Beg your pardon, but if you can spare a minute, Trip McKinnon would like to ask a few questions.

What are you thankful for today? What is on your mind? What blessing would you most like bestowed upon yourself or others?

With these three questions, Pastor McKinnon is setting out on a mission to establish a church in the Golden Isles without walls, borders or conditions for membership. The Crosswalk Worshipping Community hopes to reach out to people of all stripes, from those seeking a more spiritual relationship with God, to those who harbor uncertain faith and doubts about His existence.

“We find that once these questions are asked, the floodgates just open up,” said McKinnon, who also is pastor of Altama Presbyterian Church. “This is really our first outreach.”

After posing these questions, McKinnon and his growing flock are more interested in hearing your answers than they are about preaching to you.

“We felt most people who go into the community to witness end up talking too much,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for two weeks now and we are amazed at how open people are to sharing. And all we ask at the end is if we can say a quick prayer for you.”

Pastor McKinnon’s group is part of a nationwide movement initiated by Presbyterian Church (USA) called 1,001 Worshipping Communities, established to explore new and innovative ways to establish Christian-based community outreach programs.

At present, Crosswalk Worshipping Community meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at the Savannah Presbytery, 3590 Darien Hwy., No. 8, on U.S. Hwy. 17. This Tuesday’s topic will be “The Art of Living Missionally.” Living missionally is a concept that holds that all Christians can strive to practice the work of missionaries within their own communities. It stresses that sharing the gospel is not just a calling of the clergy.

Last Tuesday’s program, “Serving in Humility,” drew about 15 congregants. The weekly talks are free and open to all.

“And I’m really serious that everybody is welcome into this community of worship,” McKinnon said. “What we’re doing now is going out in the community and meeting with people and sharing the love that Jesus Christ offers unconditionally. Anyone can come and join us, no matter where they are on their walk in faith. We are open even to people who don’t have a relationship with God or Jesus Christ but are willing to listen.”

Crosswalk Worshipping Community’s flock stands at about a dozen members and is growing. His goal is to see it become of service in the Golden Isles by emulating the faith, hope and love found in the New Testament of the Bible.

“The New Testament is the greatest story of love in the world,” McKinnon said. “We are all children of undeserved grace from God. I will never go to somebody and say I am better than you and more secure in my relationship with God and therefore I want to fix you. We’re about showing people the light of God.”

Particularly, the group takes spiritual strength from Corinthians 3:12 in the New Testament. It states: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Before answering a higher calling 12 years ago, McKinnon taught severely and profoundly mentally handicapped children for a decade at a school outside of Raleigh, N.C.

“The amazing gifts I saw from those kids and the way God used them to show his love really was a big reason of why I entered the seminary,” he said.

McKinnon was the pastor at First Presbyterian in Waycross, for five years before coming to Altama Presbyterian in January. He has ambitious plans for Crosswalk Worshipping Community in the near future.

“I’m not real sure where the Spirit is going to lead us,” McKinnon said. “We are now preparing ourselves to start going out into the community and meeting people and sharing with them the love of Jesus Christ.”

Reporter Larry Hobbs writes for The Brunswick News and Golden Isles Magazine. He can be reached at lhobbs@thebrunswicknews.com.

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