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Bigger and better

Posted August 07, 2013 in Community Featured, Greene County

About one year ago, the property committee at Central Christian Church in Jefferson reported to the board of the church that they would need to raise about $100,000 to repair the building’s stained glass windows.

Members of Central Christian Church are brainstorming on building improvements.

Members of Central Christian Church are brainstorming on building improvements.

Instead of balking at the idea, the congregation rallied together to brainstorm even bigger and better improvements. The so-called “Dream Team” of Central Christian Church — Lynn Hardin, Jerald Deal, Bonnie Silbaugh, Carla Offenburger, Jane Nelson, Al Frederick, Gary Hall, Stephanie Hammond and Pastor Deb Griffin — was formed to discuss big-picture ideas for how to make their church better.

“Our building is about 100 years old,” says Pastor Deb Griffin. “It has a rich history, but we were praying and trying to get a vision of where our church would be 10, 20, 50 years from now.”

Dream Team members traveled to other churches of all denominations in Des Moines, Ames, Marshalltown and Adel to gather ideas and also conducted a congregational survey in the church. Some of the renovation ideas that emerged were remodeling the sanctuary, updating the nursery and renovating the pulpit area and windows. However, improved accessibility for all members was particularly high on the church’s wish list.

“Our congregation was founded on the hope of unity,” says Pastor Griffin. “We are open for everyone who wants to come.”

The church invited three architects to look at their space, and in May 2013, the church’s board agreed to hire architect Dan Hunt, who is also working on the Christian Conference Center in Newton. However, before the church launches its fundraising efforts for the project, Hunt will lead a congregational gathering on Aug. 18 and speak to church members about what they hope to see accomplished in the renovations.

“It will give everyone a chance to be heard,” says Pastor Griffin.

First Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction is hosting Family Carnival Night at the Park on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Grand Junction Park to celebrate Sunday school kicking off the next day. Magician and balloon animal artist Rod Shipley will provide entertainment, and plenty of games with prize rewards will be offered. Food is provided, and all are welcome.

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