A Vibrant 2021 for Charis: MN's 1st ECC Community!
Let’s not pray for change in the Catholic Church; let’s live the change, right here and right now. Ecumenical Catholicism is one of many expressions of the ancient, undivided and apostolic Catholic faith where the clergy marry, women are ordained, and the Sacraments are available to persons of all orientations!
Divorced? Two Christian traditions in your home? LGBTQI+? A woman called to leadership? Committed to fight for racial justice and the dignity of immigrants? Live your values with Charis without compromising. The Charis Community is justice-focused, sacramentally inclusive of all, and democratic in our leadership at all levels locally and nationally.
Wherever you are on your journey, know that you are wanted and welcome at Charis, the first Ecumenical Catholic Community in Minnesota.
Worship That’s Both Familiar and Creative Centered in the Eucharist with creative inclusive prayer that keeps Mass fresh and with thoughtful reflections by lay and ordained leaders that connect the Gospel to our place and time.
Collaborative, Justice-focused Leadership Lay and ordained members in community, diocesan, and national structures that are democratically led.
A Place of Integrity to Call Home A praying community keeping pace with social change that recognizes the full dignity of all persons regardless of gender or orientation.
Charis Ecumenical Catholic Community is incorporated under the name Ecumenical Catholic Communion of the Twin Cities.
Here's what one of our members has to say about our life and ministry.
Dear Members and Friends of Charis, and anyone meeting us for the first time:
As a lifelong Catholic, I was always taken and positively challenged by the Church's teaching on social justice, the preferential option for the poor, and, on a good day, forgiveness and acceptance of others.
Sadly, over the course of the last number of years I found no individual Catholic church that spent any meaningful time or effort teaching or pursuing these tenets of the larger Church. Too often, when searching for a community with those values, I found myself leaving after Mass frustrated that yet another parish had moved backwards in time, focusing on small objectives and contenting itself that a smaller, purer church was a laudable objective.
When I finally popped my head in the door of Charis I was met by a very small group of community members in a casual office setting. There was a small, portable altar, some scant art and a few folding chairs to accompany mismatched sofas in a fairly small room that had been rented from a landlord who was between tenants and who would ordinarily use the space as a front office that was attached to a larger warehouse.
"My kind of place," I said to myself; a startup, a new idea that was in its early and still fragile state. After attending several Masses, I realized it was a breath of the freshest air I had experienced in years. No pretense, no judgment, no "Thou shat nots," this was a diverse group of fellow searchers who brought out the best in each other, spoke freely and celebrated a dynamic and meaningful Mass, pastored by one of the most energized, compassionate and intelligent people I have ever spent time with. The fact that she is a woman only underscored my strong sense of optimism and hope that one (with others) can build a faith community based on "Yes."
And yes, social justice, the work in service to the poor, forgiveness for all and total acceptance of others is on tap at every turn. Even beyond teaching, opportunities to put one's time, talent and treasure into the service of others are presented to Charis' members regularly.
Charis doesn't strive to be small but neither does it aspire to grow to become very large. The fact that it is very small today is by no means a reflection of its lack of appeal and appropriateness for the larger society. Charis' small size is the result of small budgets and lack of available time to promote the church by the sole pastor (who is also the sole employee of the church an who receives for her work a very small housing stipend).
What Charis has is something genuinely special, something not found in any other Catholic parish. I've looked.
Because of all this, Charis is worth supporting. It is a novel idea that traces its bloodlines back to the earliest church and attempts to reclaim the primacy of real community. Your gift can not only sustain Charis, but help it grow - even in this challenging time when we are all physically separated from each other.
Your vote of confidence for this community is needed now more than ever. Give to the Max Day is a convenient and efficient way to see to it that this inclusive and creative vision of faith formation and community repair can maintain itself and reach an even larger audience. Join me in supporting Charis.
Think of what we do and where we can go!
Jim Frey, Charis Member