In Bloomington, Indiana, Mihee Kim-Kort, campus minister for UKIRK @ IU, is part of a new collaboration to gather campus leaders, mainline pastors and those working in social service agencies to collaborate on worship, prayer and justice issues.
This group, called Fringe Christianity, is a “loose collective of campus leaders, mainline denominational ministers, social workers, counselors, teachers collaborating in creative ways around spirituality and social justice,” she said.
Why “fringe”? In a workshop at Big Tent on August 1, Kim-Kort explained the name choice reflects living on the borders and the edges of a group, a context, a culture; being in the fringe requires engaging different experiences and perspectives.
The Fringe Christianity movement plans ecumenical gatherings, to attract students and those from other churches in town. Here are some of the things they’ve done recently:
- Nadia Bolz-Weber: Author of the memoir “Pastrix” came to Bloomington to speak about her book and her experiences with a nontraditional church.
- Parables & Pints: Similar to theology on tap, meets regularly in public venues around town to discuss a parable of Jesus.
- Blessing of the bikes: A spiritual presence at a large community gathering before a big race in town.
- Community vigil: Led by community leaders involved in peace and social justice.
- Trinity meal: Serving food to people living on the fringes of the community.
These are funded with financial buy-in from ecumenical partners and through local grants.
Their goal, Kim-Kort said, is to “provide points of encounter and intersection” by reaching out (to share energy an excitement), showing up (for study and service projects) and partnering together (to share mutual hospitality).