Nast has a number of exciting updates from the last few months as we continue to open up the church doors and participate in the life of Over the Rhine(OTR) and Downtown Cincinnati. In June, Nast served as a site for Cincinnati’s Fringe Festival. Over the course of ten days, the Nast building was host to hundreds of residents as they gathered together to celebrate the city’s appreciation for performance arts. With around two performances each evening, Nast enjoyed the new life brought in by local actors, writers, dancers, and artists. As the event was organized by OTR’s Know Theatre, God is already providing strong connections between the church and neighborhood.
We’re also ramping up our dedication to prayer in the church. In May we held our first church-wide prayer service. In lue of the typical church service, we asked folks to celebrate together in song and pray throughout and around the church. The people of Nast participated in communal prayer, breath prayer around the outside of the church, and abstract prayer through the arts. In the end, we were left with four banners in our sanctuary with the names Worship, Community, Mission, and Equity. These were the four images that God has given us as we continue discerning our vision for the church.
These four banners will also serve as Nast’s first independent sermon series beginning on August 9. For eight weeks, we will focus on how God is calling Nast Community UMC into Worship, Community, Mission and Equity. This series will involve a number of communal responses including a forgiveness/healing service and prayer walking the neighborhood of OTR. All are welcome to join!
A very exciting development at Nast is our new Launch Team. Having identified Easter of 2016 as Nast’s “launch date” when we will celebrate how God has reformed Nast Community UMC into a new and revitalized congregation, we now see this current season as a “launch” period. The Launch Team, therefore, will serve until next Easter as a group of leaders and collaborators around further discerning our church identity and call. The Launch Team’s first official meeting met after service on July 26. This is a clear example of God’s raising up leadership from among the church, for the church!
As a final note and invitation, Lumenocity is coming to OTR this week, August 5-9, and Nast is eager to participate in the festivities. For the weekend, we will be hosting a hospitality tent on our vacant lot at 1330 Race Street. From Friday though Sunday, from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, we will be handing out waters and other cold treats, hosting some fun yard games, and offering prayer for anyone in the area. We need volunteers! If you would like to join in, contact Pastor Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support from Hyde Park, and we look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Nast!
Pastor Ian Strickland