all about the vibe – an alt-worship-down-south update

a group of us met this week to talk about alt worship down south of the river… we had a drink at the Drifters Alibi in Port Melbourne – i can never remember the name, i keep wanting to call it the devil’s alibi.

It was a good conversation. We talked about what it was that we needed to know / decide before we could begin… and by the end of the conversation we decided we were sharing enough common ground that we could start planning our first gathering. There’ll be some interesting conversations on the way, and lots of sticking points, but i think we’ve got enough shared language and trust to be able to work through it.
so next time we meet, we are going to begin planning our first night.

between now and then we’re going to look to be inspired about themes. i’ve come away thinking – and this may reflect where i’m at more than it does anyone else in the group – that what we do will have the most integrity if we’re not ‘presenting’ stuff we know, that we’re sure of… but if we’re focussed on the stuff we’re searching for. That’s the essence of alternative worship, for me: a movement from trying to make meaning for people, to simply (!) encountering, or tangling with, the great existential themes of life…

so that’s what i’m going to be wondering about over the next few weeks… what don’t i know? where might my search be in common with those others who might find themselves having a drink at the drifter’s alibi, or wherever we end up, on a wednesday night?

i find the prospect of all this quite scary.

the other question that John brought up at the end was how explicitly Christian do we want to be – is christianity a beginning point or a reference point? do we use the christian symbols – and if so, how? traditional uniting church worship begins with a bible reading [usually from the lectionary] and moves on from there… what will be our beginning point? Is it, to quote the great australian movie ‘the Castle’, all about the vibe? so much to wonder…

[the other thing that makes me nervous is that i’m not sure anyone quite realises how much work this will take… especially because we don’t want to begin with words or conversation… and anything that doesn’t begin there will take much much more time…]

there’s always space for more around the table. contact me if you want to be part of it.


  1. Great to come across your conversation here, It brings back so many memories of our journey. Still alot of things we struggle with as we engage the culture around us. It was been amazing to see how often creativity reveals a truth beyond mere words…that in the depth of it’s mystery, the God of all creation, the ” Word ” that spoke creation…speaks new creation in words beyond us. Blessings…as you grab your mustard seed, my it sprout into is Life. Pax…Ron+

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