A couple of weeks ago I visited a church in Denver called Scum of the Earth. They meet in a huge old grocery store turned into a worship space.
- Every Sunday night before worship they serve a free meal to whoever shows up, and trust me...they show up. Lots of Denver's homeless are fed each week as well as other folks. A church that feeds people before feeding people is a good thing.
- The room was filled with not only the homeless, but skate punks, street kids, goths, you name it...it was difficult trying to conjure the image of another local church where these guys would be found. I liked that my heavily tattooed arms were not looked at twice except in admiration. This is an unusual experience for me in a church setting.
Not so cool stuff
- worship sucked ass. Seriously. There is a huge stage on which stood a band who played (well I might add) rocked up versions of praise songs, 3 of them, followed by a 35 minute sermon follwed by another 3 praise songs. That's it. That's what they did. For a gal who's a liturgy princess, this was weird. No ritual, no liturgy. It felt like a birthday party without a cake or presents or decorations, just the song.
- It's no secret that I'm generally not a big fan of the praise music (to be clear, I'm all for offering thanks and praise to God, just not with vapid lyrics sung to really bad soft-rock). I often refer to this as "Jesus is my Boyfriend" music and no shit, there was a line sung during their worship service that talked (to Jesus) in this way: "Your intoxicating scent when we meet in our secret place". EEWWW! I felt like I needed a shower. You CANNOT talk about Jesus that way....creepy.
- The first words on their "Statement of Faith" sheet are as follows: We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, free from error and the final authority in matters of life and faith. The sixty-six books of the Protestant Cannon contain God's written revelation of himself. Which leads me to wonder "have you read the thing?" Free from error? Read the synoptics in parallel and get back to me on that.
Not my bag theologically or liturgically (if you could even use that word). However, they feed a bunch of folks and there are plenty of churches whose worship I love and with whose theology I agree who don't do anything close to that and where these kids would not be found. I didn't feel like a freak at church and that was nice. They have a Christian community with whom to worship God and that's a good thing.