Down but not out – thieves not stopping local St Kilda Church

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Arkhouse Church, St Kilda, is meeting again with all its equipment for the first time since January, after taking an enforced “unplugged hiatus”.

The new, local church had its trailer with all its sound, music, resources, signage and equipment stolen in late January.

“It’s been an interesting journey since everything was stolen” said Arkhouse Church’s Lead Pastor, Dan Saunders, a former Commercial Lawyer.

“From turning up to collect the trailer one morning when it wasn’t there, to meeting with the police, to hearing from Parks Victoria that some of our stuff was found dumped in Reedy Swamp, Shepparton… it’s all been a bit surreal.”

But Pastor Dan said the church, in only its 5th year, kept meeting and pushed on despite the challenges.

“Everything we had was stolen. Everything from our sound and music gear through to our Bibles, and games for the kids. So absolutely we needed to change things up, go unplugged and return to our organic roots for a bit.”

Pastor Dan says having the trailer – and with it, everything the church owned gone was difficult, but the church saw it as an opportunity to remember that “church is first and foremost about people, not stuff.”

“What we’ve seen is the community really pull together,” he said.

“People from within our community and even those outside the church have been so generous in helping us get back on our feet.”

Thanks to the donations of church members and supporters in the community, Arkhouse has been able to replace the trailer and get new equipment to help with its Sunday gatherings.

Though excited with the new trailer and all the new equipment, Pastor Dan says there are spiritual lessons from the whole episode.

“The new trailer and equipment are fantastic– and we’re so thankful to everyone helping us get going again. But Jesus tells us to love and forgive our enemies and not to rely on things like equipment, money and resources alone…but to trust him. We’ve prayed for the thieves and we’ve certainly been pushed these last few weeks but God has kept us going, and provided for us through the generosity of others.”

It was important to this new faith community to have equipment in time for their Easter celebrations. An innovative, creative team, they’ll meet in St Kilda Botanical Gardens for ‘Good Friday in the Park’ on 25th March and at Kings Hall, St Kilda Primary School, on 27th March, for Resurrection Sunday. More details can be found on their website: arkhousechurch.org.au

Pastor Dan says, “Easter is such a special and unique celebration, everyone’s welcome, we’d love the community to come along and celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection with us.”

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