Since the move of C.S. Lewis Academy from the Friends Center to their campus on North College, we have wrestled with the question of what to do with the 2nd Street building and the 12 rooms that became vacant. Immediately upon the move of the academy, two groups moved into three of the rooms. The Sunday school program of Los Amigos was able to expand and settle into the large room south of the chapel on the second floor. Young Life, an outreach ministry to adolescents, began renting two rooms for their office and program. NFC youth and children’s ministry continued to use the gym and the amphitheater room; sports teams and events continued to be booked in the gym. However, classrooms remained unused, and the question of stewardship of that empty space was being asked. We gave tours to several outside groups interested in renting the space, but hurdles (i.e. fire code) kept us from moving forward.
Then last month an unexpected group approached me regarding use of the Friends Center. Our very own middle school Sunday school teachers came to the conclusion that their class of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders had outgrown the space available in the Youth House. They wanted to explore the options if they moved their class over to the Friends Center. Could they have a couple of large rooms to gather the entire class together as well as a handful of small rooms set up for small-group discussions? The quick, enthusiastic answer was “Yes!” Next, the trustees heartily agreed that the space requested for the Sunday school class could be refurbished and redecorated to be welcoming and student friendly. Six classrooms will now be used for youth ministry! While we continue to find ways to be good stewards of the Friends Center, it is wonderful to know that the space will be used in serving the needs of the growing youth group.