Church opening the doors to do away with stigmas
ONE of the greatest social needs we find in our communities today is the need for a sense of belonging.
People simply want to be accepted as they are, and historically, the church hasn't always made the grade when it comes to acceptance.
Pastor Jeremy and Anita Greening at Vineyard Christian Church are on a mission to overcome this stigma that has attached itself to many people's opinions of the local church.
"We believe that church first and foremost must be a place where people feel like they've come home,” Pastor Jeremy said.
"A place where people come as they are, are accepted and loved, and gain that sense of belonging they long for.
"The church doesn't have to be as boring as many people may think. We consider ourselves quite relevant but we want you to be the judge.
"We have decided to open our doors for one big Sunday on October 21 where we want to invite the entire community to come and check us out.
"Our service begins at 9am and finishes promptly at 10.30am as we are always mindful of valuing and honouring people's time.
"We have contemporary music and we use multi-media to engage with an ever-changing audience with many young people and young families making their way into our midst.
"We also have a very exciting kids' church program that kids (from) walking age to Grade 6 at school absolutely love.
"It's their own personalised church service tailored to them and it's so much fun.
"If you come on Sunday, October 21, you can allow your kids to experience it for themselves and I am very confident they will be asking to come again.
"We are so excited to open our doors that we are putting on a free family fun event after the service including a family barbecue, jumping castle, face painting, egg and spoon races, sack races and so much more.
"We even have a group of 30-plus NiVans (people from Vanuatu) who will sing for us on the day.
"They come to our church when they are here for seasonal work and their voices are amazing.
"Our deepest desire is that people would see we are putting out the welcome mat to welcome people home and provide that sense of belonging that we all so deeply crave and need.”
If you are sitting on the fence and worried you may be the only new face on the day then worry no more, says Pastor Jeremy.
"There will be many new faces and our existing community are chomping at the bit to welcome you,” he said. "At the end of the day we are here to meet the needs of our community and we want to make sure we are doing the best job at providing an opportunity for people to feel that they belong.”
Vineyard Christian Church's One Big Sunday event is happening on Sunday, October 21, from 9am at 85 Connor St in Stanthorpe.
If you have any questions or want more information you can contact Pastor Jeremy on 0402 283 363 or firstname.lastname@example.org