Emerging Tucson Congregation Celebrates Creativity in Worship

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Some worshipers dance on the dance floor. Others create masterpieces using a variety of media. Some worshipers join via the church’s website.

The Village sanctuary

It’s all part of the broad spectrum of worship at The Village in Tucson, Ariz., an emerging congregation of the Christian Reformed Church.

Villagers, as they are known, create their own eclectic order of worship based on Scripture, creeds, and confessions. “(In one Sunday), we might sing in a Gregorian chant, Seattle grunge style, followed by a hymn sung a capella. Our worship is a celebration of creativity,” said Rod Hugen, one of the pastors of The Village.

The Village’s venue is as unusual as its worship. The sanctuary is an assortment of chairs, couches, and traditional church pews. There is also a full kitchen where Villagers dine together after their Sunday evening worship service.

Approximately 100 people worship at The Village weekly. About a third of those are children under the age of 10.

Villagers also worship online through the church’s website. Not your typical church website, it offers the congregation’s own version of Facebook. Villagers can blog and post pictures, invitations, and videos on this site.

“Probably seven out of the last 10 visitors came here after browsing the website. Some have worshiped online for months before attending Sunday evening worship. They know us before they get here,” Hugen said.

Villagers meet in Pilgrim groups of three to five people, working toward deeper relationships with each other and Christ. They also meet in three larger groups called monastic communities to fellowship and to plan and implement their missional activities.

Hugen said their dream is that the three monastic communities will eventually become three churches.

About the Author

Shashi DeHaan is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Arizona and Red Mesa.


See comments (1)


Thank you for writing such a wonderful piece about my church home Shashni. Yes, I am a villager and have been for 2 years now. Before I was a villager I was a hardened agnostic who had fallen away from faith because of circumstances that happened in my life that my understanding of Christianity could not answer for me. Among those things was the death of my brother. Had you asked me back then if I thought I would ever find myself not only going to a church but being fully involved in what a church was doing I would have laughed out loud. But God is good, he is patient and loving and he has used The Village, it's pastors and other members to heal deep hurt and anguish in my life. God has used it to restore a very fragile faith not only in himself but in his people. My biggest prayer is that he will use me to do for others what he did for me.