In 2007, a collection of Charlottesville area churches began to pray about helping a new church form. A year later, a handful of friends moved to Charlottesville, connected with a few locals and began to listen to Charlottesville’s stories.
From the beginning, our desire has been to learn what it might look like to plant deep roots in this place and help a community form that would attempt to live out the way of Jesus and serve the common good of our neighbors. We desired to use our hands and our voice to step alongside the many other good churches and community movements – and learn to love this place well. The first year was intentionally quiet and slow. We got to know the neighborhoods and began to hear people’s stories. We drank a lot of coffee and had lots of conversations. A lot. We became involved with several nonprofits and artists and justice issues. Mainly, we just listened. And prayed.
Eventually, we began to meet as a house church in the Ridge Street Neighborhood. Our little community was quite simple. We told our stories to one another. We shared meals. We gathered around the Scriptures and prayed the evening hours. Sometimes, we would sing a little. We always ended our time together around the Eucharist. Mixing newcomers who desired to truly see and know Charlottesville with those who had lived their lives here for many years allowed us to form a rich connectedness to this place we all call home.
In June of 2009, we began to meet in a more public way, in CitySpace on the downtown mall. Now, our communal gathering meets at Venable Elementary School and our smaller communities (a few which are a bit more like our original house church) meet in neighborhoods around Charlottesville. Of course, this is only a snippet. If you really want to hear our story, you need to ask us. We’d love to sit down and have a conversation. We’d like to hear your story too.
All Souls Charlottesville is a church that is becoming. And we happen to think this will always be true.