Our name - "Dust" - comes from a Jewish concept of discipleship where the disciple was considered to be “covered in the dust of his [her] rabbi.” Because they followed their rabbi so closely, disciples would literally be covered in the dust kicked up by the sandals of the rabbi. For many people the church has been better at “leaving folks in the dust” as opposed to leaving them covered with the dust of Jesus, our Rabbi. What is being strived for in this model is a sense of groundedness in Jesus through Discipleship, serving the Underserved, rethinking the role of Stewardship throughout all aspects of our daily lives and finally, most importantly, returning scripture (the Text) to the formational center of our faithfulness. Through this practice, many of us have had our preconceived notions of Church and Christianity challenged.
We started off by opening a church in Blacksburg, Virginia (in 2013) with discipleship at the center. In July (2016), our family moved back to the Toledo area, where we had lived for 12 years before moving to Blacksburg. We started gathering people to help us expand Dust Church into the Toledo area, and we were so excited about the possibilities! We've been meeting in our home for about eighteen months, but starting in March of 2018, we moved into Collingwood Presbyterian Church's Chapel as a new, permanent location to allow for future growth. As with our Blacksburg location, we focus on digging deep into Scripture and learning how to serve and love others.
Additionally, we open our services to anyone who wants to join online. As part of our goal to serve the Underserved, we believe that access to an interactive church experience should be offered to those who struggle with attending church in person for a variety of reasons. This service can be joined here: https://zoom.us/j/5407506052.
One of our main focuses is on deep study of scripture in a community context. To this end, we host a bible study on Monday evenings (7:30-9:00), as well as a weekly service on Sundays at 10:30 (You can join us at 10am for coffee and fellowship at our Toledo location). All are welcome to join us for any of these events.
Please join us, and please stay tuned as we develop new and exciting events. Better yet, help us to create them! We are excited for the opportunity to meet the creative and inquisitive souls in Blacksburg, Toledo, and online.
All are welcome: by ‘all’ we truly mean all. Our church’s bylaws state that “Dust Church does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, nationality, religion, creed, disability, sex, gender expression, sexual or affectional orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, or education in provision of services, membership, or leadership.” And by ‘welcome’, we mean that all may fully participate in the life of the congregation, not just being tolerated or accepted, but being embraced and valued.
Dust Church strives to be fully inclusive of LGBTQQIP2SAA+* individuals, women, people of color and other historically marginalized individuals in our words, policies, and actions. By this we mean that we are intentional in giving persons of all marginalized identities an opportunity to share their voice and as a congregation we remain committed to learning a fuller picture of G_d and the creation from the sharing of our varied experiences. We empower and mentor them in roles of leadership, preaching, decision-making, teaching, and service in order that our inclusive interpretive stance toward scripture will be reflected in our social and community norms. We will try to create a safe space for all (theologically, emotionally, and physically) and strongly defend it against attack. We want all of our members and guests to be able to live with authenticity.
Those that hold views contrary to our community's views on these matters are welcome to enjoy the full benefits of the congregation as long as their words and actions do not threaten or limit the ability of marginalized persons to live, lead, and learn the truth of G_d's love authentically and safely.
* Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Queer. Questioning. Intersex. Pansexual. 2-Spirit, Asexual. Allies.