The Talk of the Town community room was filled with laughter, cake and celebration on Sunday 20 February, as 65 people came together to be part of the official commissioning of Pioneer Church.
For the last 4 years, a small band of people have been praying together and forming various Christian communities who explore and express faith in non-traditional ways. These have gently grown into four mature expressions of church: Breathe (creative space); Generations (all-ages shaping each other); Saturday Soul keeill (safe space to worship in a café) and Adventure church (wild space for all ages).
As well as these four expressions of church, pioneer works hard at being a catalyst for church unity, enabling Christmas live (a live nativity) to happen in Douglas, and other ecumenical initiatives.
The Bishop opened his address by remembering that one of his first acts as bishop here, was to ordain Rev Alex as Deacon, and then a year later as Priest. After a few words of introduction, the various congregations of Pioneer gathered together and Bishop Peter prayed over everyone, officially commissioning the church on behalf of the diocese, the Anglican Church, and the church of God everywhere.
Finally, after the group had read out some of the 24 statements about how Pioneer has helped people grow in faith (places in amongst way too many cakes), attention moved to a giant wooden scrabble board / word search, with every Anglican Church named, all intersecting. 2 children, 2 adults and 2 guests turned over the word “Pioneer”, symbolising both the freshness and the connectedness of what is happening.
It was truly a moment of celebration, with laughter, prayer and talk of memories past and hope for the future.
To find out more about pioneer church, their website is www.pioneer.im.