HomePDX – Tearing Down Church, Giving Back Love
What do you do when church seems upside down? When it seems like church is more about going through the motions than anything else? ThinkFWD host Spencer Burke spends some time with Ken and Deborah Loyd, who live in Portland, Oregon, and had this experience about 11 years ago. They decided to do things differently—to create a setting where people came because they wanted to be there—to put church back into the hands of the people. This became The Bridge, and from The Bridge another group was born, Home PDX, which is church for people living outside and experiencing poverty.
Home PDX is not about charity, it is about living life together and taking care of each other, says Jessica Roy, a recently ordained minister for Home PDX. When Spencer asked about how Home PDX was started, Ken said simply, “We tore it all down and gave back love.” Deborah explained further that they tried to see where God was already moving in the culture and what it would look like “if He was here, right now, among us in this place.” And what that looked like to them was love, food, clothes, and sharing together with people who live outside.
Jessica says she learned from her time at The Bridge that “who you are right now, in this moment, is enough.” As she has become part of the Home PDX community, she realizes that she is ministered to and blessed and loved by people who live in that outside community, more than she could ever minister to them. Her recent ordination was unique—instead of being ordained from the top-down, it was a “bottoms up” event. The Home PDX community laid hands on her and ordained her as someone who gives her life for their community.
Ken, Deborah and Jessica agree that they have come to understand that they truly know very little. Working with people who live outside, they have to learn a whole new language, another culture, and their constant prayer is, “God, show us what we’re missing.”
- What do you believe about ordination? Can it be bottoms-up, where the recognition and respect comes because the community speaks it into being?
- What do we think of “bright ideas” versus “real ideas” that come from people in the trenches?
Group or Staff Questions:
- What if we asked, “Can you teach me?” What would the church look like from the outside in?
- As a community, where do we see God is already moving? What does it look like when God shows up in that context?