The multifaith campus
Iâ€™ve written elsewhere about Springhouse Ministry, a church building shared by three congregations of different denominations in south Minneapolis. Here is a story about three congregations of different faiths that are now sharing space on Long Island.
In both these cases (and in one I experienced where a largely white Presbyterian church shared our building with an evangelical Hmong congregation), sharing the use of a building can lead to other types of sharing. The Long Island congregations are celebrating Thanksgiving by having each clergy leader preach on a text from anotherâ€™s tradition. The Springhouse churches share Sunday school programming and some mission projects, although they worship separately. In my former church, we gathered for a class on Hmong culture and occasionally shared worship and Hmong/American New Year celebrations.
On one level, this new sharing excites the imagination: a greater unity is being pursued among the faiths! On closer inspection, this kind of sharing may present challenges ranging from who owns what â€śstuffâ€ť (talk to your insurance company before your new partner moves in) to theological differences (what if the church we share our building with is protesting abortion and we are pro-choice?). For many people of faith, there is still distrust lurking in the shadows. Can we all really be just â€śone happy householdâ€ť?
The pressures faced by local churches these days are leading to some strange bedfellows partnering for new mission ventures. I find that exciting. I wonder how God feels about it.
Thanks to Joe Duggan at Congregational Seasons for sharing this story.
Originally posted at From Death to Life