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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that graphic is a little disturbing...looks like the text is about to slam the guy right in the mouth. Either violent or...ew, just don't want to go there.

I think the choice of name is so knowing and contrived that it is patronising. I think the music, sermon and statement show that this is just one big con trick. It's the self-righteous doing it to the scum of the earth and their real motive is to stop them being scum and turn them into self righteous bigots like themselves.

An emerging church should, by definition, emerge from the people. As yet, I have not come across one where everything is not dictated from above.

There are several 'punk rock churches' out there and this seems to be one of them. They seem appealing to someone with a background like mine, but too often they are just another extension of one of the local fundamentalist churches. They have the veneer of rebellion but on the inside its the same old fundamentalist message. There is a 'punk rock church' in Minneapolis though that is Lutheran and that I am very jealous of. It is called The Mercy Seat. It is at
I am in Texas and will probably never go there but it appears that they do have liturgy and do have more than just a veneer of rebelliousness/questioning attitude.

Indeed. i call it the ole' bait and switch....they look tatally radical on the outside but scratch just beneath the surface and their theology still sucks. the pastors at mercy seat are dear friends of mine...if you look back to last month i write about going to the funeral of mark's wife natalie. the punk service was started by their intern travis who is a luther seminary student and member of a punk band.
thanks for your the way what does "folks with my background" mean?

By 'folks from my background' I just meant that I was very much into local/indie/punk music as a teen and young adult and that, at that time, I didn't know much about thoughtful Christianity (mostly due to my own ignorance). The mix of the two at a place like the Mercy Seat probably would have appealed to me.

Reading your blog is probably where I heard about the Mercy Seat in the first place, but I just forgot about it!

Nice, even-handed critique of SOTE. I haven't been, but I know the pastor. As he tells it, the name of the church was foisted on him by his congregants; he tried to talk them out of it. 35 minutes is hard to imagine, as is me mouthing the words "intoxicating scent."

"Jesus is my boyfriend!" I just peed myself. Again.

What a sad "church"

As a thirty-something pastor who honestly will self-combust at the sound of "Jesus Is My Boyfriend" music [I use the same term], thanks for your post. I assume you've seen the South Park episode where Cartman starts a Christian boy band... yes?

What's fascinating is how I read the flyer and putting together the "Scum of the Earth" name and the "Questions Answered" line I thought it would be some sort of church working hard at making the Bible relevant for today... then I read what they believe about Scripture... obviously NOT what they're doing...

Looking back at the flyer makes me think of 60's and 70's Jesus Freak religion...

You said: "Read the synoptics in parallel and get back to me on that."

I say, "Right on, sister!"

Thanks for the review.

Well this is a new review. I began attending Scum a little over a year ago when I moved to Denver. I have googled it occasionally to see what's being said, and hadn't found this one. I see you've perhaps been a new visitor?

I'm not a skater or a punk. I've never been homeless. I live in the suburbs and have no tattoos and only piercings in my ears (my tongue piercing has grown closed.. my one bit of "rebellion" i suppose, and i'm not sure i have the pain tolerance for a tat, though I'm considering it). But apart from the fact that I "look normal", Scum has become my home. It's a place for the "right brained and left out" either people that have been kicked out of conventional churches, or just didn't go for not feeling comfortable, or just those of us that believe church should be more than a social club where you go to prove how righteous you are. Many of us have been broken, chewed up and spit out by conventional, traditional churches.

I'm glad that you felt like you fit in there and that you weren't looked at strangely because of your body art. I'm also glad that you arrived in time to either enjoy the meal or to at least see that it's offerred. I've had the joy of helping to prepare the meal and help serve people, and I'm always touched by the gratitude of people receiving a free meal, whether they're homeless or not.. hell, even *I* enjoy and am thankful for a free meal and I'm not homeless or starving.

I understand that our worship may not be what you enjoy, and that's fine. Each of us enjoy our own things. I happen to enjoy variety, sometimes being a part of a liturgical service (which i had never experienced until i attended a presbyterian college) but other times enjoy the honest expression of a simplistic phrase in repetition to my Creator. Sometimes fancy words and such aren't needed, but just honest and raw emotion. Perhaps it is a little lovey-dovey or "jesus is my boyfriend" type stuff, but considering our congregation, I'd say it fits pretty well. To be fair though, you experienced one night. We have several bands that do a variety of songs, sometimes including faster tempo'ed hymns such as "be thou my vision" and "The Wonderful Cross". It depends on the week, and the sermon that's being preached... as the music typically tries to stay in line with whatever is being spoken about.

Anyway, I've probably taken up too much of your comment space as it is. I'm glad you came to see what Scum was about. If you're ever interested in a small group, check the site and check one out, no expectations from us, and no push to make you come back to Scum, just an offer to you from me, to get to know some pretty kickass people. And you're always welcome to return to Scum if you wish.


Thanks so much fro your comments. You truely embody hospitality in your remarks and I thank you for your example. I tend to be a bit cranky in my remarks but never want to hurt others. I'm glad that you are among the many who have found a home at Scum.
Perhaps I'll give it another go. Would you meet me there sometime?
You can get my e-mail off the blog.

Scum is awesome. Sure, sometimes the music is a bit on the low-budget side but that's coming from someone who loves Hillsong music. I love everything about Scum church in Denver. I've lived on and off the streets since I was 13 yrs. old and the way Scum accepted me is still beyond my comprehension. And I grew up in church. I've seen the legalistic side, having grown up in an independent Baptist home. I've experienced many different types of worship. Scum isn't just for the right-brained and left out. Scum is also for those of us who wanted to walk away, throw in our chips I might say. Before I began attending Scum I was definitely ready to do all that. So all I can give is thanks. Thank you to a church who 'stood in the gap' and helped pull me back into community. As difficult as community sometimes is. Thank you. Oh, and btw...If I try hard enough I can visit any church and find something wrong with it. It's really not that difficult anymore. Trust me on that one! Good day.

Ugh. I have used the term, "Jesus is my Boyfriend Music" myself, describing some church songs I ridicule. Must not have been paying attention that night at Scum. On the other hand, I have read some church mystics who see Jesus as the "lover of our souls," and longed for that kind of intimacy in prayer.

Thanks for visiting our church and spreading the word about it through your review. I'm a worship leader at SOTEC (we have several - I wasn't leading the night you were there), and I thank you for the compliment on how well the band played musically. Lyrically, I share your disdain for "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs, and for that song you mentioned in particular.

Try to understand, however, that leading worship at a place like Scum is a very difficult thing to do. Scum is full of an odd mix of people who know exactly what they like musically, who take music more personally than most people - and all of us are critics. On any given Sunday that I lead worship, it's guaranteed that some portion of the church won't care for it and, therefore, probably won't be worshiping. Your complaint on the lyrics is a perfect example of that. All we can do is try to be relevant to as much of our congregation as possible, keep variety in it, and be honest and open in worship ourselves. As a side note, I can count on one hand the number of times that particular song has been done at Scum.

While we have used liturgy on occasion in our services, many people at Scum would say they're too punk-rock to not be turned off by that. And if you'd been shunned by a church or two and were looking for some place you feel truly welcome (which is exactly what Scum strives to be), would you want to feel pressured to chant along with strangers the words to some Scripture or creed you don't know? Though we do it regularly, just praying together can feel weird enough for a number of people who come through our doors.

Sorry for the long response. I'd be glad to meet you if you decide to come back.

Wow, Nate. Thanks fro your response. You've really given me some good things to think about. I'd love to meet actually and I do plan on coming back. I interviewed Mike Sares for a book I'm working on and really think he's a good guy. I'm in St. Paul for most of the year, but will be back full time in Denver in mid-December...let's try and connect then. If you don't hear from me, just shoot me an e-mail.

Just found your blog and am loving it - esp. the part about being a "liturgy princess." As someone who grew up in a fundy church singing empty music, and then discovered the Lutheran church, i was amazed at the (yes, emotional) depth of the experience of following the liturgy. The ancient-ness and depth of the texts are, to me, a way more meaningful "alternative" to repetitive simplistic songs that talk a lot more about ME than about JESUS. to me it just makes sense... For those who are looking for a full-body worship experience - think about it... For those who are cynical about following a charismatic (human) leader, and who want to make space in their lives to hear God's still small voice...
i have never been to the church you review, but i think i would have walked out feeling about the same way.
Thanks, again, for your thoughts. my current church is going the way of "high 5's for Jesus" (no, really!) and it's nice to hear that there are others who find meaning in liturgy too :)
(love the "simul justus et peccator" tat, also!!)

I'm just curious what you find in "error" in the Bible? I believe that God wrote the whole Bible through man's hand, and if God wrote it He neither contradicted himself, nor wrote a single thing in error. So, I was just wondering what error's there were in the Word of God?

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