“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
The Orpheum opened in Duluth, Minnesota in 1910 as a vaudeville house. In 1941, it changed with the times and became a movie theater, renamed the NorShor. Then, it slowly fell into irrelevance and disrepair. For some, the building seemed to be at the end of its life, ready to be buried and destroyed. For others, including the mayor, the NorShor was the seed for community transformation.
The renovation of NorShor was a risk for the community, but early signs show it to be the start of something transformative.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19
The NorShor renovation is not the only transformation happening in the greater Duluth area. Just minutes away, God is doing new things in and through the Northwoods Community of Christ congregation! The small but mighty congregation is finding new ways to mobilize their members to join God in serving their community. Their involvement with ACT (Area Churches Together) is strengthening ties among churches in Proctor, Minnesota, bringing churches and their resources together to serve the mission of Jesus.
What is ACT up to? Click through the slideshow below:
Their biggest project is an annual Free Community Picnic, which takes place in July. The Community Picnic, which brings in an average of 300 community members, boasts crowd favorites like sprinkler runs provided by the fire department hoses and bouncy houses for the young and young at heart. Local police departments attend to hand out candy and build bridges. These initiatives, while overwhelming for an individual church working alone, become manageable and transformative community events when the churches join together!
Joining with the other churches in ACT was a risk for the Northwoods congregation, but early signs show it to be the start of something...transformative.
The Northwoods congregation recently celebrated the theater’s new transformation with a congregational community event in which sixteen members shared a meal and took in the renewed venue’s first show, Mamma Mia! This event, one of many such events organized by Donna Swanson and Wendy Greer, serves to strengthen the Northwoods community in order to serve out their mission, to continue to transform their ministry, and to support one another in the process.
God is at work in the Northwoods. What is God doing in your neighborhood?
Do you have questions about ACT, the Free Community Picnic, or other exciting transformations happening in the Northwoods? Email their pastor, Steve Elder.