Gig Harbor residents may have noticed a church meetinghouse being erected in the 12000 block of Peacock Hill Avenue.
“Members of our church here in our area have looked forward with great anticipation to the completion of this beautiful house of worship,” said Karl Fields, who presides over the Gig Harbor-area congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A dedication is scheduled for Nov. 17.
“We are particularly hopeful that all who are interested or curious will visit the chapel on the day of our open house, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16,” Fields said. “And, of course, we invite anyone to join us for our worship services any Sunday and our weekday Scouting and other youth activities, beginning the week following Thanksgiving.”
Also scheduled is a Christmas festival from 1 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6-8, open and free to the community, with displays of nativity scenes from all over the world, and choirs from various churches, to bring the true spirit of Christmas.
In the 25 years my family and I have resided in Gig Harbor, we have seen church membership grow at a steady pace. One pleasant challenge of a fast-growing worldwide, LDS membership is to provide buildings for worship.
The new meetinghouse will be well-built, beautifully landscaped and compatible with its environs, and it will have adequate on-site parking. Its chapel will have an organ and a piano and padded pews and hymnbooks with hymns of worship. It will have a cultural hall, a gym which expands the chapel seating, many classrooms, a kitchen and a baptismal font.
The building will be dedicated and utilized immediately when it’s completed, and it will be totally paid for without a collection plate ever being passed. It will be opened to all, and our members will invite friends to attend with them and share the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It will be a house of worship, a house of prayer and a House of the Lord. Members will partake of a sacrament, the emblems of the Savior’s atonement. Speakers will share talks and testimonies.
Primary children will walk its halls to their classrooms with folded arms. Loving teachers will teach gospel principles which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and bear testimony that the Lord’s church is restored to the earth. Families will be strengthened.
The site also has an outdoor pavilion and playfield. Boy Scout troops and early morning Seminary classes will meet during the week, and there, as well as in the homes of church members, generations of young men and women will learn to love God and minister to their fellow men at home and abroad.
Church leaders, whose offices will be located in the new meetinghouse, expressed particular gratitude to the neighbors of our new building for their patience and understanding during the months of construction.
“We really want this chapel to be an asset to the community, which has been so good to our church and our members over the years,” Fields said. “And as a means of expressing our appreciation, we will be opening the building and the surrounding grounds to the community for a variety of events and activities in the months and years to come.”
The traditional red-brick meetinghouse, downtown at Rosedale and Dorotich streets, will continue to be home to at least two congregations of the church.
The open house tours for the public will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16. Following the dedication the next day, tours will be available daily by appointment.
Call for nativity scenes, choirs
Do you collect a nativity scene from every new country you visit around the world? We are seeking crches from people of all faiths to display during the Christmas festival Dec. 6-8 at the new LDS church at 12002 Peacock Hill Ave. Call Becky Allen at 253-223-3473 to arrange for display. Area church choirs are invited to share traditional sacred Christmas music. Cheri Patch, 425-999-2460, will coordinate the performances. For more information, visit www.christmasnativity.net.On Faith columnist Alfred Gunn is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Gig Harbor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.mormon.org.