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malcolm chamberlain

musings about the emerging church, mission and contemporary culture...

God is at large, intimately involved in his world in ways that the church is maybe just waking up to!

five years of side door...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

This month sees the five year anniversary of Side Door, an arts based worshipping community in Christchurch, New Zealand. In March 2004 I had the great fortune of spending several weeks with Peter and Joyce Majendie who coordinate Side Door and are responsible for many of the art installations used in their worship. The web site describes Side Door as...

"... an expression of where we are on our faith journey, originating from a desire to share the liberating experience of being real, open and honest within a small Christian community.

Depression, and living with it, doesn't seem to fit with the "victorious Christian living" doctrine found in much of the institutional church. We have a desire to express worship through the weaknesses and strengths of who we are as individuals, and connect with God and others through artistic and creative avenues.

The healing experience of belonging in a small understanding and caring group of Christians helped begin the rebuilding of our faith in Christ to be relevant in everyday life.

Our artistic endeavours aim to touch people at a deeper level and facilitate an opportunity to respond to Jesus."

My time spent with Peter and Joyce opened my eyes to the amazing way that God works through art when the interpretation is left open to the viewer. I'd go so far as to say that Peter and Joyce set me on a journey in new worship opportunities which enriched my own life, spirituality and ministry, so I owe them a BIG thanks!

Peter & Joyce, along with members of Side Door, also throw themselves 101% into their art installations around the times of Christmas, Lent, Easter and Pentecost - I was with them during a Lent installation and was blown away by the creativity and level of commitment they showed (it's not every day you see a church hall transformed by tonnes of sand and a river running from the stage down the centre of the hall!). Many people with little or no church background visit the installations and are often moved to consider their own life in relation to God through the experience. Below is a slideshow of stations from the Easter 2006 installation, Easter Journey. You can visit the collection for a better look 'here', and see the station titles (as an aside, Peter makes a Cameo appearance in station 11!). Thanks to Peter and Joyce for the photos and permission to post them.

Happy Birthday Side Door - thanks (on behalf of so many) for the journey so far and may God continue to meet with you through your creativity and openness in the years to come...

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posted by Malcolm Chamberlain, 11:03 AM


This is fantastic stuff, Malcolm. I think I will pay their site a visit. Thank you for posting the slides here.

commented by Blogger Steve Lancaster, 4:49 PM  

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