ArtHop, yoga, drinking good beer, nights gathered around food trucks and dinners in with friends. The casual events of everyday life in Fresno have found a bigger purpose through a young church called Woven Community. Formed as a way for its members to embrace diversity and blend their Christian faith with community activities, this small church is taking religion out of the sanctuary and into the everyday.
Woven began three years ago, as pastor Simon Biasell explains, with a conversation between a group of friends who considered themselves people of faith but, for a number of reasons, weren’t going to church. What they came up with over the next few months was the concept for a church that fit their needs. Principle among those needs: an environment where teaching the word of God and differing view points could co-exist.
A safe place to doubt, became a safe place to ask questions, and now, Biasell says, the church likes to think of itself as a safe place where we don’t have to have all the answers.
As for Woven’s blend of church and community, it’s something that has developed organically from the interests of the church’s roughly 50 members. Woven members gather at ArtHop, Gazebo Gardens’ food truck nights, and organize events such as yoga sessions, book clubs and the holiday favorite “Beer & Caroling.” You can click here to find out how Woven is weaving themselves into the community in the near future. But, as much as they like to be out in the community in which they live, they do still meet for worship at a physical church. Services are held Sundays at 5 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church (50 E Santa Ana Ave., Fresno).
Here, Biasell talks more about the conversation between friends that gave birth to the church, why differences and doubts are so important to Woven’s mission and his role as pastor of a church that encourages many voices.