Church spearheads effort to open new Verona Community Center
The Verona community has never had its own community center. That is about to change thanks to an effort spearheaded by Verona United Methodist Church. If all goes according to the church’s vision, an 8,200-square-foot former grocery store on Rt. 11 in Verona will be converted to a community center providing space for community and area church activities. The remodelling of the space is expected to be completed by February 2016.
Verona United Methodist is inviting other local churches and civic groups to partner in the effort. “This isn’t about one group or church – it’s about Verona coming together as a community and sharing resources for the good of everyone,” said the church’s senior pastor, Bob Weeks.
While his congregation will plant a new worshiping fellowship in the center on Sunday mornings, the community center will be available for use by other area churches. “Many churches in the area have limited or over-used facilities. This will give them another option for larger activities including worship, youth and children’s activities, retreats, and conferences.” The center will also be a place for civic groups, community concerts, life skills classes, and programs that reach out to individuals and families in crisis.
The community center is located between Emergency Veterinary Services and Dollar General. Rite Aid and Goodwill are also neighbors. According to Pastor Weeks, this was an important consideration in deciding where to locate. “This is probably the busiest location in Verona and we wanted to be convenient to the community.” A non-profit “no-pay” internet café with coffee, tea, and simple pastries is planned just inside the entrance to the community center.
While the new faith community worshiping in the space will receive grants provided through the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, those funds cannot be used for the construction and operation of the community center. That funding to date has been primarily provided by the Verona United Methodist congregation but they are praying that more churches will join them in the effort. “For too long the perception has been that churches are more concerned with their own survival than with reaching out to their neighbors with the love of Jesus,” commented Pastor Weeks. “We believe God will do great things here if we work together. We are praying that this community center will help break down any walls that might exist in our community.”
For further information, including ways that you can contribute to or partner in this project, call 540-248-7777 or email email@example.com.