Wednesday, July 8
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Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area
On a Sunday afternoon in August 2002—just a few hours after morning worship services—the walls of Andrew-Riverside Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis crumbled to the ground. It was not totally unexpected; architects had warned the session that the structure was deteriorating.
The small congregation was determined to carry on and find a way to survive. With the church property just a few blocks away from the University of Minnesota, Andrew-Riverside began worshiping at a YMCA on campus.
For 11 years the congregation worshiped and had a presence among the students at the university, participating in ministries that served international students. The presbytery helped with a loan to clear the building, leaving the little flock with a plot of ground for which it had high hopes. The congregation decided to seek the help of a developer to create a place for housing that could also accommodate a worshiping community.
After some fits and starts related to the economic recession, construction started in 2010. While the developer worked to complete the new facility, a portion of it, about the size of a condominium, was made available to the congregation.
In September 2013, Andrew-Riverside Church, after 11 years at the YMCA, moved into its new home. On the corner where the old facility had stood, a modern, four-story apartment building now stands, providing housing for students and local residents. The congregation’s worship and fellowship space occupies about half of the first floor.
Through it all, Andrew-Riverside was led by Rev. Harry Maghakian, the interim pastor who served until the congregation returned to its new home.
Like the mythical phoenix that rose from the ashes, Andrew-Riverside rose from a pile of rubble to worship and minister in its community once again. The congregation is committed to discovering the best ways to demonstrate Christ’s presence in its old, but new, location.
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area serves 66 congregations.
Let us join in prayer for:
Elder Andrew Barron, member, PMA Board
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Eternal God, thank you for the signs of new life that give us hope during life’s dark times. Amen.