Christmas Letter 2021

written on 17 December 2021 by Indy Hollway & Erin Iwata

Art by Erin Iwata

Last Christmas was so fundamentally different from this one that it’s hard to believe that only one year had passed. Our Church Too was a baby and we had no idea how long the project would last, or how much it would go on to help people. We were together in Amsterdam, working out what our lives were going to look like, trying to figure out what God was saying to us. We were navigating lock-down as international families, whilst trying to build a community to support our other friends who found themselves alone at Christmas. But all the while, we were strengthened by our passion for this project, our love for the church, and our devotion to each other.

This year, Our Church Too is in its awkward teenage phase. We’re having to let go a little bit, and let it grow. We’re still here for parental support, we still guide the general direction, and encourage expansion. But the community that has grown this past year is really coming up with the new ideas. They’re telling us what they want, and we are more than happy to provide.

We also aren’t together this Christmas. Both of our times in the Netherlands came to an end, and we both moved back to our home countries. Erin is back in Vancouver, Washington attempting communal living on her family property. The days are full of adjusting her kids back to English schooling, reintegrating into her family of origin, and house projects (yay pink paint). Coming back into a community she grew up in has its own challenges. The last two years have changed ALL the spaces; people are tired, isolated, and divided. Everything feels a bit fractured. Her family is trying to figure out how to navigate this old space while integrating growth from the last 5 years. Erin is, as always, obsessed with “the Church,” or how we work out our lives together. There is a lot to figure out in 2022 with old friends in a new mental, emotional, and spiritual space.

Indy is back in the UK, specifically Scotland. They and their partner have decided to travel around the UK for a while, visiting new places and taking in all things nature. Being back in the UK has inspired them, and they are currently working on several writing projects. They feel like 2022 will be a year of self-discovery, mostly because last year they were too distracted by the idea of self-discovery to actually discover anything. But first and foremost, they want to make it back down to Brighton for Christmas to spend time with their family.

We’ve all evolved and changed this year, and Our Church Too is no different. Next year we have a whole bunch of exciting new projects such as monthly workshops, and regular open meetings. We are very excited to have launched our podcast, and have loads of great and inspiring content to share with you. We are inviting new people to join our team, and are hoping to continue sharing important stories and experiences.

We are wishing you a merry Christmas filled with joy, peace, and family. We hope that you have enjoyed our advent series this year, and are taking the time to think about your own Christmas wish lists.

Love Erin & Indy, and the whole Our Church Too team.