All About Simple Free
You are welcome at Simple Free Anytime!
WHEN/WHERE– we have met at various places and times. Spring of 2015 we met at 3126 Chicago St. (the vic), Omaha 68131. Eat together at 6:30, study readings at 7, liturgy at 7:40ish, and have prayer requests around 8:10ish.
We meet for study, prayer, and liturgy. We give money to various projects nearby usually.
In a nutshell, we are just a small group of Christians who encourage each other towards love and doing good by praying together, being together, studying Christianity together, and working together on the Gifford Park Neighborhood.
THEOLOGICALLY, we hold to the early church councils, a high view of scripture, and the basic theology of historical orthodox Christianity, from a protestant perspective.
We like to redeem and reuse what has been broken and fallen into disrepair. To turn possibilities into actualities and transform the useless into the beautiful.
WHY?: We want to have a simple church practice which is focused on the basics of Christian life and practice without large overhead, without elaborate services, and with a focused attention on the Gifford Park/Park Avenue area.
What?: We want to provide love and accountability to each other to walk the talk, and to be involved in others lives and to also maintain a healthy personal spiritual life.
1. No paid pastor– we rotate the simple responsibility of officiant (the leader of liturgy) amongst ourselves.
2. No expensive building (use existing structures instead of spending money and time and energy to build another church when there are dying churches in old buildings all around us) We meet in the basement of a building saved from demolition.
3. Use Liturgy: The church calendar gives us direction. Ancient prayers and songs help us worship without having to reinvent the wheel.
4. Use Hymns: Not only does this avoid the commercialized Christian Music licensing, it provides a means of participating in historical forms of worship with solid theology and no need for band practice.
5. Open handed Basic Theology: We believe the basics of protestant Christianity, but support diversity of opinion on many issues including Calvinism/Arminianism, egalitarian/complimentarian, and many other debates, and acknowledge the mystery of many theological issues. A big tent theology with only the basic fundamentals of Christianity, but without specific requirements on many of the age-old debates provides a more inclusive and less divisive basis for community.
6. Congregationally Responsible: Rather than a hierarchical model found in Catholic or strong-elder-rule churches, our group is congregationally driven and congregationally initiated. We trust that the Spirit speaks through each person in different ways. This model is akin to the traditions of Menonites, home churches, free churches, baptists, Quakers, voting Presbyterians, and Brethern models. We have a leadership team of 3 who are elected, and who then facilitate church decisions by making proposals which are discussed and decided by the whole church. We came to this model after doing a study together o
7. Seeking thoughtful awareness: We hope to know various positions on different topics, in order to help us come to our own reasoned views rooted in scripture, tradition and history. Our approach on issues to enable those with us to learn about multiple perspectives so that they can have a faith informed by the history of the church and open minded thinking.
8 Stewardship: Our goal is to give most of what our people Tithe to those in need– focusing on the widows and fatherless and disabled and poor in our neighborhood. For the upcoming year we are holding on to 1/3 of the money that comes in for contingent needs that arise in our neighborhoods. The rest is designated to the following:
a. In Common Com. Development http://incommoncd.org/
b. Ryan Youtz, missionary to Uganda (he is from Simple Free)
c. Steven Stout’s Good Neighbor Ministries over by 28th and Woolworth.
d. Neighbors United (we supply food and feed the homeless there once every 3 months) on Park Avenue. Usually its about 300 meals.
e. The Neighborhood Bike shop by 33rd and California in Gifford Park
We have a facebook page at:http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=32507566#/group.php?gid=100998097389&ref=ts
Q: Are you part of the ‘simple church’ movement?
A: Not as far as we know.
Q: Is Simple Free an ‘Emergent’ church ala rob bell, McClaren and others? A: No. We abide by the Free Church statement of faith, although we are not adament on their position on premillenialism, because we don’t claim to know end-times theology clearly.
Q: What is your stance on egalitarianism?
A: We don’t have a position on it as a church. Simple Free Attenders have freedom to hold to complimentarian or egalitarian views, just like with most non-essential particular theological or structural beliefs. We do, however, allow women to serve on the leadership team if the church votes them on.