“What’s going on at the church? I couldn’t find a place to park.” This might be a comment you’ve heard or even made over the last several months. It’s a normal problem when the congregation members begin to live out the Love 1st concept. Let’s take a look over our shoulders for the last few months to see who is using the facilities of 1st Pres Downtown.
Every week there are a variety of church – related meetings: two worship services, Youth Group events, Wednesday S.O.S., Session meetings, Committee meetings, Christcare meetings, staff meetings, and even more. But what else is happening?
The church has some ongoing connections with groups that routinely use our facilities. One of the oldest is the weekly Thursday noon Ecumenical Kitchen. This group of 7 congregations rotate preparing and serving lunch to 40 to 70 persons each week. Family Promise is hosted two or three times per year. The North Idaho College Music Department holds concerts in the sanctuary once or twice per year. Coeur d’Alene Opera has used the facilities for rehearsals and a community performance. The Inferno Soccer Club uses the gym for practices during the winter. Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities has held programs here at the church. The Alcoholics Anonymous group uses the lower level below the sanctuary for meetings every day at 5:30. Recently the North Idaho Music Teachers Association, with active members Colleen Hunter and Ann Krugel, used the sanctuary for monthly meetings. So we have some great events and activities going on.
But wait. The Love 1st mission of the church may connect us to other groups that align with our mission. For example Julie Blakely, a new member of 1st Pres, called a couple of weeks ago to see if there was space available at the church for a meeting of the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) which works with neglected and abandoned children when there is no one to speak for them in court. Katie Sayler is part of a yoga group that needed a place to meet. So they meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the gym. Katie extended an invitation to downtown restaurant workers at Tito’s and several came to the yoga group. Karen Welts is part of the Red Hot Mommas and has arranged for them to rehearse in the gym a couple of times this year. Pastor Craig invited the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Training Class to our church for a program emphasizing the need to come along side of the working poor or A.L.I.C.E. population. Encouraging comments were made about 1st Pres’s role in being a part of downtown Coeur d’Alene.
The remodel and expansion of our facilities will open the door to connect with groups in our area that are synergistic with the Love 1st mission of our church. Serving the greater community with the resources God has given the congregation is a great way to practice our mission of Love 1st!