New church opens in October

The new Rock Harbor Church in Sherwood, lead pastor Brian Burman explains, is not being created to steal members from other congregations in town.

The church, which will meet at Safari Sam's beginning October 1, "is for those who have described church as too boring, intimidating, or not relevant to their life," Bruman said. "We want your Sunday morning experience to relate to your Monday morning life,"

In that spirit, visitors can expect a more casual and lively service - "I'll be up there in shorts," Burman noted. A rock band will play during worship services, and Kid's Cove, a ministry for children, will meet concurrently with the Sunday morning services. Even the location is low key compared to some churches; during business hours, Safari Sam's is a family center with jungle gyms, mini golf, games and a day care program.

After holding a few preview services in September, Rock Harbor will hold a grand opening Oct. 1 with a continental breakfast. On Oct. 15 the church is holding a "stay and play" day, where families can stick around for activities at Safari Sam's, which opens at noon on Sundays. Rock Harbor is having a "pizza feed" after services Oct. 29.

Burman said the "family-oriented" services will revolve around the church's four core values: truth, authenticity, community and hope. In addition to Sunday services they'll have men's and women's study ministries and community groups that will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Brian and his wife Janiesa haved lived in Oregon for eight years now, and last started a church in Newberg. After graduating from college with an electronic engineering degree, Brian began in youth ministry while pursuing a graduate degree from Western Seminary. He met Janiesa while planting a church in San Jose, Calif.

Rock Harbor is sponsored by Growing Healthy Churches, an organization that is associated with the American Baptist Churches of the West.

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