church for geeks

I’ve been meaning to post for weeks about this. Avril Hannah-Jones, minister at Romsey Uniting Church just outside of Melbourne, has made a bit of a splash recently with her Sci Fi and Fantasy Worship service. It all sprang from a conversation with Adam Hills when she was the in the audience for the filming of ‘In Gordon Street Tonight’ [in this episode, with a followup here], and culminating last Sunday when the geeks of melbourne gathered in fancy dress for a service…

The story’s got a lot of media airplay – Today Tonight, Good Morning Australia, the Herald Sun, etc. – and, as always with these things, there have been a weird mix of reactions from those who think they ‘own’ the rights to distribute a message of faith, and to say how it should be communicated. It’s odd, really, because if Avril can’t be trusted to honour the Christian story of faith, it’s hard to know who can be. One day it would be lovely to see the Christian church assuming trust before distrust when it encounters something new…

But the appreciation from the non-sensational media – as shown by Adam Hills and others – is a sign that something in this resonates with people who haven’t otherwise found somewhere to belong. For all the criticism that was leveled at Avril for doing this, there are those who finally hear a story of faith in language they might understand.

If you’re interested, Avril’s written up the service here. And Adam Hills made his final comments on it here.

2 Comments

  1. Hi! Avril’s sci-fi worship service seems very meaningful and well-thought out. Coming from a church who has done, ‘The Gospel According to the Matrix’ as well as ‘The Gospel According to Star Wars’ this isn’t new to me. 🙂 Since reading your post I’ve been thinking more about what it means for someone to feel they belong to (or welcomed into) a faith community. I wonder in this case if it is the sci-fi theme, or the underlying gesture that the church would be open enough to include the theme in their worship. Does that make sense?

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