When I first began the interview process for the position of pastor of this little Congregational church in Columbus, MT., I was fascinated by the original building called The Little Stone Church. In 1895 the church was officially formed and the Rock School was also built. The church began meeting regularly in the one room schoolhouse.
In 1905, the church purchased the building after a new schoolhouse was erected. The town citizens agreed a “proper” church was necessary for the future growth of the community. Construction of the current building on property adjoining The Little Stone Church was completed in 1914.
While most of our programming takes place in the larger church, The Little Stone Church serves the community in many ways. AA meets there weekly. Guitar lessons are now offered there. Wedding showers, baby showers, memorial services, craft shows take place there. Periodically other groups request the use of it for various meetings. I recently instituted a walking group that meets weekly. Truly this building provides a community gathering space.
It has been my intention to expand our usage of The Little Stone Church. We desire to reach out to all people. In this day and time when fewer people seek connection to a church, we seek to offer this space as a place of community and connection. In the interest of making the stone church the most appealing we can, I had encouraged our leadership to consider cleaning and painting it, updating it.
So while I was away at camp, several members carried out the work of refurbishing this jewel of a facility. I can not begin to describe my joy when I returned to find the church polished to a shine! It is my deepest prayer that this space will serve our community for many years to come.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: (It now has a beautiful blue door!)