The new venture, located at 610 W.28th Street in Minneapolis, is home to three progressive Protestant congregations: First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Lyndale United Church of Christ and Salem English Lutheran Church (the former owners). The congregations came together in a unique partnership; common ownership of a building sharing space and renovation expenses while maintaining their separate congregations and identities. The partnership took one of the three buildings, which was the sanctuary portion of the old Salem Lutheran, retrofitting it to house three churches with ample spaces for worship and community activities.
“SpringHouse is a launching pad where we are not only living out our distinct identities while sharing ministries such as Christian Education, but finding new ways to connect with the community as well, ” said Jen Nagel, Pastor of Salem English Lutheran.
“We think SpringHouse is a new way of being church in the 21st century,” said Bob Brite, former Transitional Pastor of First Christian Church. “Too many churches are in the same position we were all in: a smaller membership dealing with large buildings. This is a way that congregations can become more sustainable environmentally and financially and be free to do God’s mission in new ways,” Brite said.
The building features three sanctuaries, two on the main level and one on the lower (garden) level, as well as a commercial kitchen, and classrooms. Most of the spaces can also double as public space for community meetings and events. “While SpringHouse is a space where we can worship God, we also want to have the space available to the community as a place to meet, renew, grow resilience and work for the healing of the nations”, said Don Portwood, Pastor of Lyndale United Church of Christ.
Water images shaped the worship service, which included a mass choir, communion, and representatives from the ecumenical community.
Three Churches, Three Traditions
The Ministry Center is made up of three churches, representing three very different traditions. You can learn more about each tradition below.