|Congregation Description:||Salem is located on the edge of Uptown in South Minneapolis. Our neighborhood includes young people in and just out of college/grad school, retired folks moving into the city, immigrants, long time residents, homeless younger people, some families, lots of artists, some in the GLBTQ community, and a wide diversity of people in between. As one goes closer to the lakes the economic status rises, and closer to the interstate the poverty level heightens. |
We worship Sunday mornings at 8:30am for a Traditional Service and 10:30am for a Jazz Service. Sunday School is at 9:15am and Adult Ed is at 9:40am.
Salem is 122 years old. 7 years ago the Salem community made a very intentional decision that it wanted to continue as a congregation and was ready to make changes in order to survive. This began a process of spirited transformation: transformation of facility, of culture, and of community. We are in the process of this transformation still today.
Salem has partnered with Lyndale United Church of Christ (UCC), and more recently, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Both are congregations located in our general neighborhood facing the dilemmas of a smaller congregations in large urban church buildings. Together the three congregations have partnered (not merged), now sharing space (owned together), a youth group and Sunday School, and some staff. We worship together about 4 times a year. Together the congregations live vibrantly, maintaining identity and history.
After years of planning and delays and construction, last Christmas (Dec. 2011) we moved into a renovated shared ministry center called SpringHouse MInistry Center. To bring this to birth, Salem sold a large portion of its land where 63 units of affordable workforce housing now rest; Lydnale UCC sold its building to another congregation; First Christian sold its building to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The three congregations share a right-sized and sustainable re-developed ministry center in a portion of Salem's facility. These are exciting times as we've watched demolition and building and are growing into new ministry in our neighborhood and a new life in this shared ecumenical ministry center. It is the realization of years of prayers, vision, and work and offers a model and tremendous hope to many around the nation.
While all this redevelopment was happening, Salem spent 5 years out of our building. For 2 1/2 years we were with Lyndale UCC in their building, and then for 2 1/2 years Salem and Lyndale were together in the building of an arts organization in the neighborhood, office-ing there and using a theater and gallery space for worship. This offered an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of arts and culture and religion mixing.
Salem's transformation is enlivened by living as a Reconciling in Christ congregation, engaging the greater church in issues of welcome, inclusivity, race, creation care, and serving our neighborhood and wider community. We are part of the ministries at ZOOM House, Simpson Housing Services, Feed My Starving Children, ISAIAH faith-based community organizing, and others.
This type of transformation and redevelopment (of the facility and congregation) is challenging and rich. Though smaller, the congregation continues to grow and is a mix of people with space to even more fully exemplify the body of Christ. A student at Salem must be ready to engage with issues of diversity and learn in a context of change and transformation. The congregation enjoys being a learning space for students and embraces this part of our ministry.
|Congregation Keywords:||transformational, redeveloping, diverse, edgy, urban, progressive, ecumenical, social justice, new|