Imagine what it was like back in 1843. A faith community that had lived, learned, and struggled to serve God in the community was finally ready to step out in one gigantic leap of faith. For several years the congregation had not been strong enough to even support a pastor and they had to rely on the support of a sister church. Their sister church had encouraged them that they could build upon this new piece of land and grow a stronger church. It had to have been so exciting and I’m sure at the same time quite scary. Just image the pride they must have felt as they marched down Chouteau and walked by the park at Lafayette Square. Can’t you just see them walking with a bounce in their step… their heads held high, ready for one great and glorious adventure. Truly these people knew the secret to living out God’s plan in the community. They even etched into the stone above the entrance to the new sanctuary for everyone in the community to see, “Thy way O God is in the sanctuary.” You can still see it above the big window on the Missouri side of the original building.
Today, we are just like those great pioneers of faith. We have lived through all the challenges of being an urban congregation, the stress of white flight and urban sprawl. We have learned how to remain in the community and make a powerful witness through helping rebuild our community. We too have struggled to serve the community around us and to witness to God’s grace no matter what the circumstance, cyclone, or situation we encounter. We are also now ready to step out in one gigantic leap of faith… To once again proclaim to our community, “Thy way O God is in the sanctuary.”
My friends, today we prepare the way for the next major milestones of our ministry to the community around us. Today we announce to the world that through our worship of God we find the strength, the hope and the joy to sustain all of the challenges and opportunities of being a people of faith. Today we celebrate the fact that we can help our sister churches in realizing the power of God’s Spirit as it moves in our city. Today we too can walk with a bounce in our step, our heads held high in expectation of the might works that God will do in our lives, our church, our community and our work. We begin a new era today, to be part of God’s radical transformation of the world as we continue to live our our vision…
Lafayette Park United Methodist Church will be a church without walls creating a visible sign of Christ’s presence in our urban community and beyond.
Let us celebrate together!!
Rev. Kathleen Wilder
Pastor, Lafayette Park UMC
As a people of faith, we recognize the diversity of people created in the image of God. We welcome to this congregation people of any age, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, health status and any element of humanity created by God.
LPUMC Church Council, January 1998