Provo Community Church is a member of the United Church of Christ. Over 130 years ago individuals and families left their homes in Ohio and Pennsylvania to come to Utah for new lives and legacies to work primarily in the steel industry. For those who settled in the Provo area, the social responsibilities foremost to the community “back east” became the center of the new residents here. And the Community Church was at the center of it all. And it was MORE THAN A BUILDING.
MORE THAN A BUILDING, the church was a symbol of the pledge made by these folks that they would love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Dt. 6:5) and that they would love their neighbors as they loved themselves Lev. 19:18b).
Establishing the Church meant gathering for worship and to care for the brethren as well as establishing a school, and caring for those in need outside of the congregation, and embracing the moral and social codes already in place while weaving in the spiritual DNA they brought with them to form a place where we cared for each other as God in Christ cares for us as we practice Open Hands, Open Hearts, Open Service.
Provo Community Church was focused on the community where strong preaching and dynamic study was translated to acts of grace, compassion, and kindness that reached all the way to the mountains of this valley and then the world. Provo Community Church was MORE THAN A BUILDING.
Yet as the hub of congregational life, The Building was important as a sign and symbol that the deepest needs of the community was respected there. And in so doing as important as denominational doctrines were, Christ was more important. And Christ said that his followers were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, offer a drink to the thirsty, visit those in prison, care for the sick, and welcome the stranger.
We are bringing back to life a place, the place where all who enters in, walks or drives by will see not just the building but the heart, soul, mind, and strength of God.
Just like Jesus is the hub of the Christian Faith that reaches out with endless light, so the Church Building is the hub of the Spirit of Christ that reaches out to the community of Provo and beyond in the name of Christ.
Located two blocks north of the center of Provo, Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ stands as a daily reminder if the importance of a community that will depend on each other. Two of our closet neighbors are located one block west and four blocks south. To our south is the newly refurbished Provo City Center Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. One block west is Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church. Each a powerful presence of Hope especially now during the pandemic.
Though St. Mary’s is not on University, both PCCUCC and the Temple are located on University and are easily reached by foot from downtown Provo. Whether driving by or walking by, each are reminders of the central gospel that describes the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of the Son of God. MORE THAN A BUILDING, these buildings speak to the message of peace, hope, joy, and love.
As we consider if God is calling us to focus on our building and rescue it from years of uses, wear, and tear, we are considering MORE THAN A BUILDING. We are bringing back to life a place, the place where all who enters in, walks or drives by will see not just the building but the heart, soul, mind, and strength of God.
Lord direct us to hear the call, to accept the mission, and march confidently to Zion, the beautiful city of God. Amen.