CHANNAHON – The famous African proverb, so famously quoted by Hillary Rodham Clinton, says it takes a village to raise a child. The same appears to hold true in the building of a fellowship hall for a local church.
Thanks to the generosity of both parishioners and some community-minded people who aren’t even members of the congregation, Channahon United Methodist is now able to build a fellowship hall.
Ever since the new church was built in 1998, parishioners have been holding fast to their belief that someday they would have an area to house many of their events. The fellowship hall was included in the original blueprints, but due to financial considerations the facility was broken into two phases, CUMC Pastor Steve Good said.
The facility will be used for multiple things, he said, including the church’s Turkey Supper, for which they are well-known in the community.
The narthex where the dinners have been served for the past 15-plus years seats just 70 people at a time. Now they will be able to seat 200.
It can be utilized for their potluck dinners, youth groups and retreats, daytime events and even concerts for the community. Boy Scout Troop 444 of Channahon is one of the church’s ministries and it is looking forward to holding events there, as is the larger council, Good said.
The church also houses the Thrift Shop, which supplies everything from clothing to household items for as little as 10 cents during a sale. The shop will soon have its own custom area and separate entrance.
“It’s one of the ways we reach out to folks to get what they need at an affordable level,” Good said.
The congregation and the community have gotten behind the project wholeheartedly. A large portion of the funding came from the sale of an 80-acre farm willed to the church by the late Dorothy Randall, who had been a church member.
Another cash gift willed to the church also came from a member, the late Connie Chambers.
“The combination of those two planned giving gifts were key components,” Good said.
But the church’s parishioners also have been generous with monetary gifts and pledges to get the project done, as were some community minded residents.
When Good was first assigned to the congregation, there already was a passion and enthusiasm to get the addition built.
Now the dream is becoming a reality. The official groundbreaking ceremony was held Aug. 10.
Church members celebrated everything that has gone into it so far and asked God to bless their efforts to complete the building, Good said. They celebrated everyone who has put work into it, including the building committee, the volunteers and the donors.
“We are not only serving those in our congregation,” Good said, “but welcoming folks to the community.”
• Kris Stadalsky writes about people and issues in areas southwest of Joliet. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.