thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Tuesday, April 6


House of Mercy is a church located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The church was founded in 1996 and seems to be doing a pretty impressive job of reaching the unchurched of their community. I don't know anything about the church, but browsing on the site it seems that they are heavy on social action, rich in tradition and involved deeply in the arts.

In regards to their beginning, their website says:

    Debbie, Mark, and Russell—frustrated by contemporary Christian popular culture and saddened that so many of their old friends apparently wanted nothing to do with the Jesus story—asked each other: "What if we started our own church, what would it look like?"

    Then came the now famous "St. Paul Blessing" of '96. After consuming some extremely hot Thai food and spending some time in their respective isolation tanks, the three young ministers simultaneously presented each other with three identical sketches of Theresa of Avila on a cocktail napkin. In each of the sketches there appeared five glyphs, which, when deciphered, yielded five identical principles that each of the pastors wanted to follow in inventing their own church.

    The three of them agreed that their new church would have to be:
  • Christian and not religiously generic

  • intellectually honest and rigorous beyond the bounds of popular free church forms of worship and open to "liturgical eclecticism"

  • evangelical in the broad sense of being grounded in the good news of God's grace and not the bad news of shame and religious manipulation

  • a stimulus for social justice, consciousness-raising, and acts of mercy.
Check out House of Mercy here.