We’re glad you made it to our little corner of the internet. Here are answers to a few things you may be wondering.
Your First Visit
+ Where is Living Spirit?
Living Spirit is located at 4501 Bloomington Ave. in south Minneapolis, in the Northrop neighborhood. We're very close to Metro Transit lines 14 and 46, and a short walk from lines 5 and 23. If you are driving to us, you can get directions here.
+ When do you have services?
We worship every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., year-round. To find times for special services (Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, etc.) check the calendar.
+ Where can I park?
There is a small parking lot (around 20 spaces) behind the church, accessible from 45th St. If you are able to walk a bit farther, please consider street parking. We are located in a residential neighborhood where finding parking is generally easy. There are a few businesses on the corner of Bloomington Ave. and 46th St., so you are more likely to find close parking just north of the church.
+ What should I wear?
Whatever you’re comfortable in! If you want to dress up, feel free to do so, but if that’s not your style you’ll still fit right in with us. Members of Living Spirit come from a variety of cultures where "church clothes" range from everyday wear to a more polished look. Most people ususally end up somewhere is the realm of "business casual." We respect that everyone is dressed appropriately for their own worship experience.
+ What should I expect?
If you're coming for Sunday worship, use the large doors on Bloomington Ave.* There will often be someone standing near the door to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Continue into the gathering area/narthex to get a bulletin on your way into the sanctuary. The bulletin contains the order of service as well as announcements about what we have coming up. You can take a seat anywhere in the sanctuary.
The service will include singing together, reading the Bible, a message from the pastor, and prayer (sometimes silent, sometimes out loud). We use a projection system to display song lyrics, responsive readings, and scripture, so you can follow along without a bulletin if you choose. For a more detailed description of a typical service, check out our worship page.
*You're free to come in from the back or through any unlocked door, but you may have to wander a bit more to figure out where to go.
+ Will there be communion? Can I take communion? Do I have to?
We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of every month. Everyone is welcome to commune with us, regardless of age, religious background, or practice. If you would prefer not to, you can remain in your seat during that portion of the service.
+ What about kids?
Living Spirit strives to be an intentionally intergenerational community. Children of all ages are always welcome in worship. There is a green box on the table in the gathering area with activity binders if kids need something to keep them busy. During the school year, children age four through 5th grade may choose to leave the service after the children's message for an age-appropriate learning and worship experience. You can learn more about what we offer families here.
+ I have a disability. Will I be able to participate?
We sure hope so! If you have concerns that aren't addressed below, feel free to contact us in any way (e-mail or call the church office, talk to an usher or the pastor) so that we can work together to make Living Spirit a place for you.
Living Spirit is wheelchair and walker accessible. There is ramp access to the main doors on Bloomington Ave. A lift between the main and lower levels is located across from the church office. You do not need a key to use the lift. Accessible stalls can be found in the lower level restrooms.
Large print bulletins are available every Sunday. Let an usher know if you would like one.
Hearing assistance devices are available in the sanctuary. Talk to an usher to get set up.
+ What makes Living Spirit unique?
Living Spirit is a multicultural, multiracial, intergenerational church. We have a mix of people who prefer to express their faith through action, advocacy, worship, contemplation, learning, and more. We have members who can trace their relationship to this church back through generations, and members who adopted the U.S. as their home as adults. In short, we're a truly diverse community, and we welcome new perspectives and experiences that we haven't considered yet.
+ What denomination is Living Spirit?
Living Spirit is part of the United Methodist Church (UMC).
The UMC is currently in a place of transition as we figure out what it means to be church together and/or separately. If you have questions or concerns about how Living Spirit fits in with this process, Pastor Suzanne would be happy to address them; send her an e-mail or ask her to schedule coffee with you.
+ Is this a big church or a small church?
Well, it depends on what you're used to. Most services have 45-65 people. Summer Sundays are a little quieter; holidays and special services can be quite a bit busier.
+ What do you believe?
That's pretty big question to answer over the internet (but you probably already knew that). Here's our best shot at making it consise: What We Believe
+ What is Living Spirit all about?
The members of Living Spirit are passionate about a lot of things, but we focus our energy on a few areas.
We care about feeding our neighbors and making sure no one goes away hungry. Parts of that ministry include our free Wednesday supper, free Sunday breakfast, limited food pantry (bread and produce) on Sundays, our community garden, the annual BBQ, and the annual collard green feed.
We’re also concerned about racial reconciliation in our neighborhood, in Minneapolis, and in our world. Our Social Justice Team is active at church and engaged in the community.
Finally, we enjoy the natural abundance God has created, and we want to make sure that it’s available for future generations. We focus on creation care and sustainability , both as a community and as advocates.
Next Steps: Getting Involved
+ Is there Sunday school?
A small group of youth and adults meets every Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. from September to May. The topics vary throughout the year and change frequently, so it's always a good time for someone new to jump in. (Often you can learn the topic in advance by checking the calendar.)
For children age 4 through fifth grade, we offer Children's Church on non-communion Sundays during worship (after the children's message). This is a learning opportunity similar to a traditional Sunday School, with Bible stories, crafts, games, and more.
You can learn more about these options here: Growing in Faith.
+ What about choir and other music opportunities?
We have a small choir that meets most Sundays before worship (9:20 a.m.) to rehearse for a monthly choir anthem. Auditions are not required, and you can give it a shot at any time just by showing up to rehearsal.
We also have a handbell group and an abundance of talented individual musicians who share their gifts with us. If you'd like to be one of them, talk to our music director, Mikyoung Park. Learn more about music at Living Spirit here.
+ Do you have regular small groups?
Not year-round, but we do offer short term small groups and/or weeknight studies a few times a year.
+ How do I become a member?
If you're interested in joining Living Spirit, talk to Pastor Suzanne.
(If you're not interested in joining Living Spirit, we'd be just as glad to have you in worship and leadership week after week. Membership is not required to be a vital part of this community.)
+ How do I get involved outside of worship?
Lots of ways! Want to volunteer on a one time or regular basis? We have monthly trips to Feed My Starving Children and several other regular commitments. (Check the calendar for both the dates and times of those activities, as well as contact information for the group leader.) Want to get involved with the social justice team? Show up at their next meeting. Want to serve at Wednesday supper? Hold a position on the finance team? Plan an event? Talk to Pastor Suzanne or Brent Holmberg (current church council president) and they will connect you with a way to make it happen.