EVERYONE HAS A STORY.
In fact, we have many, many stories. Some are funny or beautiful or heroic, and they’re easy to tell. Other stories are tragic or shameful or raw and the simple act of telling them requires tremendous courage.
When most of us meet someone for the first time, we start with the basics — our job, where we're from, where we live, our relationship status, maybe a funny story from our childhood. But to make real connections, we don’t stop there. We take a breath, screw up our courage, and tell our stories. We spend time listening. We eat and drink together. We laugh and cry. We find places where our stories align and diverge. As we learn each other’s stories, we see God reflected in their patterns of joy and pain. That’s the Imago Dei.
In the same way, you might start by learning the basics about Imago Dei. Our doctrinal statement. Our aesthetics. Our size and demographics. Our children’s ministries. Our website design. Our denominational connections. Our musical style. That makes sense, but don’t stop there. Start to hear our story.
THE CHURCH BEGAN IN THE SPRING OF 2008.
Before that, many of the founders were in small groups together, grew up together or knew each other in countless other ways. Most of them were from the Greater Peoria-area or moved here in college, so this was home. When they felt God leading them to start Imago Dei, they followed the call to serve the city of Peoria and connect with God and each other in new ways. They hoped to let go of some of the traditions of church culture and at the same time embrace some ancient practices and rhythms of the Christian church. They wanted to ask questions and give space for seasons when there were no answers.
Fast-forward a few years.
Imago Dei has grown. We’ve moved from a basement, to the Gateway building, to Arcadia Street and then to our present home. More children arrived and people came and went as life pulled them on. Some of the founders are still here, but along the way, more and more people have been drawn to this unique community and have added their own passions, gifts, personalities and stories to the mix. We’ve stumbled upon more ways to reach beyond our walls and serve the city, the homeless, the people of Honduras, the LGBTQ community and families in the foster care system.
But we’re still a story in progress.
We don’t have it all figured out, and frankly, we’re a little suspicious of answers that come too easily or seem too simple. We often see God more clearly in the struggle and the debate. As you get to know us, ask questions, tell us your stories and give us a chance to share ours.
One place to discover the real story of Imago Dei Church is the Imago Voices blog. We regularly ask people in our church to write a weekly article about whatever God is doing in their lives. Reading some of their stories and musings will give you a glimpse of how God is working in this weird and (we think) wonderful family.