Dear Beloved Catacomb Community,
After much discernment, prayer, discussion, and care Terry and Liz are announcing that the experiment known as the Catacomb Churches will be ending. We have had a great time accompanying the Spirit as she has directed, challenged, engaged and nourished us through the building of house churches, community organizing efforts, and relational work that has brought us deep joy.
Catacomb churches has played a LARGE part in cultivating a space in the future of the church's ecosystems for more diverse models of church. In a time of climate change diverse ecosystems have a greater chance of thriving. In a time of great cultural change diverse ecclesio-systems have a greater chance of thriving - and more importantly, contributing to the thriving of human beings and the planet we are a part of.
We know that our work together has been meaningful, and that it doesn't end here, it is only being made new. We will be working over the next few months to curate all of our learnings and resources for house church ministry into a book that we can make available to anyone who is interested in utilizing it - be it a house church itself, or an existing established congregation looking to revitalize a small group ministry.
The official end date for the Catacomb Churches according to the ELCA will be December 31, 2017. If you are giving to the Catacomb churches, we would encourage you to move your gift to a different ministry or congregation that is nourishing you at this time. We will be sending out contribution letters in late January as per usual. The website will live on for some time as a resource to the church.
We have had an absolute blast working together and being partners in ministry with you. We will miss this deeply, but trust in the Spirit's movement into the future. Know that we are still praying with and for you all, and trust that the Spirit will move in beautiful ways in your life, ministry, and relationships into the future. Terry and Liz will be available for pastoral care or questions regarding this transition as needed.
We are grateful for the imagination of the Diocese of Olympia, the Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA and the Evangelical Outreach of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for giving us the chance to explore house churches as one expression of church. While this experiment is over, we believe that house churches will be an important model of the church in the future.
The Spirit is at work. We trust her and will continue to follower her lead.
With joy and mourning,
Terry Kyllo and Liz Colver