Geoff and I recently, tentatively are beginning the move from Yarra Valley Vineyard to Ranges Community Church. We love Yarra Valley and think they do exceptional things and serve the community of Lilydale well, we like the people, we have lots of ties there, both our families are there, we got married there. YVV has grown remarkably in the last while and there is still a gaping pull there for me with the youth, it’s a good place.
It’s interesting, transition. I am marvelously familiar with it due to my highly nomadic upbringing although I must say it was often more of a wrench and a snap than something that brewed – a shift in perspective or perhaps just direction.
Many of you might know that Geoff and I spend a fair bit of time thinking about church, mind you, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it and I think that Geoff’s thinking probably translates in to practicality more than my ideas – which have never actually evolved into something concrete – they are still floating quite abstractly. Regardless, we’re keen to one day be involved in something a bit different. Ranges isn’t violently out-there. It’s definitely much smaller and unfortunately even further from us and not in our local community. It’s a different and perhaps older (or at least less peer based) group for us. It’s not an end point. It might be a mid-term thing, it might be a long mid-term thing. We do like how Ranges try things out. I like feeling a bit more at home despite still getting very slowly get to know people. I can feel the heartbeat at Ranges. YVV’s is hiding from me, which is as much my own fault and not really to do with them at all.
There are some other spin off things that will potentially happen via some of the people we know at Ranges, things that will land closer to our locale. A chance to try some stuff out with some others.
I am not after a perfect church, I am after one that acknowledges imperfection and maybe doesn’t care if things aren’t exceptionally done, where everyone is responsible. Small suits who I am or at least the starting point for getting me closer to thinking about things and doing things.
I need to come away from church encouraged. I like to come away from church thinking. And I am scared about it but would be better off coming away from a church where I am doing things and pushed to do things.
And the whole ‘doing things’ bit is not at all same as ‘being in ministry/leading youth’ but I can’t quite explain it.
By the way: changing churches is not the cure-all nor is it meant to be the cure. Simply speaking, I think I need to learn again how to be a part of the Church.