[Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts] The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts is pleased to announce the formation of Clearstory Collective and the launch of its new website, www.clearstorycollective.org.
The brainchild of the Rev. Christopher Carlisle, Clearstory Collective reaches out to what Carlisle founder calls an “electronic diaspora” — college students and other young adults, homeless and otherwise marginalized people of faith who have become disaffected by the institutional church and who seek informal, and often spontaneous faith communities.
“For the remarkable 2,000-year history of the institutional church, Jesus seemed to prefer being out in the world,” said Carlisle. “He was always on the move — in unforeseen encounters, unexpected conversations, unquestionably holy moments that may not have happened in the temple.”
From year-round outdoor street communities to farms of prayerful planting, alternative worship in brew pubs to midnight breakfasts during college exams, theological conversations in burger joints and contemplative candlelight services, Clearstory Collective is comprised of eight opportunities to explore oneself in the context of something greater that many of us sense surrounds us. These include: Cathedral in the Night, Northampton; Taize at Smith College, Northampton; Church Without Walls, Springfield; Midnight breakfast at Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley; Gideon’s Garden, Great Barrington; The Empty Bell on-line community; Midnight Breakfast at Smith College, North Hampton and Beyond Belief at Smith College, North Hampton.
Unlike the institutional church of the last 1700 years, Clearstory Collective looks more like a loose confederation of ecclesias — literally, from the Greek, “assemblies” of people — for whom the truth springs forth from human interaction rather than from the walls of a building.
“In the end, Clearstory Collective isn’t new,” said Carlisle. “When all is said and done, it’s ancient.”
You are invited to join one of these communities or to start your own. For further information contact Carlisle at firstname.lastname@example.org.