Sunday, May 05, 2013

Church Under the Bar

James 4:8 

Draw near to God, 
and he will draw near to you…

 

As I said, Mike & I were in St. Louis last Sunday. We had gone through some tourist booklet, looking for a place to worship downtown. There were quite a few big churches to choose from but then we found a church called The Vintage Ten. We could tell from the website that it was a small group and that it wasn't fancy. We knew how to get there and we could even wear our jeans if we wanted to...and we did.

Let me tell you, I've never been to such a place to worship before. As we approached, I knew we were in for a bit of an adventure...


It doesn't look like an ordinary entrance to a church, does it?

Just inside the bar doors there sat a couple who greeted us warmly and 
pointed us toward the stairs.

When we got down there, we found a worship space set up in the middle of a dark basement room.
There were several rows of chairs set up.
There was coffee, cookies and water.
I saw no windows so they had some lights set up here and there.
People were friendly and kind.

Although we asked several people, we never really found an explanation for their church name.
Do you suppose the Vintage part is because it is under a bar...like vintage wine?
Maybe ten people started the church?
I just don't know.

Their regular pastor wasn't present so a seminary student was there to give the sermon.
He did a nice job.
A guy in shorts played the guitar and we knew most of the songs they sang.
It was really quite nice!
We worshiped.
We prayed.
We sang.
We rejoiced.

I kind of felt like an early Christian, or one worshiping in a
country where Christianity is outlawed. 
I knew that people walking by on the streets and even likely
the people in the bar upstairs had no idea a church
service was going on down there.

We knew they were above us, though.
Whenever someone in the bar used the restroom and flushed a toilet,
we could hear the water whooshing by in the pipes around us.
It really just added to the charm.

I snapped a photo of the walls when I used the restroom.
It kind of gives you a sense of the space there.


So today, while I worship in our pretty building with windows and fresh air,
I will think of the people at Vintage Ten and know that they are also
worshiping the same God at the same time, just in a different location.