Category Archives: Projects
There are all sorts of great things happening around Perth. Drama Church is one of them. I asked Theo to write a bit about how Drama Church has come about – here’s what he’s written (and drawn!):
God is creative. Right at the beginning of the Bible, before they describe God as ‘good’ or ‘powerful’ or ‘loving’ or anything they say “God Created”. And what amazing stuff he created! Suns, plants, gravity, electrons, values, experience, consciousness, everything! He loved it so much he did it non-stop for a week. Then he got all excited and got Man to be involved in the creative process.
I reckon we’re just like that, creating and building relationships with each other. Some of us create solid things like cars and sandwiches, some of us create abstract things like art or romance. Some of us create solutions to problems and build better futures. This is a little bit of our journey in discovering what creativity might mean for us and our faith.
5 years ago when my wife and I were both working as actors and missionaries for SUWA, we began to talk about new ways of doing ‘Church’. For a number of reasons traditional models of fellowship were failing to engage us any longer, chief among these was a short attention span and hang-ups about singing (you might see our issue). We still valued the community and discussion that our Church-life brought us but found some days that we were more inclined to show up to church after the service (we actually did this several times). For us, talking about God after the service felt more like ‘Church’, was more transformational, than sitting through the service itself.
Talking to others we found that we weren’t the only ones feeling this way, so we began to think about taking more control of our faith life, finding a way to actively, not passively, explore our faith.
‘Drama Church’ started with a simple conversation: “There’s some stuff about Church we don’t like, but we like Drama. Hey why don’t we…” and you can guess the rest. We wanted to share and discuss with our community, grow and learn together from one-another, and explore our faith by actively practicing it.
In our career we were used to fun and collaborative processes that encouraged learning and built community; we wanted to apply these principles to the way we did church-life, and see what happened.
Well not much happened for a while. A group of us began meeting irregularly with the goal of sharing about our life and faith, and working toward some creative goal (a play or performance). Eventually we got connected with Dalkeith Rd Church of Christ, which supported and resourced us, using drama as a tool to creatively engage young adults in the congregation. Things started to take off, and we ran some awesome events. We weren’t quite a ‘drama-group’ operating out of a Church, we were more a separate church in itself.
For various reasons things came to an end at Dalkeith Road, but our appetites had only just been wet. Doing drama for others at events was not what we were really interested in. We wanted to use creativity and activity as the tool for spiritual engagement. That was when we really got started with Drama Church, a creative community exploring faith and sharing life together.
- Building community – by sharing stories and doing ice-breaker activities to relax people and allow them to open up.
- Theme exploration – by discussing, reading, doing art, making skits that respond to the theme, simulations on a topic, improvisation on a theme, watching videos, singing songs or anything else.
- Communion, or some sort of meal – a way of acknowledging that the presence of God had the power to transform our lives.
We discovered that many of the people we met through our work in the theatre were lapsed Christians of many denominations. They were very ‘spiritual’ people but had a lot of skepticism about organized religion. DC proved a great space for artistic people who had been burned by their experiences of Church to come to God in a way that meant so much to them. It is loud and exciting, diverse and fun. There’s conflict at times, and we are constantly having to re-think how to make things work, but it’s a process that’s been very rewarding.
Currently we’re undergoing another incarnation of the project, merging with a different home-church to create a group. We’re trying to be more sustainable, and include the children that some of us have now. What we’re learning about living as followers of Christ is changing us all, and our communities.
Here is the SUNO Wrestler from the end of 2010, for your information and pondering. It has a general SUNO update and two articles that featured on this blog in 2010:
Danelle’s excellent discussion of evangelism with integrity and honesty.
Living as a Missionary – one person’s journey with a more mission focused life. A great read if the term mission and missionary freak you out but you know that God is calling you to grow His kingdom.
Cheers is a SUNO project which has been living God’s Kingdom in Banksia Grove for many years now.
Faithful, innovative, life affirming, suburb changing, life changing, grass roots community development. And so much more. If you want inspiration for your own forays into living a missionary life and bringing God’s transformation to your local community, look no further than these guys.
Check them out off the links.
Today is the Belmont Kids Club. This is a fantastic little ministry by a bunch of folk who want to invest in the kids and families in their area. They provide activities that are fun, meaningful and encourage positive relationships. They have parents and kids together. It’s a great example of grass roots community mission – growing the Kingdom of God in small tangible ways.
Hats off to you BKC crew!