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Friday, November 24, 2017

Faith

Options: nondenominational churches of Houston


Nondenominational churches offer a community to those pressured by ritualistic demands, but who desire a place of worship | Courtesy of City Life Ministries

Nondenominational churches in Houston offer a convenient alternative for Christians looking to spend Sunday practicing their faith, but without the conditions of previously established sects.

As Houston is known for its large volume of diverse cultures and faiths, sometimes those looking to practice a muted and community-based Christianity find refuge in the city’s nondenominational churches. While most churches fall under a specific denomination, such as Catholic or Baptist, nondenominational refers to the lack of label on a churches’ specific theological philosophy.

Instead, most nondenominational churches make a point of clearly defining their values and priorities either online or as a part of their outreach, so as to easily connect with new members looking for a similar approach.

City Life

The City Life church, located at 7120 Grand Blvd, dedicates the majority of its outreach to its core values defined in its online mission statement. It focuses on authenticity, diversity, generosity, boldness, creativity, and excellence.

A group of young leaders host a variety of weekly outreach programs, creating small and interactive communities in order to best connect to those looking to join the congregation.

The City Life Church 2017 Easter celebration and service includes contemporary music to appeal to a younger crowd.

Their specific connect class, as stipulated on their website, is specifically designed for new members intimidated by the church’s large size. The church also offers opportunities that focus energy on creativity and the arts, which includes teaching creative classes and having a contemporary band play during the service. Childcare and a lax dress code ensure that attendees may come as they are.

City Life is also a large presence on multiple campuses in the United States, targeting college students that desire to find support from a faith-based community, but without the pre-requisites associated with many Christian denominations.

Ecclesia

Ecclesia, located at 1100 Elder St, is another Houston nondenominational church that focuses mainly on community and service. Founded in the late 90s, Ecclesia’s main focus is on supporting the Houston homeless community.

The church’s Rhythms of Ecclesia program serves at the recommended, holistic approach to faith that includes living a healthy lifestyle and journeying together as a congregation both physically and spiritually. Rather than services, Ecclesia holds weekend gatherings and share a simple feast afterwards. This method places emphasis on the relationship between members, and the emotional support that a close community can provide.

The church’s main mission to help with the Houston homeless community, is funded by the Ecclesia-owned Paper Co. Café. The café is a non-profit that provides meals to homeless as well as raises money to further the congregation’s outreach. The café also makes a point to support local Houston farmers, as well as coffee providers that are fair-trade certified.

Unity of Houston

Unity of Houston, located at 2929 Unity Dr., is a large institution that has been central to Houston’s nondenominational community. Its teachings are based on positivity and having a oneness with God; focusing less on ensuring an afterlife and more on how to live your best life in the present.

Their large amount of resources allows for a professional staff of licensed teachers, as well as multiple reverends, that provide a series of classes and faith-oriented events. There are services in Spanish, classes for grades pre-K through high school, and prayer groups for those looking for a smaller community to be a part of.

There are groups available for women, young adults, singles, couples and LGBTQ members looking to find a place in the organization. The variety of content and opportunity focuses on the singular goal of creating a positive global community.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated the name of the City Life Church.

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