Ashwood House Church :: Enacting the Kingdom


I love our house church. Of course, its not hard when your 3 year old gets excited each week about her friends – Liz, Maria, Brennan, and John coming over. We eat well, sing passionately, prayer earnestly, and share our lives in ever increasing ways. We have an “official” name – Ashwood House Church.

This was not simply a geographic choice. It IS a geographic name – our house, where we meet, is on Ashwood Dr. But it is not simply because of that. I’ll make an attempt at the etymology of our name:

I like the idea of a geographic name because it situates us in space and time – a rare gift in our virtual, post-enlightenment world. But I didn’t like the idea of being called Pleasant Ridge (our neighborhood) House Church, as if there is only one. Someday I’d love for there to be multiple Pleasant Ridge house churches. Several folks voiced the desire for something natural, organic and the fact that we are on Ashwood seemed relevant. Thus ensued a conversation about Ash wood, Ash tress, and Asher from the Bible. It seems that “Asher”, one of Jacob’s 12 sons, means “happy” (reference). Ash trees and wood have a rich mythological and spiritual symbolism – certainly not necessarily “Christian”, but neither were Christmas trees or Advent wreaths (reference). As a wood it is “hard, tough and very strong but elastic” (reference). All of these meanings seem to point somewhere. Several of our group are involved The Revolution – more on that another time – and tossed in the name “Talitha Koum” (reference), these are Jesus’ words to the little girl who was dead in Mark 5, “little girl, get up”. By which we hear a prophetic call to the slumbering church. Then Liz brought in the idea of “Cambium” – the growing edge and cell-dividing factory in a tree (reference). All this combines …. resonates …. synergizes to a leaning… a forward movement, a strong, but flexible growing edge, a place of good food, a table fellowship and place of hospitality. We circled back around and landed on Ashwood House Church – which for us encompasses all of that meaning and more.

This past month our house church did a group art project. We made a collage about what it means for us to “enact the Kingdom” in our world. I think you can click on the picture for a closer look. We’ve got some beautifully creative folk in our midst! I love it!


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