Wednesday, October 31, 2007

About Jeff Street

Jeff Street collage
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Jeff Street is home for us. Community. Sanctuary.

Jeff Street is a safe place where we know we will be loved, welcomed and encouraged.

At the same time, Jeff Street is a risky place, where we are challenged to begin building the Kingdom. Jesus did that and they killed him, so we try to keep our eyes open and our minds clear.

Still, we are a happy community of love-sowers, peacemakers and troublemakers. We are singers and songwriters, artists and poets, teachers and social workers and students and homeless and silly persons. Most of all, we are family for one another. And that is no small thing.

We welcome you to our page and hope you find a bit of family here.

We are nominally Baptists but rejected by the Southern Baptists. We’ve been called the Church of the Last Resort by those ready to leave the established church altogether. We’re a rowdy and fun-loving collection of (often recovering) Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Quakers and probably not a few Others.

We are a Peace Church. We’re an Open and Affirming Church. We have had the privilege, since 1988, of having perhaps the greatest preacher – Pastor Cindy – in Louisville, in Kentucky (so far as we can tell) and quite likely, in all of these United States of America.

We’re urban and gritty in our location and commitments but rural and free in spirit. We were formed by a reformed riverboat gambler and murderer in the 1880s as a mission with and to the outcasts of society and have remained much the same through our history.

We are (or have been) the home of the Urban Goatwalker, the Grueling Toadsuckers (aka the Sabbath Economics group), the Jeff Street Left-leaning Men’s Ballet Club (aka, the Men in Tights), the Endangered Animals Club, Firedoor Man, Captain Mellow, Cindy the Hoer, Father Roberto, the Reclaiming Christmas Project, the Women’s Spirituality Group, storytellers, singers, cyclists, salty saints, poets, prophets, priests, rabble rousers and troublemakers of all shapes and sizes.

That is who we are in a very big nutshell (and perhaps in these pages, you’ll discover some of what’s behind each of those names and groups).

Jeff Street is, most of all, a place where we love each other. We’re not always in agreement on every topic (we retain too many Baptists to be that), but we get along famously just the same. We have fun together. We mourn together. We do great stuff together. For instance:

Each fall, we have a church retreat where we play games, pray, sing and have silly skits together.

Each spring, we have an Earth Day service where we thank God for this blessed creation and challenge one another to be true stewards thereof.

Each Christmas, we celebrate the Reclaiming Christmas Project, in which we encourage one another and family to not give to us – because we have so much already – but rather give to a project to build a well in Nicaragua, or help teach shepherds in Morocco to read, or some similar project.

Each month we host the Urban Goatwalker, a coffeehouse for all, but especially for our homeless and mentally-challenged friends who don’t often get to be out at a restaurant enjoying coffee and snacks and listening to (and performing) live music and poetry.

Each Easter morning, we party like a buncha loons.

In addition to the regular holidays, we also like to celebrate Turn Off Your TV week, Buy Nothing Day, Bicycle Month and enjoy at least a few potlucks during the year. What other church would have Supertramp and Abba quoted in sermons? Or sing Yellow Submarine as an invitational? Or Blow Up Your TV as special music?

We regularly do stuff together in small groups – eating lunch or dinner, going to see a midnight showing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, going to concerts or dances or having our own stringed hootenannies.

Every Sunday, you can expect to see bicyclists, wheelchair riders and walkers coming to church, in addition to those in autos. Every Sunday, you can expect to be moved by the music, challenged by the sermon, hugged and greeted by your friends. We are ever dared to promote peace, to oppose injustice, to love God’s good earth, to take the Bible seriously and ourselves less so, to love one another, to love our enemies and work on creative ways to subvert the destructive paradigms of our day and overcome evil with good.

Jeff Street is such a blessed place. A radical place. A place where ALL are welcomed and encouraged and truly nifty and subversive stuff takes place.

One of my favorite descriptors for Jeff Street came from a visitor who, upon observing the many children wandering around, playing with and being hugged by various adults, said, “I can’t tell which children belong to which adults – they seemed to be so loved by everyone.”

Lord, may that always be the case for us all.

Welcome to our community.


At 11/25/07, 1:01 AM, Blogger living dead said...

hey guys I googled your name and wound up here. Oh how I screwed up but in the midst of my stupidity I was still so blessed. Hind sight is 20/20 right? I think about you guys alot. Hope that we could embrace each other someday again

At 2/28/08, 9:21 PM, Blogger rtstxtrdnr said...

I found you as I have been doing a personal research on and have found you to be the most interestingly wonderful to hear about! God bless you!

At 2/29/08, 10:29 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Thanks, you're both welcome here anytime. Or, if you're ever in Louisville...

At 10/1/09, 8:35 PM, Blogger bikergranny said...

I linked to your site through a directory for co-housing.
I am putting together a 3yr plan toward retiring as I near the necessary age for the socialist programs of medicare and social security.
I am a registered nurse.
I have a multi-denominational religious background including Catholic, Methodist, anti-institutional-do my own thing, non-denominational and I currently attend a 'reconciliation' Methodist church with a lady pastor and a diverse membership.
I live in Nashville, Tennessee. Co-housing is a living option I am interested in and looking into.
I've looked at many co-housing web sites and yours interests me the most.
Where are you in this endeavor?
Janet Pierce.


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