Good News Journey – St. Andrew’s Moncton

Rev. Dr. Martin KreplinAn eleven-year journey of discernment, decisions, and dedication ended on January 29, 2012, when the congregation of St. Andrew's, Moncton NB, gathered for worship in their new building with their long-time pastor, The Rev. Dr. Martin Kreplin. The preceding Sunday, they had said farewell to their historic building in downtown Moncton, and, like the people of God who crossed the Jordan River into a new land, the congregation marked the occasion with a service of praise and thankfulness (and perhaps some tears).

This journey really began in the 1980's when a consultant recommended that the congregation move. God's timing is perfect though, and the congregation earnestly sought out God's will on the matter in 2001. The people prayed and asked God to reveal the barriers that were keeping them from enthusiastically inviting their friends and neighbours to come to St. Andrew's. It became clear that their beloved old building, with no parking and difficult accessibility, was holding them back from being the welcoming church that God was calling them to be. It has been a difficult journey from old to new, but with the generous offer of land at below market value, the astute guidance of the Synod Pastor, The Rev. Charles Taylor (now deceased), sacrificial giving by the congregation, RBC loan guarantees from the Presbyterian Building Corporation, bridge financing from Canadian Ministries, the guidance of several national church staff, donations of furniture from local businesses, and much prayer, the congregation is now worshipping and serving out of a beautiful new building on a high-profile street near the major transportation routes of Moncton.

The new building includes multi-use space for worship, large and small gatherings, and community ministry projects. The main auditorium can be transformed for many purposes including Sunday worship, but it does include an organ and the stained-glass windows from the old building to remind them of their history, and God's promise to continue to bless them and make them a blessing wherever they are. Their new community is an eclectic group of inter-generational and inter-cultural families in new suburbs and in a nearby trailer park. Oh, and the other good news is that while the old building has not sold, another congregation started renting the building on February 1st, so there will continue to be a Christian witness at the old site.

The people prayed, and the providential hand of God has been in the process. Give thanks to God for what the Almighty has done, and pray for this "new" congregation and their leaders as they seek to use their new facility to reach out to their community and grow in faithfulness. They have a building that accommodates a wide variety of programming, and they have parking spaces for many new members. Included in their vision for the immediate future are an "Every Home for Christ" program, after-school programs for two nearby schools, children's programs, youth ministry, and life-skills training classes. Further, they can now accommodate inter-denominational and regional events. Pray that they will continue to have a heart for God and for God's children. For a photo of their new building and more "good news," go to their website at . And, their church sign tells us plenty:

God's people have been called to share the "Good News" of Jesus' life and resurrection, but it's also beneficial to share congregational "good news." Share your congregation's and Presbytery's "good news" stories so the whole denomination can be encouraged.