Jesus’ image of the Kingdom of God as a net flung far and filled full is a powerful metaphor for the mission of the church. The church opens wide the net of the gospel of Jesus Christ, inviting people to come into the gospel story and encouraging people to go out with the gospel story.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind.” -Matthew 13:47
In that spirit, “A Wider Net” names Northminster’s effort to create new and lasting structures that will result in a wider place to gather within our walls as well as a wider embrace of others beyond our walls.
Within Our Walls
Several years ago, Northminster anticipated the need to modify and expand our physical facilities to make room for our growing church community. Specifically, we needed more education space for Sunday School classes as well as additional seating for worship.
Being no small project, the work was divided into two phases:
- Phase I: In 2000, work began to complete the balcony in the sanctuary according to the church’s original design. This was completed in 2002, along with some additional improvements and changes to the interior of the church.
- Phase II: In 2006, we broke ground on our new adult education building, which will include nine classrooms to be used primarily for Sunday School classes and meeting space. A columbarium will be built in a garden between our new education building and the sanctuary, and new parking spaces will be added to our back parking lot.
Beyond Our Walls
The goal of our Wider Net community efforts is to nurture a ministry that brings hope and opportunity to people in the Mid-City/Georgetown area of Jackson by touching their lives spiritually, physically, and socially and by leading them to resources and cooperative activities that will empower them in the name of Christ.
Over the past five years, activities have included:
- Offering a weekly Bible class at the neighborhood community center
- Building Habitat houses and procuring land for future builds
- Home repair projects ranging from repairing floors to replacing roofs (dewitt street)
- Providing breakfast and a Bible story for Operation Shoestring’s Project Kids summer program
- Teaching art classes to 2nd and 3rd graders at Operation Shoestring’s After-School Tutoring Program
- Sponsoring activities for children and youth at the neighborhood community center: Summer Kids Club/Summer Teen Club, Tutoring and homework help, and monthly service projects for neighborhood teens
- Befriending senior adults and regularly checking in with those who are sick or homebound
- Planning activities with residents to strengthen the neighborhood community association and community involvement