To some, the above words might be comforting, and yet, to others - a bit ominous. "Strategic partnerships" "key organizations" "impact those ...who do not attend our church."
Just to let everyone know that I'm trying to be as fair as possible concerning a certain church "premiering" here in my home town. It's a Southern Baptist church called "EPIC." Whether or not that is an acronym of sorts I'm not sure. It's certainly billing itself as the "cool" place to be on Sundays and has given itself a boost with a sort of "toys for tots" drive. The neighborhood in SF is unusual for a church - amongst the yuppies encased in glass condos and lofts, but hey, it's cool!
I'm reserving my final judgment until after I speak with it's pastor, Ben Pilgreen. I really need to find out:
1. Is EPIC going to adhere to the "doctrine" of the Southern Baptist Convention?
2. As a "planted" church, has it been funded by the SBC or an organization, like Arizona's Vision 360?
3. Will the church be at all political?
4. If it hopes to change anything about San Francisco, what will that be?
5. What is its attitude towards gays? Will they be allowed to attend worship services? If they are allowed, will they be looked upon as living a sinful lifestyle? Will they be pressured at all concerning their lifestyle?
6. If EPIC will accept gays, will it anticipate any condemnation from SBC?
I have called about four times and written three emails. No response. I have NOT given EPIC any cause for alarm from my questions.
I'll keep plugging away. Wish me luck.