Embarking on a spiritual ‘Voyage’

People have been waiting for something like Voyage for a long time, according to Pastor Jerry Michaels.

People have been waiting for something like Voyage for a long time, according to Pastor Jerry Michaels.

“People say, ‘You are kidding. We’ve been waiting for something like this to come to the area,’” he said.

Voyage, a unique authentic faith community, will have its First Gathering Sunday at Ridgetop Junior High School in Silverdale.

“I’m excited and nervous and all of the above,” Michaels said of the First Gathering.

He and his family moved to Bremerton from Portland nine months ago to start Voyage. The former alternative band leader has been a pastor for many years, but this is his first time as a church planner.

Voyage is a nondenominational, non-judgemental authentic faith community “that exists to explore, discover, thrive and impact.”

Michaels said he wants people to explore what it means to be a Christ follower, discover the “life-changing truths” of the Bible, thrive in a relationship with God and impact the community by “showing God’s love” and volunteering in various capacities.

“Once a month, at a minimum, we want to go out and do something in the community,” Michaels said. “Christians these days are known for terrible things and the things we hate, but we want to be most known for going out in the community and helping.”

Starting in October, Voyage members will go out and perform community service together the last Sunday of each month.

“We’ll lock the doors of Ridgetop Junior High and go out in the community,” Michaels said.

He said Voyage is a place “for the young and young at heart.”

“We’re wiring Voyage to meet the needs of emerging generations,” he said. “The music will be very cutting edge. It’s going to be much more rockin’, just a cutting-edge, youthful feel to it.”

Voyage is a casual environment and people are not required to wear anything special to attend the gatherings.

“Voyage is a very come-as-you-are atmosphere,” Michaels said. “You can wear ripped-up blue jeans, pajamas, I don’t care.”

In the come-as-you-are spirit, creative attire, tattoos and piercings are welcomed at Voyage. Michaels said more than a third of the population has tattoos and piercings, yet those people still feel uncomfortable going to churches.

“There’s a real need out there,” he said. “We really want a variety of people. We really want to be multi-generational, multi-ethnic.”

Michaels said his family didn’t know anyone when they moved to Bremerton, but now they’ve met a lot of people and Voyage already has a pretty substantial following.

“We’re not judging people, we welcome everyone,” he said.

Voyage’s First Gathering is 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Ridgetop Junior High School, located at 10600 Hillsboro Drive NW in Silverdale. There will be a bounce house, human gyroscope, gladiator arena, tours of the facility, live music, 8-minute welcome from Michaels and a free barbecue lunch at 11:30 a.m.

Voyage’s teaching series begins at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20 at the junior high school. The first series is called “Could God?”

For more information, visit onthevoyage.org or call (360) 550-4830.