Soma Parramatta

A couple of weeks a go a few people started to meet on Sunday nights at All Saints Parramatta.  We are praying, thinking (dreaming?) and looking at what we can do to make the Gospel known to the people of Parramatta.

Some of the new developments in Parramatta

Why Parramatta?

It has become apparent to us that our strategy, in Soma, may be better suited to an urban centre, so we wanted to spend 2014 testing that theory. It appears to us from our research that churches in the Parramatta region are either leaving the centre (Presbyterians and Baptists) or have their hands full doing great work (All Saints and St John’s Anglican churches).

In the 5 km radius around Parramatta there are 234,161 people. And that number is due to increase with the new high rise developments. 20% of those people are in the age between 25-35. 43% of people were born from a non-English speaking background, which means over 116,000 people are still from English speaking backgrounds. The top countries of origin include India, China, Korea and Sri Lanka.  This is one of the best mission field for reaching the nations!

All Saints, Parramatta have been willing to partner with us in this venture.  I think this is another great example of churches working together to make the Gospel to known to their city.

Why now?

This is a really good question and I often struggle if this is a good time to plant a church for Soma.  Afterall Soma Macquarie is still small and fragile.  But here are some of the reasons we have gone ahead:

  1. There is never a good time to plant churches.  There are never enough resources, never the right aligning of time, money and people. So waiting for the right time may be waiting for Godot [1].
  2. Coming fresh of a church plant gives us fresh ideas about what we did, what we got right and what we need to improve this time around.
  3. Risk is a part of Christian ministry.  You can never play it ‘safe’ and grow.  You have to be ready to make mistakes and try new things.  That being said we are working with a fairly close risk assessment of what go wrong and what we will do if the whole thing is a failure.

What do we need?

Your prayers, if you are a praying person.

Please pray we will have more people willing to join us (Luke 10:2).  I was struck by this when this week we had a woman turn up to our planning meeting with the request “Do you mind if I join you so I can find out more about Jesus and the Bible?”.  We haven’t started adverstising and reaching people and people are already walking in!

Please pray for wisdom and we see to reach people from cultures for whom church is going to be a strange thing.  We will need to be flexible, missional and wise to know how to do this.

Pray for paitience from Soma Macquarie as we allocate resources to Soma Parramatta and this will cost them.  But pray that will continue their faithful work in seeking to reach people as well.

Want to find out more of what we will be doing or how you can help, let us know….

[1] Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckett about two characters who spend the whole play waiting for a character called Godot who never turns up.

 

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