Minneapolis Congregation Keeps Meeting after Church Destroyed by Fire
More than two months after fire destroyed a south Minneapolis church, its congregation keeps going strong.
Worshippers from Walker Community United Methodist Church meet every Sunday, thanks to groups in their community who have been sharing their spaces. The church, built in 1909, was destroyed by fire this past May. According to church councilmember Al Hildebrand said of the loss, "We mourned the loss of this building which really has cradled our exploring spirits. It has been an integral part of who we are as a community."
Since then, the congregation has been meeting at Powderhorn Park, at a local arts center and at other churches, including Living Spirit United Methodist Church.
Of sharing the space, Living Spirit Pastor Donna Dempewolf said "As a community of faith we are called to welcome all to our doors and be good neighbors to one another." Sandy Spieler, Executive Director of Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, explained that the theatre got its beginnings in the basement of the church. Now that the theatre is housing the congregation Speiler says, "somehow it felt really great to have that reciprocal kind of energy of that space that cradled our beginning."
Hildebrand says of his congregation's strength and cohesion, "Its not really tied to a place. It's about our sprits celebrating together."
Church leaders are still looking for a place to rebuild. Their neighbors say they'll help as long as its needed.