Spiritual experiences don’t just happen in the pews.
Becky Garrison of On Faith wrote this week about a church that uses art to unite a community in North Portland, Oregon. Portland Abbey, a new faith community with Episcopalian roots, holds monthly events with musicians, painters and poets to create space for God to move.
But this group isn’t the only community worshipping outside of a church. There are several others that use alternative spaces to unite for God.
Here are six different places -- other than a church or temple -- people are finding a spiritual experience:
Cafés and pubs
You don’t have to drink to attend this church. Holy Joe’s Café of the United Church of Christ brings people together in cafés and pubs to learn about Jesus Christ and his teachings, according to the church’s website.
Having church in a movie theater isn’t an uncommon experience, even though it has been a much-debated topic, especially among pastors. However, it has been known to help keep the costs of gathering people in an actual church down. And one community, The Movie Theater Church, is the epitome of movie-theater congregations.
The Portland Abbey Arts is an art center that’s bringing people of different faiths together with music, poetry and other artistic experiences. Garrison’s article for On Faith highlighted this center, saying that the focus is to bring people together to spread the faith.
“The focus of my role is to help facilitate the participation of the body of Christ in its own work, which is what liturgy is and church is overall -- the ‘small w’ work of the people participating in the ‘big W’ work of God,” said the Rev. Karen Ward, a priest at the center.
Think it’s impossible to worship in a garage? Think again. In Minnesota, one church, Spirit Garage, is all about opening the door for different believers to gather together. The church offers a summer picnic and garage band performance. The picnic includes a feature film meant to bring together different members of faith to share their religious experiences with each other.
It’s not Drake or Alex Boye belting out lyrics in the concert hall. It’s a preacher, passing out messages from the pulpit to those in the pews. And there’s not just one church doing it. Nightingale Concert Hall offers church presentations, as well as the Alice Miller Chapel.
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