Open house set for Saturday
SACKVILLE, N.B. â€“ The Sackville United Church congregation is set to open the doors to their new location and the public will have a chance to take a look at their new space during an open house event this Saturday.
"We are excited to start this new chapter in our history," says the Sackville United Churchâ€™s Rev. Catherine Smith. "And we invite everyone to share this important time with us."
Tours, music and refreshments will be offered during the event, which is set for June 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 110 Main Street (the former town hall), along with childrenâ€™s stories at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The Sackville United Church has, like many others across the country, been faced with a shrinking congregation and an aging church building for many years now. Forced to leave its beloved local landmark when it could simply no longer afford the upkeep, the SUC congregation has chosen to move forward by being open minded and creative in finding a solution to the challenge.
The church property was sold to a local realty company and, as part of the deal, the Sackville United Church received ownership of a property adjacent to their old church â€“ the former town hall/council chambers which even one time even served as the local jail. Perhaps an unusual setting for a new place of worship but that is what it has become.
Over the past year, the congregation has held services at Mount Allison Universityâ€™s chapel while renovations were made on the old town hall; and in June they will open the doors to their new home.
The former town offices on the main floor have been opened up to become the main worship space and the former council chambers has been converted into a bright and cheerful Sunday School and multi-purpose space.
The congregation sees the smaller and soundly-built structure as one that will allow them to live within their means, and get back to focusing on what's important. "Instead of worrying about how to pay the bills, now we can focus all our energy back on living our mission of sharing God's unconditional love through learning, worship and action," says Ed Burridge, chair of the church's council. "We are glad to be back downtown as well, as creating a welcoming place for community has always been important to us."