Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Solomon's Porch

We are back from our visit to Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis. Wow – it is a long drive to Minneapolis, but it was a beautiful one. We wanted to experience the community of Solomon’s Porch as depicted in Doug Pagitt’s book Church Re-Imagined. What we experienced with the “flesh” is in fact what one would find described within Doug’s book. The community meets in an old Methodist congregation’s building and when you walk through the doors – you knew this community was reimagining church. The sanctuary pews have been replaced with sofas, armchairs, rocking chairs, tables with seating. It feels like a large coffee house with the art decor on the walls giving a feeling of welcome. There is no pulpit – or central place that symbolizes a concentration of "power." No one seems to be “in charge” although Doug, the founding pastor, spoke and invited everyone to join in the worship. And thus the service was underway. The service begins with a projected call to worship that is read by individuals within the congregation – at random. No one is preselected but join in; when they feel they are called to read, someone speaks up. It symbolized for me that again power and responsibility for the service is dispersed throughout the gathered community and is somewhat organic. After the gathering words are said, people are invited into Communion, with bread and wine or juice placed on tables throughout the sanctuary. The Communion liturgy is a short introduction into community – and then folk go the tables and serve themselves while at the same time chat with those who are gathered around the bread and wine/juice with them. It has a feeling of our passing of the peace only with Communion elements included within the ritual. I will talk more about details of the service, but wanted to say here that Barry and I felt welcomed and included within much of the service. Doug, Barry and I had lunch together after the morning service where we had a much more informative and directed conversation. We attended two services; one at 10:00 am (a summer alternative worship time) with about 25 people in attendance (no children) and a 5:00 pm (their normal worship time) service. The afternoon service had approximately 100 in attendance and lots of active, busy children. Barry and I were the "oldest" people there, with the average age of those attending being between 25 and 35. It was a very interesting day, filling my imagination. Also we met Dan and Lydia’s friends who attend there, which extended the feelings of hospitality by connecting us back to Three Crosses. Web site link: http://www.solomonsporch.com/


Unknown said...

I love that you met our friends there! All four of us come from similar backgrounds and have all expressed that we have each found our true first church "home" - they at Solomon's Porch and Dan and I at COTTC.

DR said...

How awesome! The "re-imagining" theme is alive and well as I am asking CoTTC to read the below article in preparation for service this Sunday. I am not so much interested in the specific ministries in the article but looking forward to discussing the foundational principles that the church operates under.