New to Anamchara Faith Community?
At Anamchara we find joy in life’s journey through relationships, service to others and authentic faith in God. We are delighted that you are visiting our home here on the web. Beginning Sunday, June 24, 2018 we will be transitioning to a more fluid liturgy beyond the walls, as we call it. The community will continue to meet but on a monthly basis. The time and place will be announced on our website under events as well as on FaceBook and Twitter. All are welcome.
What time is our liturgy?
What should I wear?
Most of our folks wear casual attire. Dress comfortably.
What should I expect when I get there?
An informal gathering where the heart of the celebration is Christ in Word, in the Eucharist and each other. While there is some formality to our liturgy, it is mostly casual and intimate. Think of it as a house church or small faith community.
What happens during the celebration?
We gather. We sing. We listen to the Word of God. And we partake in the sacred meal of bread and wine: Eucharist.
There is a place here for you; a place to connect, to grow, and to serve. Come and find it!
More About Anamchara
Anamchara is Gaelic for soul friend. In Celtic tradition, an Anamchara–soul friend– is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide with whom you can share your innermost life. Anamchara is friendship, rooted in Christ’s love, that creates recognition and belonging, joining souls in an ancient and eternal way. We continue to grow in our understanding and practice of ancient Celtic Christian traditions such as honoring and celebrating the innate goodness of humankind and creation.
Anamchara Faith Community is a crucible for discovering anew the amazing abundance of Christ’s grace and mercy in an environment of radical hospitality.
We are a gathering of soul friends who listen with our hearts and meet all seekers where they are and, indeed, where we all long to be – seeking God’s healing love and empowering purpose. We are an independent, Christ-centered faith community celebrating an active liturgy through a combination of ancient symbols – water, oil, bread, wine, incense, candles, music and sacred silence in a beautiful blend of the traditional and contemporary.
To establish and grow a welcoming, inclusive community with Christ as our host.
To gather and honor God’s diversity of humankind for the celebration of sacraments.
To celebrate our oneness in Christ and embrace our brokenness that is healed through His grace.
To encourage spiritual growth and human integrity by keeping Christ as our focus.
To celebrate the Eucharist each Lord’s Day.
To serve and support our extended community in service.
To celebrate rites of passage in baptism, marriage and funerals.
Anamchara Faith Community was founded in Louisville, Kentucky in the summer of 2007 with its inaugural liturgy October 27, the beginning of a new faith community. Fr. Michael Mernagh and a handful of Christ-seekers with friends and supporters of the Anamchara vision, established a tiny but vibrant and dynamic crucible of community. The community, as with all natural phenomena, experiences an ebb and flow of members and remains open to all seekers meeting them where they are in their personal and spiritual journey.
Our community’s leadership is the pastor and advisory council which consists three to five members plus the pastor. They are responsible for the overall policy and direction of the community and for day to day operations, according to the bylaws. Anamchara is an independent community drawing on ancient Christian tradition guided by the pastor and members. The membership of the council rotates periodically to seek fresh perspectives. Anamchara Faith Community is tithing community and is supported primarily through tithes and donations. We are a recognized 501(c)(3) organization. We are a supporting member of the United Crescent Hill Ministries, an outreach service organization.
Anamchara Faith Community is truly diverse. Our membership includes men and women, straight and gay/lesbian, people of color, married, divorced and single. Our shared experiences in Christianity encompass Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Disciples of Christ and more . . . or less.
Our community constitution and by law sates: “Membership shall consist of those who participate and support the worship and education and charitable work of the organization and are known to the treasurer.”
Membership is open to all and self-declared. You come as you are and are welcome.
We are blessed with amazing musical interpretations of God’s love and His Word! Fr. Michael, our founder and pastor, holds degrees in both music and liturgy. He earned a BA in music and philosophy at the University of Alberta, Canada and an MA in Theology with a concentration liturgy from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN. He also holds a certificate in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music/University of Toronto.
Our music is fresh and creative while being grounded in ancient tradition of the Christian Church of the East and West. You will recognize some of the music and deeply appreciate all of it! We are grateful for our competent, talented musicians, both a professional pianist (who may break into jazz riffs on occasion!) and a cantor from the highly-regarded University of Louisville Cardinal Singers who continues to evolve in her musical range. During special celebrations – Christmas, Easter and our founding anniversary – we include other talented musicians and embrace a diversity of God’s music from jazz to bluegrass!
In addition to the beautiful expression of God’s love through music in our community, we are humbled by the contributions of vibrant and reverent visual art as well. Our members volunteer to bring the scriptures and rituals to life each week – and especially during special days on the liturgical calendar – with unique designs all crafted by hand with love. The community has also commissioned several liturgical pieces including an innovative paschal candle stand, a functional and creative incense stand and incredible ceramic altar table vessels all supporting and celebrating local artists!
“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” — James 2:26
Anamchara Faith Community pours out its faith into practice. We support our neighborhood ministry, United Crescent Hill Ministries with its outreach mission – food pantry, after school classes and meals, senior activities and much more. Quarterly, we also reach out by celebrating birthdays with the men from Saint John’s Center for the Homeless, providing lunch for home builders at the Women’s Build for Habitat for Humanity, collecting books for a library for recovering men at the Wayside Christian Mission, to name some examples of our commitment to “faith in action.”
We seek to practice “radical hospitality” in our Sunday liturgy. Wee also practice it by gathering either at a member’s home or a restaurant or even in God’s own setting at a park or nature preserve to share communion and a meal.
On the last Sunday of each month we also bring treats and coffee to share after our evening celebration so we can truly remain connected, sharing life’s sorrows and joys along with sweets and savories. Those “Social Sunday” gatherings are a good time for new members to get acquainted.