Boys and Girls Club and a UMC

 

Lonsdale United Methodist Church of Sidney, Montana and the Boys and Girls Club are entering into an exciting partnership that will enable both organizations to better serve the people of Sidney and the Montana/Dakota region. On Sunday, November 5, 2017 the congregation of Lonsdale United Methodist Church unanimously passed a resolution to authorize the Board of Trustees to transfer ownership of the church building and land on Third Avenue SE and to sell the parsonage to Boys and Girls Club of Richland County. This transfer of ownership will allow the church and the Club to participate in a unique partnership that will mutually benefit each organization and its constituents.

Citing the pioneer spirit of Methodist founders John and Charles Wesley and Montana minister “Brother Van”, the church sees this move as a way of living into its purpose statement: “Lonsdale Methodist Church exists so that our church family and community may know the love of God revealed by Jesus”. The main building has served the church for over 90 years. This as an opportunity to practice the generosity and social concern the Methodists are known for. The church will be “right-sized” for the present congregation, which will continue to worship, learn and care for its membership while exploring what it means be to be a church that serves the community well today.

Boys and Girls Club will be conducting a renovation of the church building to best make use of the space for programming, create an energy efficient environment, and to best serve the needs of the youth of Richland County. Funds raised for the capital campaign will be used to complete this renovation with the hope that the facility will be ready to open the doors for programming in the Fall of 2018.

When renovations are complete, there will be classrooms, offices, programming areas and meeting areas that will be used exclusively by the Club to provide after-school and summer programming for over 250 youth of Richland County. Several areas of the church, including the fellowship hall/multi-purpose room, kitchen, and sanctuary will be shared space, used both by the Club and the church. The church will retain exclusive areas for office, meeting and storage space, and will use shared spaces at times when the Club is not in session for services, funerals, weddings, and other church activities. Both groups see this as a shared mission and partnership to serve the community in new, innovative ways.

Having provided for a sustainable future for the building, Lonsdale is working on a sustainable future for the congregation. The church has formed a focus group of adults ages 18-40, who are meeting with congregational leadership to help the congregation learn how best to interact with and reach out to their new neighbors who will be sharing the building. Lonsdale plans to reach out to these younger generations in hopes of making disciples for the transformation of the world.