Church opens doors as rock ‘n’ roll venue
Faith takes many forms. It isn’t always open Scriptures and hands clasped in prayer.
Sometimes it’s simpler: faith in the music, faith in the kids, faith in the divine grace of rock ‘n’ roll.
The third Friday of the month, since last year, they’ve come to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley to begin the weekend.
They’re not coming for religion, but to rock. They’re coming to hang out, to chill out, to bliss out.
That the Creative Chaos parties are held in a church says a lot about the kind of place it is, said Robintix Perryman, who envisioned and organizes the monthly parties.
“This is a place where people are accepted for who they are,” Perryman said. “Everyone’s welcome.”
The next Creative Chaos Party is at 7 p.m. Friday, with performances by Decretum, 5MTB, Wall of the Fallen and Lyla’s Purpose, among other bands.
If August’s party was any gauge, as many as 300 people could come — maybe more, maybe less.
“It’s always a surprise,” Perryman said.
The parties, which are held at the church but aren’t an official activity of the church, were nevertheless approved by the church’s board when Perryman proposed them.
They began as drum circles, which “nobody was attending,” Perryman said, and evolved into jam sessions and then into concerts.
The bands don’t get paid to perform, “but they love that at least once a month they have a place to play,” he said.
Likewise, the people who attend, who are mostly in their teens and early 20s, like having a place to hang out and listen to music, he said.
“My rules are no drinking, no drugs,” Perryman said. “I watch the little kids here at the church on Sunday, and my main thing is be nice or leave. It’s the same at Creative Chaos.”
Until August, admission to the parties was cans of food, which were donated to local charities. In August, Perryman tried a $5 admission charge and, after giving a little to the sound crew, had $650 to split between Mesa County Partners and the church. Friday, the $5 admission fee will be given to The House, a proposed home and resource center for homeless teens.
“I like the idea (of the Creative Chaos parties),” said the Rev. Zakir Lawrence Henson, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley. “It gets us known out there, and that’s not a bad thing.”
Henson, who interned at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Okla., one of the largest in America, said there was something happening in that church from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
He would like to see that happen in Grand Junction, too: the church as a welcoming community heart and gathering place.
Currently, the church’s board is discussing how best to continue the Creative Chaos parties — there have been concerns about damage to the church building, Henson said — but Perryman said he hopes they can continue and grow.
“I think people like having a night to come and be themselves,” Perryman said. “They like just having a place to come and listen to music.”
JOIN THE PARTY
The Creative Chaos Party will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley, 1022 Grand Ave. Admission is $5, which will be donated to The House.