Creating space for worship

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Moving with the times is an essential part of church in the 21st century.

In a bid to connect with the wider community, Point Lonsdale Uniting Church is reinventing itself as Kirk’s Place – with community space, coffee, vintage sales, beauty and mindfulness installations.

Rev Kerrie Lingham said the new space would be staffed by friendly hosts who will sell coffee and biscuits but also provide a listening ear for those in need.

“In a complex, busy and sometimes alienating world, the church has a role to create spaces that nurture relationships and help people find a sense of belonging and spirituality,” Ms Lingham said.

“We’re offering a flexible space and a sense of the sacred for those who don’t find traditional Sunday morning worship accessible.”

For the past eight years, the Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale congregation has been alternating between the two church spaces. However, last year a new expressions group was formed to find a way forward in Point Lonsdale that departed from traditional church.

Ms Lingham acknowledged the move had created some challenges in the close-knit community.

But she said many in the congregation were keen to make changes that would keep the gospel story alive for a new generation.

“The congregation here is a creative, experimenting bunch of people who give a huge amount of time to making these things happen,” she said.

“They’re committed to nurturing sacred communities into the future.”

Long-term plans include an outdoor play space and a pastoral barista.

By Heather Gallagher

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