A Safe Sanctuary for the Community

St. Andrew, New Bern, found new possibilities with a community-focused ministry.

April 3, 2023 |

Image Credit: St. Andrew, New Bern, hosting the Fairfield Harbour Chorus

After St. Andrew, New Bern, was hit with Hurricane Florence in 2018—and after their damaged sanctuary came through a very long repair process—the rededication was joyful in May, 2021. The congregation wondered: how might they be open to new possibilities with a community-focused ministry? They came up with a plan, applied for a Peeler-Casey grant, and began making invitations.

Their plan was centered around making sure their new sanctuary became just what the word sanctuary means: a safe space. To that end, they began inviting musical groups to perform in the sanctuary—concerts open to the community! Now, after a year and a half, many, many groups have performed and the congregation has welcomed visitors from all over town and the surrounding area.

Terry Knickerbocker, director of one of those groups, the Fairfield Harbour Chorus, sent his thanks to the congregation noting, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the Membership of St. Andrew Lutheran Church of New Bern, NC for your generosity and hospitality in hosting the Fairfield Harbour Chorus at their marvelous venue. It was a wonderful experience that we hope to continue for many years to come.”

The Peeler/Casey Fund grant helped with publicity for the concerts, but more importantly, they were able to turn a seed of an idea into a beautiful blossoming plant of community-focused welcome.

St. Andrew, New Bern, received a 2021 Peeler/Casey Fund grant. Does your congregation have an idea that could benefit from this NC Synod Fund? The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 30, 2023. Learn more and apply today!

Story Attribution:

Barbara Huffman de Belón, Ed.D.


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