From Our Pastor Yours in Christ

From Our Pastor

Rob Sparks IV

Can you believe that Fairview renovated the Kathy Morris Education Building almost six years ago? I couldn't - I had to go check my calendar. We actually started the conversation about fixing up our 1963 building the previous summer.

I was away at a Presbyterian Board of Pensions sponsored conference when Margo opened the door for Mary Beth Frazer, the director of Music Time Learning. After sharing her vision for a ministry of music to neighborhood children, Margo suggested she and I meet after I got back to Lawrenceville. We did and I soon invited her to meet with our Ses-sion. Sensing a shared mission, by early fall Fairview elders were meet-ing with the people who could transform an old but solidly built building into a newly renovated, up-to-code building where ministry and education could take place.

I grew to love the sound of music in the hallways and the laughter of children at play in the season Music Time was here from 2012 until 2015. When a family emergency forced Mary Beth to step down as the director of the school Music Time merged with Suwanee Academy of the Arts and music education continued for another year. Unfortunately, the distance between Suwannee and Lawrenceville (at least in traffic) was too far for the directors of that school to adequately manage so in the summer of 2016 they gave notice that they wouldn't be teaching any more music classes.

Margo was able to teach a few private piano classes in the fall of 2016 but the building was mostly quiet. That's not 100% true, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts continue to use our building its just that those meeting times donít overlap with office hours.

Then, in the spring of 2017, Megan Meyer approached Fairview about using the building for a Kindermusik program. She acquired a room so she could finish her practicum and be licensed as a Kindermusik teacher. Once her accreditation was complete she started her own program. That ran for about six months but as a mother to four little children it was probably too much for one person. She shuttered her program and went to teach with another one.

About the time Megan was winding down her program we were approached by On the Way Hispanic church - a member of the 1001 Worshipping Communities of the P.C.(U.S.A.) - about worshipping in our Fellowship Hall on Sunday evenings. Since starting worship in 2017 Rafaelís group has continued to grow. Pastor Viana approached our Session this winter to see if they could host Friday night classes focused on Bible, English, and music (guitar, piano, and voice) in the Education building. They are also teaching conversational Spanish to their children who donít feel language instruction in our public schools is bringing about fluency (Fairview members are invited, if you are interested in learning Spanish). More recently, On the Way has asked about using a room of Sunday nights for the Youth who wish to meet separately while their parents are worshipping in the Fellowship Hall.

I'm pleased to announce that Tajha Sowell is interested in leasing space in our building for the summer months to provide a day camp for our neighbors. She calls her program Creative Arts Academy and will provide an arts and crafts based curriculum for elementary school aged children. The plan is to start classes on the Tuesday after Memorial Day and run through the first week of August.

I share all of this as a reminder that while the most important function of a church is its worship service (traditionally held at 11am on Sunday mornings) the real impact its ministry can have on a community happens on other days of the week and in ways that donít look like worship. Iím proud of Fairview for the investment we made in making an old building hospitable to so many of our neighbors - may they come here and know the love of Christ through our open doors.


Yours in Christ,
Rob