We're doing something as bold as the coffee we'll be drinking as we do it! On September 9th, and the second Sunday of every month thereafter, we will be taking our Forest Dale worship experience to the Center Street Bar in downtown Brandon. We say "the Center Street Bar," for convenience, but what we're actually referring to is the classroom space next door to the bar.
We're excited about this move and what it might mean for the people of our community but we understand why it might be a hard thing for people to share our excitement. We love the places we worship, the sacred spaces where we have encountered God and grown with His people. And we should love those spaces so much that it's hard for us to leave them for even one Sunday a month.
But sometimes it's necessary for us to step out, nonetheless.
Following are three reasons for why we are taking this particular step and why you might consider joining us.
1. For Downtown Brandon
It's no secret that there has been some construction going on in Brandon of late. The result is going to be wonderful, but the process has been painful. And we, as a church, have decided that we love Brandon more than we hate construction. By taking our worship downtown we are expressing solidarity with the people and businesses located there and doing our part to combat the effects of the prolonged roadwork.
2. It's in our DNA.
Sometime in the early 1950's North Chittenden Wesleyan Church (one of our two parent churches) had a special service to celebrate it's hundredth anniversary. There were folks from Forest Dale Wesleyan, local dignitaries, the town brass band, and even the governor. In fact, there were so many people and so much musical energy that at some point the floor gave way. Dust from the crawl space filled the air and everyone scrambled out onto the lawn. After a few minutes to collect themselves a crew was recruited to go back inside and carry out the organ, with the help of which the service continued exuberantly on the grass. Thats who we are. Our worship is less bound to a building than to the One we're worshiping.
3. We're Fishers of Men.
When Jesus told his disciples that he would make them "fishers of men," the kind of fishing he had in mind was boat fishing. Peter and the others must have loved their boats the way fishermen do. But they loved their boats because of the fish the boats helped them to catch. And if a particular boat became ill-suited to the pursuit of the biggest schools of fish they would have happily climbed into a better boat. We love our buildings in Forest Dale and we believe that God still has big plans for them. But we are hopeful that the Center Street location might be a boat that would let us "sneak up" on some fish who'd never get reeled into the Forest Dale location, those fish having made up their mind about that place a long time ago.
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