Church for all Sinners and Saints (Beer & Hymns) -
We are a community of around 180 people. There are married couples, young families, Baby Boomers and a few folks in their 70s. Other than that, it's mostly folks who are between the ages of 22 and 42 and single. Maybe a quarter of us identify as Lutherans; the rest are post-Evangelicals, Methodists, agnostics, Reformed, Episcopalian, and the ever-popular "nothing". Actually, it's pretty easy to look around on any given Sunday and think, "I'm unclear what all these people have in common."
We follow the ancient liturgy of the church (chanting the Kyrie, readings from scripture, chanting the Psalm, sermon, prayers of the people, Eucharist, benediction, etc.) We also sing the old hymns of the church. So there's lots of ancient tradition at HFASS, but there's also some innovation. We always include poetry and a time called "Open Space" in which we slow down for prayer and other opportunities to actively engage the Gospel; writing in the community's Book of Thanks, writing prayers, making art or assembling bleach kits for the needle exchange in Denver. We like to say that we are "anti-excellence/pro-participation", meaning that the liturgy is led by the people who show up. The pastor offers the Eucharistic prayer and (most times) the sermon; all the other parts of the liturgy are led by people from where they are sitting. As a matter of fact, even the music is made by the community — with the exception of the 4 or 5 times a year that we have a bluegrass service, the liturgy is a capella. So, all the music you hear in liturgy comes from the bodies of those who showed up.
Our minister is Nadia Bolz-Weber. She is ordained in the ELCA and started HFASS while she was still in seminary. She has a B.A. in Religious Studies from CU Boulder and an M.Div. from Iliff School of Theology. You can find her writings at her Blog Jim Wallis' God's Politics, Patheos, and her own website, Sarcastic Lutheran. In 2008 her book, Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television (Seabury Press) was published. It's a theological and social commentary based on her experience of watching 24 consecutive hours of Trinity Broadcasting Network. (Really.) Soon, her second book, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (Jericho Books), will be published. It's a theological memoir.
Church for all Sinners and Saints (Beer & Hymns)
2201 Dexter St
Denver, CO 80207 US