We did it. We found a place to land for worship every Sunday in the West End. Praise be to God-who was, who is and who is to come. It's been a long few months-searching, calling, asking, touring, considering. And then, three days before our final worship at Acme, I connected with Rabbi Shalom Reznik-Bell at Sholom Home to ask about the possibility of using their gathering space on Sundays. He just called with a definite "Yes." We are moving into a long-term care facility. That ought to squash any mutterings of Humble Walk being a hipster emergent church. Keeping church weird at every bend. Why Sholom Home? Sholom Home is in the heart of the West End-right next to Mississippi Market and Nova Classical Academy. The room where we will gather looks out onto West 7th Street (like Fresh Grounds, The Pilney and Acme). The gathering space is bright-with orange and yellow and huge, light-drenched windows. It doesn't smell like urine (I know you were wondering).
We are the church that goes to people--the church that gathers where people are already gathering (Skinner's Pub back in the beginning, Adam's Park, lawns and alleys, Shamrock's). As it turns out, not many elders find their way to a storefront worship service. For now, we are gathering at Sholom Home and residents who are looking for a protestant service can make their way to us. When I presented the idea to Rabbi Shalom Reznik-Bell, he lit up--he couldn't have been more encouraging and enthusiastic. "We have a lot of kids and movement. It's sort of wild at times," I told him. He responded, "That's fantastic!" I said, "There are about 30-40 of us on Sunday." "That's incredible!" "We do a lot of music and art and hands on stuff during worship," I said. "Alright!" he said.
Logistics: Park in their lot. Walk in the main doors. Sign in at the greeter desk. By-pass the coffee shop/deli to your right and enter the main gathering room. Look for other Humble Walk people. Find a chair that they have already arranged and set up for us. (What??)
Every place we have gathered has shaped and stretched us. How might this one? And, as we move into our sixth space in (nearly) six years, we know this one is temporary. It's the nature of this Humble Walk and traveling lightly. Both Sholom home and our community are holding this loosely. We'll evaluate as we go. For now, celebrate the fact that we get to stay in the neighborhood, outside of a church building and that they couldn't be more excited to provide space for us.
Oh. Also, they don't want any rent money. Shazam! (Think about how we might use the money we have budgeted for rent!?) No door locking/unlocking/hauling up from basements. We walk in with one scaled-down worship bin. Well, or two. But two at the VERY most. This Sunday, we gather at Sholom and welcome Communist Daughter as our guest artist. Come and help us break in a new space. We give thanks for this answer to our collective prayers and being on the receiving end of hospitality.