Current Meeting Location:
1921 Greenwood Avenue Apt. B-13 Nashville, TN 37206
(Eastwood Greene Apartments)
Use the entry across from the Cora Howe Elementary School Sign
Next gathering … tba
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It all started when … It all started for me several years ago when the publicity surrounding the horrific tragedy of the Syrian refugee crisis began showing up on the nightly news. I was mostly oblivious to the suffering of the Syrian people. The pictures were horrible, but all of a sudden what I heard on the evening news was somehow able to work its way through my happy, churchey, conservative, evangelical, GOP mindset. What I heard was that this great country ... America, the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave … with Lady Liberty saying "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" I heard all that and yet, this same country was instead saying "NO, We will not take you in! Because we are afraid that one of you might be a bad person and might hurt us" Seriously, how horrible and how completely opposite that kind of thinking is for America after all we’ve said we were.
What was even worse for me at that time was to see and hear the whole American evangelical church all across this "great" land, choosing to stand up and agree with these politicians who were acting so very unAmerican. The church was standing in lock-step with them and it made me sick. As I came to realize how terribly wrong that was and how I could no longer stand in the same line with that way of thinking. I wondered what other social issues the Americanized, conservative version of the church had compromised on. What else had it sold its influence to in order to keep itself powerful and comfortable instead of acting in the way Jesus had in the gospels. The same way I am convinced He is still calling us to act today.
So in that moment, I began to reexamine everything. I began to look at all the things that seemed to not line up with the Jesus of the red letters in the gospels, and found that there are quite a few things that don't line up. So, that's where I am today. That's how I've gotten here. I certainly haven’t corrected all the things that some 50’ish years of selfish churchey programming have deeply etched into my life. But I will not stop working to correct them. I will continue to pursue the call of God in my life and into His service toward those who the church has unfairly and uncaringly pushed or kicked out. If you'd like, I'd really love for you to take this journey with me.
what we’re doing now
The Vibrant Edges is a ministry that is still in its infancy stages ... at least in the real world, although it has been in my heart and mind for quite a while.
My name is Murphy Gill and I have been a pastor in some capacity in a traditional church setting for nearly 30 years. But over the last several years God has very intentionally shifted my focus to extending his hands, feet and voice into the lives of those who find themselves out on the margins ... or the edges ... of the churchey world. The heart of "The Vibrant Edges" is to work toward reconnection with the God who desperately loves us, and especially toward full inclusion into a life of relationship with God for those who feel disconnected from him and from His church. My greatest desire is that we can be a prophetic and encouraging voice helping to bring back the hope of restoration, reconciliation and renewal of relationship with Jesus and His church to those who feel that they have been, for whatever reason, kicked out, pushed out or otherwise ostracized from the traditional church.
Church should be a safe place for everyone. Sadly though, the vast majority of churches aren’t really safe, especially for those who find themselves on those edges. So for us, it makes no difference where on the spectrum you find yourself; you are welcome here, you are already loved here and you are accepted here ... no matter if you are gay, straight, trans, bi, queer in any expression, whether you're a PhD, a soccer mom, a dropout, a goth, a hippie or any combination, The Vibrant Edges is truly a safe place for you and for all!
So many of us find ourselves having a strained or even broken connection to Jesus, not because of anything that Jesus ever did or said, but because of the mean spirited and very un-Jesus-like actions or words from many who claim to be His followers? At The Vibrant Edges, you’ll not only be welcomed, but you’ll be loved, accepted and of course you’ll be challenged to develop your own deep and meaningful relationship with the God who really does desperately love you.
On September 9th and continuing weekly from there, we will be hosting a gathering in East Nashville, Tennessee, for the purpose of reconnecting to Jesus in a very "early church" kind of way. Breaking bread, learning from the Word, praying for and with one another, receiving the Sacrament and maybe even singing a hymn, or spiritual song or two together.
If you are in or near the area and have interest in joining us, please email me at TheVibrantEdges@gmail.com and I'll connect with you.