Last weekend, I took a ridiculously short trip to Seattle. Just a weekend. It's what worked for our family schedule--so, I jammed that weekend full. I arrived mid-afternoon on Friday and found my way to Church of the Beloved's Rosewood Manor. You can read more about it here. http://belovedschurch.org/purchase-rosewood-manor/
The nutshell: the church owns and occupies a 100-year-old mansion. Currently, three households are living in the manor (plus, the Houge's for the weekend). Outside, Beloved has built up incredible raised bed gardens. They also have chickens and bees. Are you beginning to understand the appeal for me? If I could, I would move that Manor and the community of Beloved right into the West End of St Paul and form a mega hippy church with honey and eggs and zucchini for all. Humbly Beloved.
Friday evening, Beloved hosted a big gathering of folks. It was an Epiphany celebration (with spring rolls and beer and kids music led by Nate Houge and chalking of the doorframe).
Rowdy and fun. And I looked around at all of those folks and thought, "Huh. They haven't given up on church."
On Saturday, I spent some time with the Maas family (you might remember Matt preaching at HW during his final year of seminary...). Five months ago, they added Ezra (he's small and cute and learning to sit up). Then, it was down to the Pike Place Market to eat too much food. Oysters on the half shell (who knew how delicious they were?)
With full belly's, we drove off to Luther's Table in the suburb of Renton. The space, food and beer are amazingly well done. I had good converation with Rev. Gretchen Weller Mertes (who leads, bartends, serves, tells the story, wash, rinse, repeat).
I told her that what they are doing at Luther's Table feels so hopeful and risky and good to me. She responded, "Is it really risky?" And I said, "Absolutely." Here's why: Luther's Table is not going to puts butts in worship. Maybe. But, not likely. So, for the Church to take this leap of faith (and to recognize that Word and Sacrament in a very different setting) is thrilling. I am so proud of what they (we) are doing. Claim it, friends. This is an extension of all of us.
Sunday AM, I got to take part in Beloved's inaugural Sunday AM worship. What fun to learn a new liturgy together, in a new space, at a new time of day. Brave work for this community.
It was a gift to be on the receiving end of hospitality. A huge gift, actually. A perfectly timed gift.
I am grateful to my Seattle clan and to the community of Humble Walk for supporting my ongoing learning.
So, who knows of a mansion for sale?