House for All Sinners and Saints

  • House for All Sinners and Saints
    I am the mission developer for House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. We are an urban liturgical community with a progressive yet deeply rooted theological imagination. Check out our site for more info.

Cafe Press store for HFASS merch

  • Buy House for All Sinners and Saints stuff!
    You can go to our Cafe Press store and buy t-shirts and other stuff with out Parchment with a nail at the top logo on the front - and "radical protestants; nailing sh*t to the church door since 1517" on the back.
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books and magazines i dig



  • Chris Enstad
    The blog of a dad, husband, Lutheran pastor, emerging, failing, conversing, confessing.
  • Ian Mobsby
    Ian is the Anglican Priest at Moot in London.
  • Matt Stone
    This is a great blog from Down Under which explores Christianity and religious pluralism
  • Luther Punk
    Like Ward Cleaver with tattoos
  • Ian Adams
    Ian is the priest of the MayBe community in Oxford...I think he's pretty stinkin' cool.
  • Rachael
    cool chick...check her out
  • MayBe
    This is a great emerging church community we spent time with in Oxford. Their website is well worth a look, especially the page "the spirit of MayBe"
  • Mad Priest
    If I'm the Sarcastic Lutheran, he's certainly the Sarcastic Anglican...
  • Steve Collins
    Steve's an interesting and articulate emerging church brit.
  • The Mercy Seat
    This is a really groovey new church plant in NorthEast Minneapolis, amazing jazz liturgy. Their website is well worth checking out

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I think it is about what you saw in their service. They do it quite frequently. The community shares with one another about their personal experiences, their stuggles and their triumphants.

I think folks are still looking for authentic relationships and issues that are relevant - talked to them in a community way.

I've grumbled about the troubled state of finances and stewardship among Emergent communities in the past (in a post and also perhaps in a comment on your blog). Emergent's anti-institutional bent is an asset in many aspects of ministry, but presents a challenge in terms of stewardship.

First, you need to get funding - one way or another - for the first several years. Those folks who walk in the door and make a commitment to your new community of faith - they should be giving and you should talk with them about giving - but you shouldn't depend on "new member giving" to sustain your community for the first few years.

But one of the beauties of Emergent is that it is less concerned with filling roles on institutional committees and more with living faith through creative and expressive life practices. From the beginning of your community let giving be a core faith practice. Sure, faith should flow and speak through music, art, time and talents, but these things don't pay the bills. I think that your core folks would appreciate this fact, as they can't send a song or drawing to Visa to pay for those iPod downloads.

Finally, gather a core group of disciplined leaders dedicated to your vision. These core leaders should be praying with you, studying Bible with you, giving generously to the ministry, and reaching out with you. I wouldn't have time for folks who show up, are active, and consider themselves "leaders" but who don't give. At some point leaders have to lead in all aspects - not just in being passionate, intelligent, creative or dedicated with time and talent. I've seen this on a number of fledgling non-profit boards - they've got a bunch of well-wishers who really don't know how to give.

OK. Rant over. I hope and pray that you find a way . . .

One of the best tools we have found is Thrivent's Simply Giving. Being able to give through EFT has really helped Spirit Garage folks reach their giving goals.

Great post! Thanks for sharing. Tithing is and will always be a challenge with younger believers. I love the way that Doug had someone come up and share about his own struggles with giving. It is important that all believers take ownership in all areas of their faith, including tithing. Sacrificial giving is one of the most beautiful, faith stretching exercises of followers of Christ. Great thoughts. Thanks.

I think money is a sword that has at least two edges for congregations...On the one hand, generous giving tends to reinforce a sense of ownership, in a good way, as commitment and engagement. On the other hand, it tends to reinforce a sense of ownership, in a bad way, as entitlement or control.

Goodness knows I don't know how to solve the financial worries of congregations everywhere. I can, though, speak to what sounds good to me, as someone attracted to emergent-style congregations. Maybe there will be something useful in there...

I think one important thing to avoid is a sense of the budget as "finding the income we need to meet our expenses." Instead, the budget should be "finding the balance of income and expenses"--and someone contributing to lower expenses should be seen as equally valuable as someone who contributes more on the income side.

By which I mean: Identify the cost of everything and, as much as possible, provide opportunities to either reduce *or* fund that cost. Some things--pastor's salary, insurance, mortgage--can only be funded. Most services and supplies are more flexible, though, through volunteering and/or having the connections or time to search out the best deals.

On the income side...I think a good goal is to have the budget be a vehicle of inspiration. People generally don't want to do only what is necessary, but also what is exciting. I think it would be interesting to set a guideline that 10% of all income goes out from the congregation to support other "doing good" things, 10% goes into savings to build up reserves so that big projects are feasible in the future, and the remaining 80% goes into current operations. (This also can create a sense of always having "more," avoiding scarcity fears).

In a way, you have an advantage with a new church plant. You don't have the sense of historical obligation to keep up a building or programs inherited from previous generations.

Good luck!

Thanks everyone for your comments.
What you offered is very helpful indeed, thanks for taking the time.

Great insights, Nadia.

I have no doubt that generosity and giving can be a part of the DNA from the beginning. It's a wonderful goal, and a necessary one.

Take care.

terrific post. and stuff to think about too. Thanks

ah...good thoughts and questions. i'm not sure i have any answers more than those provided but do have thoughts as i've been thinking about how all this is going to work with our new emerging community here in flagstaff. initially i think jesus set us up, living as a homeless person. that's not the most conducive lifestyle given children and families. the book of acts also makes it challenging with the "all for one and one for all" communal lifestyle. again, a great romantical thought but isn't too practical given our capitalistic society.

personally, i'm just excited to get the skeptics at the table to talk and wonder about jesus, let alone begin asking them for money. now i know it's more than asking for money to sustain the pastor or the organization for its own sake, but rather about the discipline in coming to terms with the power money plays on and in us. i'm not sure how we'll tackle this, but what i do know is that it will all be couched in relational terms, that we know each other well enough to know that our motives in pursuing such things are not heard suspiciously, but lovingly and as it relates to what God is up to in the world and in me.

good thoughts. the other thought i have is to share the responsibility broadly with others, the leadership as someone previously wrote, put it back on the group and see how they might figure out the challenge, instead of the pastor having to do everything. blessings and spirit-driven peace. is a good place to start, for pondering on the sharing of collective resources... responsible redistribution.
I like to think of tithing more holistically than some financial donation (you are spot on about people being unwilling to match their generousity with their own luxury-spending, a la $30 for a new CD but that's too much for supporting a homeless person...)
so if tithing is about 10%, let us tithe our time, energy, relationships, food, resource use, busy-ness. Slow down, spend energy on people, not just your work, give away some of your groceries, give the environment a Sabbath.

Nice thinking but please Slow down and spend energy on people, do more than your work, give away some of your groceries, give the environment a holly Sabbath.

Wow! Sounds like and incredible experience.

A while back I read Church Re-Imagined by Doug Pagitt (which is essentially a diary of one week at Solomon's Porch). So, I feel like I've been there however virtually that might be. But still, I hope one day to visit in person. Perhaps one day!

Thanks for that great account!

If you think the scriptures are a means of grace, then you need to ask if getting overhead in a building is authentic. Some of the apostles worked for livelyhood though they could rightfully have asked for payroll, some collected monies FOR the purposes of equalizing assets between Christians in different places, and some to give to the poor.

No monies asked for building, materials, no 'stewardship' campaigns etc.. They met in their homes.

Looks to me like the emergent churches (at least those in the twin cities mentioned) are like the '70s Jesus People days and are similarly finding themselves into institutionalization as they go along which may lead to denominational like distinctives....

If you think the scriptures are one of three means of grace, then you need to ask if getting overhead in a building is authentic. Some of the apostles worked for livelyhood though they could rightfully have asked for payroll, some collected monies FOR the purposes of equalizing assets between Christians in different places, and some to give to the poor.

No monies asked for buildings, materials, no 'stewardship' campaigns etc.. They met in their own homes.

However, it looks to me like the Emergent churches (at least those in the Twin Cities mentioned) are like the '70s Jesus People and are similarly finding themselves into institutionalization as they go along which may lead to denominational like distinctives....In light of this, maybe it's time to savor and revere the models of old white haired ladies in the Lutheran pews of the midwest who kept Sunday school going, putting coins in noisy offering cans, praying for tough needs (not wants),who plunked thick scriptural compilations about God on the organ and keeping liturgy going on as it has for centuries. Maybe 'postmodern' (Or as Francis Shaeffer called it, escape from logic)is going to be roped into Moderninity by neccesity.

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