On Sunday morning instead of been at Ranges we headed to Solace EMC in Fairfield as part of the 2nd Forge intensive. I had heard a lot about Solace so I was pretty happy to attend.
1) We attended the "Solace Sunday Stuff", a bit of a blurb on that from there web site
Sunday Stuff is hosted by Fairfield SPACE (and contributes time and effort into the facilities and connecting to other parts if Fairfield SPACE in return). Sunday Stuff is a gathering of people who pray, worship, learn from the Bible and fellowship together. There are no requirements to conform to a specific set of beliefs, but the gathering is centred on the life and teachings of Jesus.
I really did think this was one of the first times that we really participated as a family at Church. There was a real effort to intergate all ages which I realy appreciated. Kids been Kids was no problem. (Phew) I was also under the impression that Solace was a lot larger. It was about the same or a little smaller than us at Ranges.2) I could see that they have identified similar issues as us. It would appear that Solace EMC Vineyard Cataylst Network, have a bit of an overlap. The ideas of being a "network" as well as "self directed groups" spring to mind.
3) Connection with the Anglican Church. Olivia was asked a few times about the formal relationship with the Anglican church (Not by myself). I felt that the answers were rather complicated in nature and that most probably there were a few difficulties. What was made quite clearly was that Solace EMC was incorporated independently of the Anglican Church.4) Interested that they put the EMC on there name. Emergent Missional Church. A lot of pastors are thinking through this stuff but, not actually claiming it. Especially the "Emergent" side of the conversation.
5) Money, I'm not sure how many people are on "staff", but even if they employed one person full time I don't think that this congregation would able to support them. I wonder if some funding comes in from the Anglicans or the OP Shop?
I couldn't talk up Solace enough. Overall you feel that it is a safe place where people are encouraged to find where they fit with Spirituallity, and there is no rush. That the compartmentalness of large churches is just not part of there thinking. It would certainly be an option for us if we didn't have Ranges.