New Outdoor Church Starting Up For Area’s Homeless Population

It’s church like you’ve never seen before in Sioux Falls.  Soon, prayer, gospel and communion will pop up outdoors.

Rebel Hurd has her hands full these days taking in donations for Church on the Street.  It’s a nonprofit organization that she says is pretty self-explanatory.

“Church on the Street is literally church on the street.  There are no walls, we have no building, it’s like no other church and yet it’s kind of the same,” Hurd says.

Hurd, a former educator and business owner, now heads up the nonprofit as its Mission Developer.  She says it’s Sioux Falls’ first ever street ministry, providing church for the area’s homeless population.

“Everybody deserves a place to gather and worship, whether that’s in a building or not,” she says.

They’ll worship downtown, outside, once a month.  The goal is to get churches from all over the area to lead each service.

“We’re going to stick with a Saturday worship, primarily because clergy are very busy on Sundays.  My dream and hope for this is that this becomes something where all different denominations and worshiping communities and faiths take turns and give people an opportunity to connect in whatever way that is,” she explains.

Having the service outdoors could help people who don’t feel comfortable inside a traditional church.

“We’ll do whatever meets the needs of people out on the street and I think that’s unique and can touch hearts and change lives,” Hurd says.

Church on the Street’s very first service is coming up this weekend.  It’ll be held in the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House parking lot at 101 N. Indiana Avenue in Sioux Falls.  Hurd says down the road, details like time and place could change, but it’s all part of a journey she’s looking forward to.

“I would love for us to someday be able to do baptisms, to do weddings.  I don’t know what the future looks like with this ministry but I’m enjoying the ride.  I cannot wait to see what it ends up as.”

The first service is Saturday, October 1.  Peace Lutheran’s pastor will lead the service and Beaver Valley Lutheran Church is providing food as part of a welcoming celebration for those who attend. 

If you’d like more information on how to sign your church up to lead a service or how to volunteer, click here.