Not even close. But, Pastor Nadia is Lutheran enough for all of us. Pastor Reagan is Episcopalian, but loves Lutheran theology. So, HFASS is a big tent.
Well, at this point we are a community of around 250+ people. There are married couples, young families, Baby Boomers and a few folks in their 70s. Other than that, it's mostly folks who are between the ages of 22 and 42 and single. Maybe a quarter of us identify as Lutherans; the rest are post-Evangelicals, Methodists, agnostics, Reformed, Episcopalian, and the ever-popular "nothing". Actually, it's pretty easy to look around on any given Sunday and think, "I'm unclear what all these people have in common."
Pretty much just like a Rolling Stones concert... uhhh, we mean, nothing at all like a Rolling Stones concert. We follow the ancient liturgy of the church (chanting the Kyrie, readings from scripture, chanting the Psalm, sermon, prayers of the people, Eucharist, benediction, etc.) We also sing the old hymns of the church. So there's lots of ancient tradition at HFASS, but there's also some innovation. We always include poetry and a time called "Open Space" in which we slow down for prayer and other opportunities to actively engage the Gospel; writing in the community's Book of Thanks, writing prayers, making art or assembling bleach kits for the needle exchange in Denver.
We like to say that we are "anti-excellence/pro-participation", meaning that the liturgy is led by the people who show up. The pastors offer the Eucharistic prayer and (most times) the sermon; all the other parts of the liturgy are led by people from where they are sitting. As a matter of fact, even the music is made by the community — with the exception of the 4 or 5 times a year that we have a bluegrass service, the liturgy is a capella. So, all the music you hear in liturgy comes from the bodies of those who showed up.
We now have two pastors.
Our Founding Pastor is the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. She is ordained in the ELCA and started HFASS while she was still in seminary. She has a B.A. in Religious Studies from CU Boulder and an M.Div. from Iliff School of Theology. You can find her writings at her Blog Jim Wallis' God's Politics, Patheos, and her own website, Sarcastic Lutheran. In 2008 her book, Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television (Seabury Press) was published. It's a theological and social commentary based on her experience of watching 24 consecutive hours of Trinity Broadcasting Network. (Really.) Her second book, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (Jericho Books), is a New York Times Bestseller. It's a theological memoir. Her third book, Accidental Saints: Finding God in the Wrong People, will be released in late 2015. Stay tuned.
Our Pastor is the Rev. Reagan Humber, who joined the HFASS gang in March 2015. He is ordained in the Episcopal Church and comes from HFASS's big sister congregation, St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Before coming to House, Pastor Reagan served as a hospice chaplain in the Bay Area. He has a B.A. in Religion from Wake Forest University, an M.A. in Italian (random) from Middlebury College and an M.Div. from The Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Berkeley, CA). Pastor Reagan moved to Denver with his partner Brian and their dog Ogre. Being Southern, Pastor Reagan can often be found eating or making pie and drinking sweet tea.
We are currently using the parish hall of a friendly Episcopalian church; windows that open, hardwood floors and best of all: no pews! That's the good news. The bad news is that there is no air conditioning. We do what we can to make folks comfortable (popsicles and hand fans in the Summer).
Pray without ceasing. And consider offering a one-time or ongoing financial gift.
Yes! We have an area in our worship space which features a nice rug and a basket of toys for little ones. We like for kids to be actively involved in our worship life as full participants. However, a nursery and children's liturgy are also provided for families who want to use them at the first service. The nursery attendant will be downstairs for children 4 months to 3 years and a children's liturgy will also take place for children ages 3-10 (they go downstairs together after the Prayer of the Day and come back during the Sharing of the Peace).
We have an Open Table at HFASS, which means that everyone without exception is invited to receive the bread and wine at communion which for us is the body and blood of Christ. This is His table. We also offer gluten free and non-alcoholic bread and wine.
House is important because it is experimenting with new ways to do church which make sense to urban postmodern folks. It is a place where: