I promise a meaningful post here soon. Been a lot of posts of pictures and links lately.
In the meantime, this is the article on Vive that I wrote for our church monthly…
A Pursuit for Life
As we sat in church on Sunday night, the service was going well. The space in St Philips was lit by up-lights in the corner, coloured lights on the front wall and candles on the Altar. Seventeen year old Tessa Cumming had led the opening worship and Kat Hughes was hosting the service. The coffee break was over and Julia Coleman was speaking from 1 Samuel 3 – the call of Samuel.
With a loud crash the building shook. Was Julia’s preaching that good? Or that bad?
The bank behind the church had collapsed and the slip that had hit the building was pushing in the wall of the hall. Despite being shaken, we continued our service, had a great time of waiting in silence before God, worshipped, finished our coffees and finished the service.
Sunday nights at our 7 pm service are never very ‘normal’ but this one was certainly out of the ordinary.
It’s About Life
Names are important things. Again and again in the Bible we find that names change to reflect identity. Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob became Israel, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul.
The search for a name for our youth and young adults community took some time and investigated various options. Vive is about life.
Borrowing from the French ‘vivé’ meaning ‘to live long’ or ‘to live well’, we want to reflect the promise of Jesus that he came to bring ‘life in abundance’. This promised life is something that should last. Our measure of success is the degree to which we are still really living in 5, 10 and 50 years.
Watching the New Zealand Film Festival movie ‘Young at Heart’ yesterday with some other staff members certainly spoke of life. The movie (highly recommended) is about a choir, average age 80, who sing a repertoire consisting of songs from James Brown, The Clash, Sonic Youth, Queen, the Rolling Stones etc. Their passion for life is incredible. Their audiences are moved by their infectious attitudes. Yes, in the movie death is never far away, but that does not get in the way of life. Life is not simply an absence of death. Abundant life is contagious.
Introducing “The Crew”
Around these parts, we realise that ‘congregation’ isn’t enough to describe our relationship and roles as a church. Rosemary and Sam spoke of this well in 2005 when they talked about how being a part of a church is not like a bus ride – with a driver in charge we choose a bus going in the direction we want and decide when to get on and off. Instead, church is more like a waka where we are all paddling, all contributing to move in the direction that God is calling us to.
We are all part of the developing story of Vive, all part of the crew. It’s a fun journey.
What It Looks Like
Community is a primary focus in all Vive activities. Church on Sunday night starts long before the first worship song is sung – church begins as people gather and share together. Often noisy, laughter and excited conversation fills the air. However stereotypes of ‘youth services’ can be misleading – services will often involve times of silence, reflection, liturgical readings etc. Authentic Christian spirituality takes many different forms.
Midweek small groups meet for accountability, bible study, leadership training, and prayer. An early morning prayer meeting every Tuesday often spends much time in silence and worship. An in-depth Bible study on Sunday afternoons provides extra “meat” for the diet.
Who Is It For?
While Vive is primarily a community of youth and young adults, we welcome all ages and backgrounds. The 7.30 pm Wednesday night youth group caters solely for high school age while small groups for young adults have different approaches.
We would love people to come and check us out on a Sunday evening. We promise to not be too scary!
For the near future Sunday night services will be held in St Mary’s Church.