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— What does "manna" mean?
Manna is the Hebrew word for "What is it?" When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness for forty years, God fed them with a strange bread-like substance that fell from the sky. They walked out of their tents in the morning and said, "Manna?" We call ourselves Manna because we're not sure if this is a "regular church," and we like to remind ourselves to live each day depending on God to sustain us.
— What is Manna, exactly?
Simply put, Manna is a vintage faith community, which means we believe in the historic Christian faith. We're a motley crew of folks from a lot of different backgrounds working to live out that faith.
— How did Manna start?
Manna began with three friends meeting once a week at JPs coffeehouse to hang out, share Bible passages, and pray. After about a year, other people started showing up, and before long they couldn't all fit in the booth. So we started meeting other places, sometimes taking turns at each others' houses. It was mostly just a few friends who wanted to share a little, study a little, pray a little, and take communion. No one was sure if it was a "real" church or not, so they just called it Manna. Most of us were attending other churches at the time, but we felt that Manna had become our primary faith community. Once it got too big to fit in anyone's house, we started meeting at the Park Theater. Eventually we moved into our current location on 9th and Central. Along the way there has never been a master plan, growth strategy, or organizational structure—just folks depending on God's grace one day at a time.
— Who are the pastors?
There were three friends whose small group grew into Manna, they were the original pastors: Dave Guerrin (now full-time pastor), Greg Smith (formerly a part-time teaching pastor but has moved on to other interests), and Barbara Yandell (occasionally teaches, when she's not out of town doing ministry). Though they all have master of divinity degrees from well-respected theological seminaries, as well as decades of professional ministry experience, Manna is their calling, not their job, and they all have other careers.
— How does Manna approach sermon series?
At Manna, we work through whole books of the Bible, verse by verse. It takes a while. For example, Acts took us 14 months.
— Does Manna have nursery?
As Manna grew organically, space limitations got us into the habit of having the children in the same room as the adults. We know that doesn't work for everyone, so we have organized volunteers who serve in the nursery every Sunday.
— What's Manna's theology? Reformed? Baptist? Episcopalian? Catholic? Orthodox?
We call ourselves a vintage faith community, and by that we mean we stand on the timeless, historic, mainstream Christian faith based on the Old and New Testaments, and the traditional expressions of that faith in the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. This is what C.S. Lewis called "mere Christianity."
— Does Manna have funding?
None except for the offering we collect on Sundays.