This Sunday marks the end of an era in the history of Sojourn, and I hope you will be there with me to mark the occasion. For over six years we’ve worshiped weekly at The 930 Art Center. We began here as a church of 300 people in one place, and since then have become the “Midtown Campus,” launching three other campuses from Midtown while growing to 1500 people at this location.
Sojourn Community Church had rented space in the Highlands for Sunday Gathered throughout the first five years of our existence. As we began to outgrow our last rented space, we began to imagine what it would look like to own our space — to be able to dream big, to design a space that would invite, welcome, inspire and challenge people in this city.
We imagined what it would look like to have our own art gallery, and to have a “home base” that would allow us to invest in the neighborhood, not only through Sunday services but through things like medical clinics, festivals, music shows, art exhibits, weddings and classes.
Through the prayers, generosity and hard work of many, this dream became a reality. From The 930 we’ve repaired houses in nearby neighborhoods, counseled and comforted the hurting, and providing a space of beauty and possibility in an economically depressed area. Our Sunday services have grown too. We’ve welcomed thousands and baptized hundreds.
I remember wondering if people would actually come to our morning service. We’d only had a 5pm service those first years of our existence — would people be so used to Sojourn being “the evening church” that no one showed up in the morning? But soon we were bursting with two morning services in addition to the 5, which led us to launch our fourth service at 7pm.
Those original 7pm services were so small that I taught from the aisle rather than the stage. Now, not only is this a typical packed-out Sojourn service, it’s the most fervent and expressive service we have.
PRAYER + WISDOM from shepherd ahlers on Vimeo.
And of course there were all the great art exhibits. One of my favorites was our Prayer + Wisdom exhibit. This project perfectly captured the fruition of our meditation on Psalms and Proverbs. I felt inspired and fell more in love with God’s Word each time I circled around the gallery and pondered on each piece of the exhibit.
Another favorite was the Our Neighborhood Germantown exhibit. This was a pivotal exhibit for us, because it provided the model for doing an art project that reflected and involved the neighborhood. On the night of our opening reception, hundreds came and lingered over each piece. We held a potluck dinner as well. What could be better than breaking bread with neighbors and enjoying the fruits of creative work that collectively told the story of our homes.
I could go on and on with memories from music shows, art exhibits, Sunday services, Fall Festivals and other events. God has richly blessed our time at The 930, and has given us experiences that will reverberate in all of our lives for a long time. But rather than recount more of my favorite memories, I’d rather hear from you.
What is your favorite memory from our time at The 930?