The Upper Room began to take shape in late 2005 when a small group of us started a conversation about planting a church. Deciding not simply to follow church planting models we were familiar with, we began by asking ourselves the basic question, ‘what is church?’ and imagining the kind of church community we would like to be part of.
Our ideas began to come together and on the afternoon of 12 March 2006, we held our first Sunday gathering in the upstairs function room (hence ‘the upper room’) of a fine old theatre in North Sydney called The Independent.
Our goal was to create a physical and social space in which Christ-centred community might begin to form. We were particularly inspired early on by an insight from Eugene Peterson that each church community is a unique creation and work of the Holy Spirit. This insight has continued to be an important guiding principle in the development of The Upper Room community.
By May 2007 we had pretty much outgrown the upstairs function room, so we moved our gatherings into the theatre’s main auditorium. Although it no longer literally described our meeting place, we kept the name ‘The Upper Room’ because we’d come to appreciate it as a nice metaphor for much of what church community is all about.
We are still meeting in the theatre on the first and third Sundays of each month. On the second Sunday of each month we meet at the North Sydney Community Centre and on the fourth Sunday of each month we gather in small groups in homes, cafes, pubs and the like. (Click here for more information about how, when and where we gather each week.)
The Upper Room is a work in progress. We have seen God do some wonderful work among us and through us over the past few years. We continue to seek to grow in our knowledge of God and in our understanding of what it means to be a community of his people for the world as we strive to follow the way of Jesus together.