Church planting in Silicon Valley... it's about encountering an incredibly gifted and brilliant community... that can be disinterested or even antagonistic toward the Gospel.
But that's not stopping Nicole Lamarche from her work planting Silicon Valley United Church of Christ. She's moving forward on the Spirit's prodding that there's plenty of room for a progressive expression of the Gospel in this very young area (average age is 34!)
Be inspired by the energy and enthusiasm Nichole has for the work God is doing through her.
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Nicole Lamarche is walking by faith in her quest to plant a progressive Christian church in Silicon Valley. Here are my notes from the interview:
Go Where the People Are
Nicole's been spending her time getting immersed in the community - everything from fairs to farmer's markets. She says established churches can learn a lot by simply getting outside the building and meeting their neighbors.
You Start the Conversation
As conversation starters Rev. Lamarche dons cheeky t-shirts like, 'God is not a boy's name.' The idea is not to simply talk about the weather of the ball game, but about spiritual questions that most everyone has.
Cut the Church-ese
It's one of the most common observations Nicole makes in the congregations she frequently visits, and perhaps one of the most off-putting to newcomers: too much insider language. Why not approach everything we print with the idea that it's not for us, but for our guests?
About Nicole Lamarche
Out of a longing for a Christian community that is geared toward the "spiritual but not religious," the vision for Silicon Valley United Church of Christ was born. Rev. Nicole Lamarche believes that the public expression of Christianity has distorted the radically inclusive message of the Gospel and she hopes that the newly forming progressive spiritual community will draw young professionals and open minded people in the greater San Jose, California area. Nicole holds a BA from the University of Arizona and a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts from the Pacific School of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Prior to her work as a church planter, she served as a Lilly Endowed Pastoral Resident at Wellesley Congregational Church and later as Pastor of Cotuit Federated Church on Cape Cod, where she served for three years. Nicole is an advocate for marriage equality, supporting veterans and was a member of the Interfaith Tent at Occupy Oakland. Her work is made possible by support from her incredible husband, Rev. Jeremy Nickel and her brilliant daughter Eliza.