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SOJOURN Bushwick, Brooklyn — C3 Church

Is Jesus going to throw rocks at us for our wrongdoings? HINGE series

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An Any-Space God. You can truly find religion everywhere in New York City. C3 Bushwick takes place in The 1896 photo studio on Ingraham Street in Brooklyn, which is used for music videos and photo shoots for magazines such as Vogue and The Hollywood Reporter. The worship leader’s fingers pointing up create a central focus for the space as a place in which God can come to the workers in a very competitive industry. “The safest place for you to be is at the feet of Jesus,” says Pastor Filmore Boulds.

 

Interactive faith. Outside the 5:30pm service is bustling with sidewalk conversations about God in Bushwick. Contrary to traditional churches who gather behind closed doors, C3 purposefully begins fellowship on the street to give the church more of a club feel.

 

 

 

Pop-up religious alleyways. From a distance this may seem like a block party. But in reality, sidewalk space in Bushwick is transformed into a welcoming Bushwick alleyway that makes it difficult for the random passerby to ignore.

 

 

Spiritual Food Truck. Unlike the food trucks that are easily found throughout Brooklyn, C3 features a “spirit truck” across the street from the church with a proverb by Dillon Burroughs, a bestselling American author.

 

 

Welcome to community. With welcome signs inside and outside the Bushwick studio, the congregation creates a semantic cloud that focuses on the church as community. Mitchel Luther, a welcome volunteer, chats up a visitor while introducing him to six people in five minutes. Then, visitor and the introduced swirl away into separate conversations and, maybe, deeper relationships.
C3 is commonly associated with Hillsong as another church from Australia. However, C3 tries to set itself apart as an intimate gathering rather than a large “concert.” The church grows through relationships. For example, the welcoming volunteers, like usher Clark Monzon, discover the church through girlfriends or family members.

 

 

Dinner Parties. C3 was grew out of a dinner party into four worship centers – Bushwick, and Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn, and Manhattan. There are 2 services in Bushwick. The small social dinners are still a major distinguishing characteristic of the church. Taking place on Wednesdays at 8pm in 35 different places around the city, the dinner parties allow for “community and authenticity,” according to Pastor Mike Lark.

 

 

No throwing rocks zone. Is Jesus going to throw rocks at us for our wrongdoings? Pastor Josh Kelsey asks. “Our perception or the way we think about God is many times not who God is. The way we run from Him or are nervous to approach Him shows us that we think Jesus also has a rock in His hand, waiting to throw it at us when we do wrong, but in fact it is the exact opposite! We find Him drawing in the dirt, willing to take on our failings so that we can walk free from our old identity, from our old sin and walk into a bright future as a new creation.”

 

In an moment of intimate stagecraft, the pastor shares his own experience of the world trying to trip you up and falling on your face. C3 says that Jesus is there to pick you up. The church posts numerous testimonies to this proverb.

C3 Bushwick website

 

Arthur La Motta is the reporter and photographer for this SOJOURN. The video and the photo of the dinner party was provided by C3. As an intern with A Journey through NYC religions, La Motta traveled with us through Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Ocean Hill-Brownsville in Brooklyln and down God's Row Eldridge Street on a Journey Workshop for Manhattan College. Currently, he is doing a journey in Italy!

 

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