the majority of the pastors agreed on the teachings contained in what we now call the Nicene Creed. This creed clearly states that Jesus is both True God as well as True Man. Eight years after Athanasius died (fifty-six years after the previous council) all Christians re-affirmed this creed.
All Christian doctrine (teaching) is to be taken from Holy Scripture. Our Confessions are very explicit on this point. ". . . The Word of God shall establish articles of faith and no one else, not even an angel." "We receive and embrace with our whole heart the Prophetic and Apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the pure, clear fountain of Israel, which is the only true standard by which teachers and doctrines are to be judged." Holy Scripture is the only source and the absolute norm of our faith.
The Christian Confessions or Symbols are seen as secondary norms, or as true declarations of the doctrines of Holy Scripture, which all who would call themselves Christian must confess and teach. For this reason the confessional Christian Church demands of all its public teachers and ministers a bona-fide subscription to all its Confessions as the pure and unadulterated declarations of God's Word. (We call this a "quia" subscription – that is we subscribe to the Confessions "because" they are truly scriptural.) To put it another way. Holy Scripture is the deciding norm, it is absolutely necessary. The Bible decides what is true or false doctrine. The Confessions are the distinguishing norm, they are only relatively necessary. They determine whether or not a person has correctly understood the true doctrines of Scripture.
(see Martin Luther's Small and Large Catechisms!-3rd Article of Apostle's Creed)
Therefore, we vision one universal church based on Galatians 6:10 and the Nicene Creed!
Furthermore, our motto is "put up or shut up" (meaning to practice what we preach) according to Matthew 5:38-48!