By Pastor Jeni Hiett Umble, Living Light of Peace
We are a tiny congregation and yet we are fortunate to have resources that we can share with our community.
Community Garden: For many years a part of our land has been gardened by people in the neighborhood. They are mostly Russian or Ukranian, so our communication usually happens through a translator. Among themselves however, the garden is place to maintain relationships. Each year the gardeners eagerly sign up for their same plots, which they have carefully designed and composted.
Alcoholics Anonymous: A more recent use of our building came when a local AA group lost their meeting place. As word got around, a second and then a third group asked to use our meeting room. As our Leadership Team pondered these requests, one congregant said, “It would be an honor to let them use our space.” Currently there are AA meetings every morning and also on Friday nights.
Community Meals & Movies: On the third Wednesday of each month we host a free community meal and on the first Saturday we host “Movies That Matter.”
Bethany Group: Jane Dick has ministered to this mostly-Hispanic group for many years. Sometimes when there is a special occasion—like the dedication of a baby—Jane asks if the group can use our sanctuary. Again, we are honored that a worshipping community finds our facility to be a welcoming place.
Does it spark joy? Our congregation has embarked upon a journey to reclaim and repurpose parts of our building. We are transforming the nursery into a mid-size meeting area. This involves going through the items stored there to determine what is still wanted and what can be released for other uses. This is more than simply “tidying up.” It is a process of working with our stuff, telling our stories, and reclaiming space for ministry. Working with ideas from the popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, we are using “joy” as the measuring stick for what to keep and what to release.
As a small congregation, it sometimes feels like we do not have the energy or the numbers for meaningful ministry. Our building, however, is an asset that we can share with the Arvada community. We are thankful for these opportunities.