the unfolding of healesville (part 1)

One of the intentions of this alternative worship project is to map the journey of some new worshipping communities, so we can begin to build a picture of how the church can create a space where alternative worshipping communities might be given the best kind of support, and lots of air to breathe… The postings on this blog of communities like Healesville will be part of the way that we build that picture.

Healesville began as a vague idea over many long lunches… It didn’t arise from a desire to do anything particularly hip and cool – there was a slightly more desperate air about it. As Mike said, "I haven’t left the church because I’ve lost my faith… I’ve left because i want to keep it". We talked a lot about how we had to find worship that sustained and provoked our faith – transforming us to live differently in the world, speaking from and into the world and culture that we are absorbed in every day. And if we couldn’t find it, we’d create it. As soon as we started to speak about the possibilities, we found energy to begin stuff. And when we talked about it around the different circles we move in, we kept discovering people who felt likewise.

Interestingly, (and i suspect this is actually really important), Healesville hasn’t shaped itself as worship for the disenchanted or disenfranchised. In the first time we met, someone who had come to check it out kept saying that we must be doing this because we’re pissed off with the church, but that didn’t feel like what was happening at all. We’re doing Healesville because it seems like the most natural place and way for us to worship.