The Riverside Innovation Hub, an initiative of Augsburg’s Christensen Center for Vocation, works alongside local congregations seeking to become Public Churches. A public church is committed to place based vocational discernment in the public square for the common good. In other words, our partner churches are pursuing God’s call for them to be in relationship with their local neighborhoods in ways that bring flourishing and life. Our first learning community ran from Fall 2019 – Summer 2021. Our current learning community began Summer 2021 and will conclude Summer 2023. We anticipate a third learning community to launch Fall 2023 – Fall 2025 with an application process offered Spring of 2023.
The riverside is a place of transformation. Jacob wrestled with God at the riverside and was blessed. Joshua built a memorial of 12 stones at the riverside to remind the Israelites how God brought them through the Jordan River from the wilderness into the promised land. Jesus came to the riverside to be baptized by John. New life is created at the riverside. The Riverside Innovation Hub is a place of newness and blessing. It is a place to wrestle with God and with our call. It is a place to hear God call us beloved. It is a place to be built up for the work at hand. It is where we explore the new ways we are called into ministry with God’s world. It is at the riverside where we become aware of challenges we face, opportunities that lie ahead, and new ways to move forward.
Innovation is gritty. It is not flashy. Innovation happens when we become aware of and responsive to our vocation — God’s call to be a fully engaged neighbor in a certain place and at a certain time with certain people. It emerges from the movement of God’s Spirit, the freedom we receive in Christ, and demands placed upon us by our neighbor. When we are opened to these streams of call and respond out of our gifts and passions and power, our ministry becomes innovative. To become innovative, we must learn to listen deeply to God’s call and our neighbors’ desires.
Transformation and innovation cannot happen alone. We are called into this work together. The Riverside Innovation Hub does not have all the answers but we do have the power to convene faithful people. Together we will learn about our young adults. Together we will learn how to engage, accompany, and empower these young adults. Together we will learn to listen to God’s Spirit. Together we will learn how to become innovative congregations for the sake of our world. Our Hub will be a place to share ideas and resources and a place to find new ideas and resources. This endeavor will happen together as leaders and as institutions.
We’ve compiled a document that summarizes the first two years of this project as well as invitations and ideas as to how we continue to wonder and learn about what God is up to in our communities.
Riverside Innovation Hub | 2211 Riverside Avenue | Minneapolis, MN 55454
612-330-1410 | firstname.lastname@example.org