This is Church?

Minnehaha United Methodist Church is located at the corner of 37th Avenue South and 50th Street in South Minneapolis. It’s a big brick building with a steeple. You can’t miss it. You can locate it on a Google map right here.

Welcome to Minnehaha UMC
Welcome to Minnehaha United Methodist Church. If this is your first visit, you’ll notice that there’s free parking, plenty of food in the refrigerator, a bathroom down the hall, and a comfy chair to sit on. Looks a lot like home, doesn’t it?

Where is Everyone?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we closed our church doors, turned off the heat, and sent our entire congregation home. So if you physically show up at our building, you might see a stray organist or rogue custodian, plus an array of solar panels generating electricity on the roof. That’s it. Not exactly welcoming. Sorry about that.

We Watch "Friends," Too
Fortunately, we managed to squeeze a church inside your phone, computer, and TV. Our congregation tunes in – usually in their sweats and pajamas – when they’re looking for spiritual guidance, inspiration, support, or are bored out of their minds after watching every “Friends” episode, reruns of “classic” Twins games from 2012, and “Thor: Ragnarok” for the thirty-seventh time. Whatever your reason, we’re happy to have you here.

A Smorgasbord
These days, church at Minnehaha is a lot like a smorgasbord. On the home page of our website you can sample what we’re all about. There’s a video from the minister, Becky Sechrist, that’s just a minute long. It’s a good starting point. There’s also a graphic that says “Click here to worship with us,” which takes you to the most recent worship service on our YouTube channel. The online services are usually about 30 minutes long—except for the one on Good Friday, which went more than an hour! (But that’s what the fast-forward button on your remote is for.) If you just want to listen to a sermon and cut out the great music and extraneous stuff, look for the floppy-eared dog and click on her; that’ll take you to a bunch of sermons that are only about 12 minutes long. Listen to these on your commute from the living room to the kitchen.

Don't Stop Now
Poke around the website and you’ll find coloring pages, a prayer or devotional, announcements, discussion topics for our youth, and more. If you want to see what our staff looks like (yes, we’re still paying them all), you can click on that image. If you want to know our history, go to the black bar at the top of the page, look for FAQs, and click on Church History. It’s a slideshow with pictures of our first minister in 1889 and the church fire in 1958. You'll notice that a lot has changed over time. For example, these days our youth meet online every week. Our committees meet on Zoom. And we mow the grass using our Google drive. (Until it gets longer than a couple of inches, at least.)

Help Real People
Not everything we do is virtual. For example, we continue to host the Minnehaha Food Shelf every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to help the food insecure in our neighborhood. If you need food, come to the church. If you want to help, just show up and say, “I want to help.” We also have a once-a-month food giveaway on the fourth Saturday of the month. We call it MinneHarvest. Show up at 7:00 a.m. to help unload the truck or at 9:00 a.m. if you need food. Clean-up is at 10:00 a.m. and we’re usually done by 10:30 a.m.

Everybody is Welcome
The point is, there’s a lot going on at Minnehaha United Methodist Church, even when the lights are off and nobody’s there. Most important: everybody is welcome. Especially you. So join us. Put on your slippers, grab a cup of coffee, and come to church. We’re saving a pew for you.

Important Note: During pandemics, everything is different. When we get back to regular services inside the church, you'll see real people. Also, there's two Sunday morning worship services, Sunday School for kids, and lots of chances to get to know others. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Peace.