From Pastor Rhodes
On September 12 at 11 am, we will dedicate the seventh building in our 268-year history – all for the sake of advancing God’s gospel of peace, hope, and new life in our community and beyond.
The Faith Center houses our contemporary worship while also serving as a terrific venue for community events, theater, concerts, our new Seasons Academy, and, as we’ve already experienced, a wildly successful VBS. It is designed to be flexible, while remaining a place of sanctity, praise, and worship.
Peeler Hall and Whitton Terrace have been what we had hoped they would be: a place for gathering and community-building. It is the new hub of activity Monday through Friday and a great place for coffee and conversation on Sunday mornings.
On Aug. 30, our youth began meeting in the new youth center. It’s incredible space for middle and high school (The Well and Fuel, respectively), a separate area for activity/eating/worship (The Pit), and The Exchange for meeting up with friends and casual conversation.
Creating defined space for youth gives us the great opportunity to dedicate the rest of the lower level to children’s ministry. That space is a work in progress – including the ARK (Activity Room for Kids, formerly known as The Center), which will be transformed into a wonderfully creative and interactive location for our Wednesday and Sunday morning activities.
The new space is pulled together beautifully by top-notch furnishings and artwork that inspires and brings more than a few smiles to passersby. Be sure to look out for the stunning piece, “Forgiven,” and a new painting by Chinese American artist, He Qi.
Speaking of our growing art collection, in October, Peeler Hall will be the location for an international art exhibit from our friends in Palestine. The exhibit is coordinated by Christmas Lutheran in Bethlehem and is made possible by a grant from our Benevolent Foundation. It features mostly Palestinian Christian artists who struggle to tell the story of faith in a land of such chaos and hardship. One of the pieces is already on display in Peeler Hall and will be added to our permanent collection. You will not want to miss this event.
But first things first. On September 12 at 11 am, we dedicate this new facility to the Glory of God for the exact same reason our forebears dedicated that first log building in 1747: so that all the world might know of God’s love. St. John’s has been blessed to stand literally and figuratively at the heart of this community for over 250 years. May God continue to guide and direct us as we step boldly into the future.