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STORY

A letter from our founder:

The vision of The Sonder Collective began in 2015, and since then we have been growing as a collaborative community for many people and churches. So where did it all begin?

Like a lot of ministries, The Sonder Collective began with a vision, which turned into a hope and now it's a lived reality. Let me share with you our story... At the start of 2015 I had a vision:

"As I closed my eyes. in-between the blinks, I could see a dry desert of rich, dark, deep, yellow with cracks forming through this dry, dry ground. Around the place there were half dug holes deep in the ground; when you look up, you could see them everywhere. Across the whole landscape where these deep dug holes, and seeping up through all the cracks was this sweet vibrant water."

I held on to it for a little while, trying to figure out what this image meant for me, but one day I was speaking to a friend and I realised that maybe this vision I am holding on to was actually not meant for me, but perhaps it was for her. 
So I shared it. 

My friend looked at me and shared that they had been seeing the same vision, but for them, there were little sprouts shooting up with life between the cracks and she couldn't help but think it to be a call to the church. 
Two weeks later this same friend called me because she had received a phone call from another person who needed to share a vision with them. 

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The shared vision began in the same way -- a dry desert of rich, dark , deep, yellow with cracks forming through this dry, dry ground. There was also these half dug holes deep in the ground all over the place with the rich, sweet water seeping up through all the cracks and holes. But then there was more to add... those dug holes deep in the ground were seen as wells that were once teaming with life. But now they don't 'overflow' as they used to. It is because of this to why the water is seeping out through the cracks of the earth, shooting up life wherever it can, with these little sprouts adorned with purple flowers.

The additions to this vision were not only beautiful but they made sense, as if they were the next page in the book. To see that these were wells, rather than just holes in the ground, gives us hope that if we stretch ourselves, meet with one another, and re-dig these wells we can help reach into this sweet, vibrant water that is swelling below. 

It was from this we started planning what a lived response to this vision might look like.

Throughout this planning, nearly a year later, I found myself in a conversation where a friend was sharing the story of the first time her brother had a Holy Spirit encounter back in 2015. It began with him flicking through scripture and he was drawn to Hosea 14: 

"I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them... His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon."  Hosea 14:4, 6-7

As he looked up from the page he could see the shoots popping up, and he heard God saying to him that these sprouts are a new generation hungry for their faith - it is a revival for the church. I was shocked and excited about what i was hearing -- it was definitely one of those 'creepy' confirmations to continue with forming an active response to this vision. 

From this the crazy idea of The Sonder Collective began. 

With the aim of a collaborative ministry across our churches, it makes sense that it was in a mutual space that this vision began - this is the most fundamental reality of our community: sharing. We have an opportunity to gift our resources and time, share them with one another, so that all our wells of faith can grow deep and nurture the spirituality of our communities. 

Our focus is on youth and young adults ministry, a niche ministry that our smaller and micro  churches do not always have the ability to offer specified ministry programs for.  By combining our programs, gifts and skills across our churches we have an ability to let this vibrant, sweet, wellspring of water reach to everyone, not just a select few. More so, we are able to grow with a depth of understanding and compassion as we are able to meet together from different paths, churches and homes. Different theologies and liturgies allow us to express, teach and experience our faith in ways that we did not thing was possible. 

We know that there is still more goodness to come, and I am humbled by the immense privilege it is to direct and journey alongside all the people and communities that are a port of The Sonder Collective Community. 

Kelly Skilton 

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR