Based in New York City, our intent is to be a community where we can learn to love well. We want to make our love specific towards each other, people, the city, and life we encounter everyday. As we learn to live the way of Jesus, we tolerate a fairly high level of theological diversity and struggle, and try not to be easily breakable. We have very little formal organizational structure. We are not formally associated with any denomination, and we admire and owe our existence to many. Our members and teachers have been Lutherans, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Seventh-day Adventists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Humanists, Jews, Muslims, and many other forgotten ones. We feel connected to the emerging church movement. We practice open table Eucharist.
Breakfast Every Saturday (unless noted otherwise):
We have a simple breakfast (fresh bagels, juice, and, when we feel cool, hot drinks) at 10:45. Breakfast is over at 11:10 and our service starts at 11:15. A number of us will be there at 10:30 so please come early, for hugs, kisses, and conversation. Once you come more than three times, you will have the privilege to sign up, once in a while to bring breakfast for everyone.
Worship Service Every Saturday:
Our regular gathering is diverse in themes, opinions, and expression. We come together for the sharing of praise, lament, discussion, song, dance, crafts, and wasting time with God on Sabbath. We also value a cross-generational character of our community and ask people to adjust to the needs of others. Our guest teachers, preachers, philosophers, scientists, performers, and facilitators are a diverse and profound individuals that make New York city so special. Feel free to connect and participate in your own way, with a healthy balance of comfort and challenge.
Citylights Family Meetings:
We try to have one churchy potluck a month, after the Sabbath service, when everyone is invited to bring food and participate in our discussion of housekeeping and organizational issues.
Other Events and Programs:
We organize events and programs as needed. If you have ideas, let us know. For the latest, see CALENDAR.
Caring for Our Members:
Citylights Community does not have formally organized system of care for its members. Members are stuck with one another. If someone in the group does not care, you are out of luck.
The Coordinating Team is a group of four to eight members of Citylights Community who gather once a month to get some work done that benefits entire community. We meet monthly, usually Thursdays at 7pm. Meetings are open to any members.
Samir Selmanovic (coordinator)
Vince Anderson (music and liturgy)
Sarah McCash (children and youth)
Anzela Lee (treasurer)
Norm Buggel (assistant treasurer)
Rosemary Poblacion (volunteer coodinator)
Allison Burtch (coolness and wisdom enhancer)
Hans Fly (coolness and wisdom enhancer)
History of Citylights:
The seed that grew into Citylights faith community was a “seeker space” that met in a church basement during the winter of 2000-2001. The group was comprised of people with various spiritual backgrounds and experiences, and included both people who thought of themselves as Christians and those who didn’t. The shared purpose in coming together was to have a forum where it was safe to ask tough questions about spirituality and discuss possible answers, or open better questions, to be honest about what made sense and what didn’t, and to enjoy the community itself. Out of this group emerged the vision for a faith community that could nourish honesty, creativity, and action, at any stage in their faith journey.
During 2001-2002, the core group that began Citylights spent the year studying small-group community dynamics and developing a vision and road map for the future. In the winter of 2003, we launched two small-group communities that met in apartments on a weekday night. The intention was for people to get beyond the four walls of a church building and share real life together, and to reinforce the idea that true community requires regular interaction. In June 2003, Citylights started Saturday worship gatherings.
In the fall of 2003, Citylights developed the vision to be a “community learning to love well.” We believe that this is ultimate goal of being a follower of Jesus Christ. This vision guides both our visible and hidden curriculum. We are attempting to educate ourselves about God, ourselves, “the other,” and all of life, so we can love well. We are activists for responsibility, justice and mercy in our city, because we think that’s an expression of love for our fellow human beings. We love arts. We love to discuss. We love to sing. We love to dance. We love to eat. We want to love well and we believe that you can help us learn to love better!
Our Past Coordinators:
Bob Darken (founder)
Samir Selmanovic (current coordinator)