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Looking For Christian Public Leader? Teaching Congregations transitioned to Christian Public Leader at the end of the 2013 – 2014 academic year. In 2014 - 2015, Teaching Congregations will be offered only to students completing their graduation requirements as per the distributive curriculum. This will remain a non-credit degree requirement. Students and supervisors should be in touch with Contextual Learning at

Teaching Congregations site list

Important Note

The Site List below is for the Teaching Congregations program. In 2014 - 2015, Teaching Congregations will be offered only to students completing their graduation requirements as per the distributive curriculum. This will remain a non-credit degree requirement. Students and supervisors should be in touch with Contextual Learning at prior to contacting sites on this list.

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[SITE FULL] Celebration Church

Address:PO Box 2324
Baptized Membership:105
Confirmed Membership:73
Average Sunday Attendance:82
Paid Staff:Pastor; AiM, Minister of Communnity and Servant Life, Worship Leader, Yoga Instructor
Access to Public Transit:None
Congregation Description:COMMUNITY: Celebration is located in Cypress (Cy-Fair), TX, a suburb 30 miles NW of Houston. We are in a fairly affluent community with several master planned communities directly adjacent to our storefront (with a few pockets of households living at or near poverty). We are located two blocks down from the largest campus of the Lone Star College System.

WORSHIP AND EDUCATION: We currently have two worship services- one called The Edge (post-contemporary worship) and Vintage (ancient rhythms with a modern twist). Both worships are "contemporary" in style, although Vintage follows a classical liturgical "flow." Between worship times, we have Learning Curve where elementary-aged children gather for Montessori-like learning time and adults, high school and middle school youth gather together in the worship room for an interactive and small group-based educational experience.

BEYOND CHURCH: Celebration has adopted Holmsley Elementary School in our community. Weekly we deliver backpacks of food for those students who live in food-insecure households. We also provide office and teacher assistance and resource support. We also partner with Bethesda Lutheran Communities (we're a worship site for one of the residential homes), Reach Unlimited, Boys and Girls Country, Cy-Hope, Lutheran Campus Ministries, and the Teen Life Center. We also have a sister congregation in Lima, Peru.

MAJOR TRANSITIONS AND ISSUES: It's exciting being a missional community! We're still in our infancy, which means we are often experimenting and evolving. Being a progressive, experimental and post-contemporary Lutheran community is a very specific way of being church. We will most likely not draw on those who are "Lutheran longtimers." This means we have new Christians and spiritual seekers who are not yet spiritually mature enough to know about financial stewardship and tithing. This is always a growth opportunity for us!
Congregation Keywords:post-contemporary; emergent; sacramental; experimental; missional; community-rooted; progressive; RIC; innovating; relational

Mentor Pastor: Chris Markert
Years in Ordained Ministry:13
Years in Current Position:7
Previous Students Supervised:1
Autobiography:ABOUT ME: I graduated from Concordia University in Austin, TX with a degree in Latino Studies and English. I received my M.Div from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. My first call was in urban Philadelphia, PA.

In my third year, I was approved to be a mission redeveloper and called to serve a transformational congregation in the New Orleans area. I served for nearly three years, until Hurricane Katrina hit, closing the congregation and displacing me to Houston, TX. After serving for a year as an interim associate pastor at a local church, the congregation called me to be a pastor-developer of a new missional community in Cypress, TX, where I have been serving for the past 7 years.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: I attend the Exponential Conference each year in Orlando. I have also attended Catalyst. I have training in transformational/redevelopment ministry as well as mission development. I participated in a week-long community organizer training through Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). Last year I spent two weeks in Spanish immersion study in Mexico. Books I have read that have recently impacted my ministry: Simple Church; Tangible Kingdom; Forgotten Ways; Switch; Influencer; Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers; Missional Renaissance; DiscpleShift; Exponential; Sticky Church; Start This, Stop That; Not Your Parents' Offering Plate; Rich Church, Poor Church; Good to Great...

IN THE COMMUNITY: I serve on the Board of Cy-Hope and have been the Ministry Fair Coordinator for Synod Assembly for the past 5 years. I am active in our partnership with our adopted elementary school (including tutoring, office assistance, and delivering food backpacks on a weekly basis). I have just completed my service on the Houston Lutheran Campus Ministry Board. I have also served as the faith coach for The Missing, and for 5 years was the worship coordinator for the Disciple Project. I am on this year's planning team for the synod's Human Dignity Retreat. I am also active in the Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce.

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Trivia night at the local pub, dinner parties and game nights with friends, traveling, community theatre.