Tag Archives: neighborhood churches

Seward Neighborhood Sustainability Fair March 17 at Faith Mennonite Church

Neighborhood Sustainability Fair! Please Join Us!

Please join us at the Seward Neighborhood Sustainability Fair, Saturday, March 17, 2012, from 1:00-5:00 pm. The fair will be held at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 East 22nd St., Minneapolis, in the Seward neighborhood.

Your neighbors and local groups that work towards sustainability would like to share their ideas with you–and have you join them in such activities as a Clothing X-Change (bring clothes to swap), small Electronics Recycling (bring those old cell phones, P4 computer processors, harddrive and DVD drives, etc., but no CRT’s, please), garden seeds to swap, and your bike that needs tuning or repairing.

Meet your local urban farmer and find out what Seward Coop is up to. Find out what tips your neighbors have about ways they work towards using less of the Earth’s resources and becoming more self reliant.

We are all part of an interdependent web of plants, animals, air, sun, water, and other people. Bring materials that are part of your life or that connect you to this great living tapestry–to weave together with your neighbors. You can bring a strip from favorite clothing or ribbons that hold pictures showing loved ones or places you love, or vines and stems or even plastic strips–anything you can think of.

We want to create an event which is fun and hopeful, while providing opportunities for learning, networking, and increasing the sustainability of our daily lives. Please join us!

If you have questions or comments, please contact Phil Stoltzfus at Faith Mennonite Church, at 612-375-9483, or minstaff@faithmennonite.org

Church Plants its Roots in Seward

Church Plants its Roots in Seward
Seward Church, 2011 21st Avenue South
by Dave Madsen

Imagine walking into your grandmother’s attic and sifting through the endless piles of dusty junk to find a rare painting by a world-renowned artist. The surface of the painting is caked with filth and cobwebs, but underneath the crusty layer of dirt and mold is a masterpiece of vibrant color. This is how David Modder, pastor at Seward Church, describes the responsibility of the church in Western society: to help people see behind the years of corruption and appreciate the beauty of community and worship.

Modder’s relationship with religion stemmed from his upbringing in the church. For a great deal of time, Modder’s entire worldview was centered around Christianity; however, after a tough career experience, his worldview shifted and he was forced to consider what was truly important to his life as a person of faith. From that experience, Modder started Seward Church with a core focus on Jesus and a concentration on community.

Initially, Seward Church’s congregation consisted of only two families in the neighborhood. Since that time, though, Modder and Seward Church have reached out to the surrounding community and their membership has jumped significantly. Modder credits the growth to the church’s intentional outreach to the Seward community and its surrounding neighbors. For an example of how the church extends its hand to the community, Modder said that Seward Church opens its doors on a regular basis for meals and musical performances.

Another way that Seward Church promotes civic engagement is its involvement with the Seward Civic and Commerce Association (SCCA). Modder and members of the congregation attend the SCCA’s membership on a monthly basis, and Modder also reported that he feels welcome in the association as his goals as a church representative are very similar to other business owners’ intentions: to promote a sense of togetherness in the business community and to create a neighborhood environment that welcomes all.

Peace is a driving force that motivates much of Seward Church’s effort in the area and Modder said that the church accomplishes that by striving for justice, passion, and creativity in its work. In addition to the Friday night worship services, Modder said that the congregation coordinates regular small group meetings in the church space, as well as in the homes of certain families. While the large congregations on Friday evenings feel more like “family reunions,” Modder said that the small gatherings of people are where people can “take their masks off” and worship together.

In regard to the future, Modder envisions Seward Church to continue to reach out to everyone in the community, as well as to provide a resource for people who need access to space and/or a place to worship. Seward Church’s space, according to Modder, is multi-functional and can host anything from neighborhood meetings to Radiohead cover bands. Modder said that he would also like to see the Seward Church become more sustainable in the future.

Dave Madsen

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406