The Junction Church, Seattle, Washington
This week our daughter Paige suggested we might want to listen to the latest episode of This American Life, which had a story on church planting. Watson Jones and A.J. Smith were trying to launch an urban church in Philadelphia. The story makes it clear that there are big challenges in starting a church these days. But there are also big challenges in maintaining an older church as well.
The Junction Church’s building, you can see a cornerstone with the year the building went up, 1950. Inside, we heard that the church (not just the building) began either in 1904 or the late 1800’s. Whatever the exact year was, those dates aren’t too far from each other. It’s an American Baptist congregation, and we learned that in years past the sanctuary was filled with pews and, on Sunday mornings, a couple hundred people. When we entered the church at 10:00 am this past Sunday, barely on time for the start of the service, there were no pews and fewer than a dozen people, including ourselves.
Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” He used photos throughout the service, starting with cheerleaders in their eighties, illustrating the “old” part of the verse well. Another slide was of those great theologians, the Three Stooges. Finishing up, Gil talked about the history of the church as he held up hundred year old Bibles, and he talked about the need for the church to reach out to the community.
West Seattle Summer Fest, a street fair held literally at the church’s doorstep. So we all took a walk.
subway system that might someday go from West Seattle to Downtown. When we got back to the church, Rob opened the door (he had a key), and we went inside and chatted a bit before heading home.