When God called us (Steve & Audrey) back to the Bay Area to work with Tribe, we knew that He was calling us to look for a location to start a third site at some time in the future. We thought it might take a while to find that location, but it seems that God has been working for a long time before we arrived to prepare a place for us. We have come to feel that the Temescal area of North Oakland is the place. Quite a number of experiences and conversations have led us to feel this way, including with Dennis and Andrew (other pastors at Tribe), and people in the co-housing community where we are staying. We feel there is a great opportunity to develop a community of faith in Temescal that is deeply rooted in the neighborhood, seeking to meet the specific needs there, loving the particular people who live, work, and go to school there, and leading people to worship Jesus together.
We were not expecting this spot, as it's so close to the other two sites in the Bay area: Berkeley and East Oakland. But the more we thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense. The vision of Tribe is to have communities of faith that go deep in different neighborhoods, as opposed to blanketing large geographic areas. And Temescal is quite a different neighborhood than either Berkeley or East Oakland. This communicates in a powerful way our desire as a church to go deep, and not just grow bigger.
The skeleton vision for now is to begin by spending time getting to know the neighborhood: the people, the needs, and planning different kinds of events and gatherings. This may include community service projects, programs related to the schools in Temescal, community group bible studies and fellowships, worship events, parties, and more. Through this we hope to develop a core community of people that will grow into a full-fledged site over time. We envision a part of this site would include a regular weekly worship service somewhere in Temescal starting in 1.5 - 2 years, sometime between January and September 2015.
One of the exciting things about working with God on something in Temescal is that we see it being a boost to what He is doing in Berkeley and East Oakland, and not a drain. Geographically it connects those two sites, and ministry-wise there will be a lot of cross-over and connection between what is happening in Temescal and in Berkeley & East Oakland. In some ways it feels like we are not going out to start a third site, but rather going deeper in to start one where God is already at work through Tribe.
We plan to host a vision night in Temescal sometime in October/November of this year where we will share more about where we sense God leading us, and how others can be a part of it. Stay tuned for a specific date for that.
We are excited about what God has in store for us and Tribe!
- Steve & Audrey Childs