St John Lutheran Church Dickinson, ND

             
THE HOUSE THAT WAS NEXT DOOR
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by LIsa Lewton, Senior Pastor

On Nov. 8-9, the century-old house next door began to disappear. Anyone around the church on those days watched the great big claw chip gingerly away at the structure, like my kids picking away at something they whine about on their plate, like squash.

 

As hour after hour transpired, the structure became a pile of wood, windows, and insulation. Then the great big claw, with the help of a couple of Bobcats, cleared the property like my kids clear a plate of something they really do like to eat, such as pumpkin pie.

 

There was a sense of sadness, watching the house where Margaret Steffan lived become a place that once was on the corner of 2nd Street and 5th Avenue. It was a house that housed memories, of course, and in the midst of the rubble, we could see the evidence: a dresser left behind, flooring that had been carefully chosen at one time, a chimney that perhaps, someone had assured a small child, was a route for Santa to get to the Christmas tree.

 

In the midst of the sadness, there was hopefulness.

 

There have been several meetings to discern the hope for the property at 141 5th Avenue West. The Visioning Committee is composed of a neighbor of the church, a member of the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission, the council president, a creative senior high student, four additional members of St. John, and a couple of pastors. Our hope is for the property to become an accessible space for the community of Dickinson, where there would be peace and beauty. Perhaps there will be a community garden? A place for outdoor worship? A place for wedding photos? A prayer walk? A play space for kids of all abilities? Please pray for the Visioning Committee as we bend our ears toward the Spirit.

 

I do know St. John will do our best to honor Margaret Steffan, a neighbor to St. John for most of its existence. We have held onto some pieces of the property to incorporate into the landscape. Included are the two towering spruce trees on the east side of the property that continue to tower. Whereas they were once somewhat hidden by the large house, now they stand alone. They live on, as hope always does, waiting to be a part of something new.

 

They are no longer towering over the house next door to the church. They are towering over a pregnant lot that will provide, I hope, new life in the church’s neighborhood. As we do in the time of Advent, we wait to see what happens next, secured in the mystery of it all.

 


WORSHIP TIMES
September - May
Sundays 8:00 & 10:30 am
Wednesdays 6:30 pm (Camp-style service)
Thursdays 7:00 pm

June - August
Sundays 8:00 am & 9:30 am
Thursdays 7:00 pm
CONTACT INFO
St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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