A question was asked at our Town Hall that I thought worthy of an extended answer. The question raised as we mentioned the possibility of at some point buying the building we are currently renting was (this is a paraphrase), “Given the relative affluence of the Laurelhurst neighborhood, is this really where we want to plant ourselves?” I think it’s a good question, particularly as it embodies one of our core values, that of Justice.
To really understand where we’re at, we need to understand where we’ve been. Evergreen started in SW portland in Multnomah Village, at the Lucky Lab Pub. We were about 16 or so people, none of whom lived in that neighborhood. As we grew, we began to see not only some folks come from the surrounding neighborhood, but also some Evergreen people move into the Village. When we outgrew that space, we had been in talks with a dying Nazerene Church in Sellwood about the possibility of sharing their space. Through conversation and prayer with the community we made the decision that we wanted to remain in rented, more-public space, though at the time we were careful to say “Let’s not let the Pub become our identity.” We knew we’d outgrow that kind of meeting space at some point and also feared that “Pub church” would overtake our identity as Church- that is, as a covenant community centered on Jesus and His Kingdom.