Last night I had the opportunity to visit Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, MN.
To give some background, I work at a church where we have a venue that is loosely modeled on Solomon’s Porch so it was very interesting to get back to the beginning and see what and where some of our ideas came from.
The experience was different, interesting, comfortable and strange.
I love the fact that they meet in an old church they have retro-fitted to suit their needs. It gives the space a warm and artistic feel. The high cathedral ceiling, wooden beams and warm yellow paint with art all over the walls was total satisfaction for my visual ADD.
The space bridges ancient and modern with 100+ year old architecture mixed with a speaker system and huge screens with images and words projected. They also provide free wireless and I saw quite a few mac’s around the room (no PC’s – sorry folks!)
The whole room is full of couches set up in the round with the focus in the center of the room. There really were only about three chairs in the room, which made for a really comfortable and casual atmosphere. The service I attended began at 7pm, but it was clear at 7:10 that it would begin whenever they were ready to begin. Personally, I had no problem with the flexibility.
The songs were strange to me. They did all original work, which is fine, but to me, being a songwriter, they were hard to sing and not catchy. Then I get into the theology of the songs which I am very cognizant of as a worship leader. I would have to say that I cannot get behind some of the theology of the songs sung. For instance, I am uncomfortable singing God as ‘she’ mostly because in the Bible God is referred to as ‘he.’ Also, I am alright with the idea of the Holy Spirit groaning for us (cf Romans 8), but in one of the songs there was a section for us to groan. For me, it felt too charismatic.
I loved the way we did Communion. We served each other by actually breaking bread and handing it to a person. For the Cup, you had a choice of juice or, here it comes, WINE! Personally, I think it was a wonderful way of participating in the Lord’s Table.
The service contained a fairly long section on Social Justice and featured a young woman from the organization Freedom Firm about freeing people from sex-trafficing in India.
Overall it was a very communal, organic experience. I appreciated the community, the atmosphere and the discussion. The concerns I have are theological and don’t know if I could reconcile that as a regular attender.
I will probably process this experience for a while longer and if I think of more I will post it.