Original Research

Ecclesia in transitu: Four characteristics of transit church in relation to notae ecclesiae

Meitha Sartika
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2436 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2436 | © 2022 Meitha Sartika | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2021 | Published: 31 May 2022

About the author(s)

Meitha Sartika, STT Bethel The Way, Jakarta, Indonesia


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Abstract

The term ‘transit church’ describes a church that becomes a temporary church for students who migrate to urban areas for studying. GKI Delima, a Reformed Presbyterian church in Indonesia, is one of them. Unfortunately, GKI Delima is not able to adapt to its context as a transit church. Consequently, there are several issues, namely, it could not fully embrace the transit students, provide space for them to participate, involve them in any church activities or empower them to carry out the mission of God. Therefore, a transit church must respond to its context by theologically and critically reflecting on its concrete identity. As the church has a threefold existence (local, particular and universal), the local congregation that adapts itself must not be disconnected from the universal church and should not be separated from being part of the particular church. In this article, I want to propose the ecclesiology of the transit church by manifesting the four marks of the universal church (notae ecclesiae) – namely, catholic, holy, one and apostolic – into the four characteristics of a transit church. By using the theories of diaclesia, liquid church, trinitarian church and exodus church, I propose friendly, relevant, intergenerational and missional characters of the transit church. I conclude this article by stating that ecclesia in transitu refers to the nature of the church in its wanderings in this world, which is always in a transit situation.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article may contribute to the contextual ecclesiology discussion. This research can be an inspiration for other researchers to develop a transit church ecclesiology based on the context of other local churches. This research may also be developed further by discussing concrete activities that can be carried out by transit churches, such as intergenerational transit church liturgies, curriculum for members of the congregation to instil a missionary mindset, efforts to adjust church orders in the context of local congregations and the formation of small communities that provide space for friendship between the members and non-members of the church.


Keywords

ecclesia in transitu; ecclesiology; notae ecclesiae; diaclesia; Reformed Presbyterian

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