Say you have a bunch of tiny Christian congregations, each trying to grow but unable to support their own churches.
In Newton, Mass., such a bunch shares an “incubator church,” the Newton Corner Worship Center.
It’s an interesting story, as told by the AP’s Jay Lindsay:
NEWTON, Mass. (AP) Ã¢â‚¬â€ The languages vary from hour to hour, room to room Ã¢â‚¬â€ songs of praise, words of prayer in Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Hebrew, Tagalog.
These worshippers do not share an ethnic heritage, but they do share a faith, and because of that, a building.
The Newton Corner Worship Center is an incubator church, home to small conservative Christian churches that need a place to meet and, they hope, grow.
The building, once home to a dying Baptist congregation, has become a sort of a reverse Tower of Babel over the past two decades, where languages mix, but everyone understands the words are being used to worship the same God.
Still, the churches remain as distinct as the ethnic foods served during social times.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We find it like brothers living in the same house and we are trying, each of us, to maintain this house,Ã¢â‚¬? said Sinote Ibrahim, pastor of the Arabic Baptist Church of Boston. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are in unity together as the body of Christ.Ã¢â‚¬?
The services are scheduled every few hours on Sunday, with different congregations sometimes upstairs and downstairs simultaneously. The languages and music blended into a clamor on a recent Sunday.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is noise, but you know, the noise is good noise,Ã¢â‚¬? said Dimitrios Deligiannides, an elder in a Greek church that originally bought the building. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Both upstairs and downstairs give thanks to God.Ã¢â‚¬? Continue reading