New Building, New Name, Expanded Vision

Post a Comment » Written on September 18th, 2008     
Filed under: News
NORTH MANKATO, MN (September 18, 2008) – More than 600 members of Crossview Covenant Church participated in a “Crossing Over” prayer walk from the building in which they have worshiped to their new facility on Sunday.

The walk was the beginning of a celebration that will run more than a month and includes plans to read through the Bible in a week.

On Sunday, members met for a 20-minute time of music and prayer before walking through the community and finished with another 20 minutes of worship. Sudanese members of the church played drums as they led the one-mile march.

Members carried small flags on which they had written the names of people for whom they are praying. Participants placed the flags on the property in front of the new building.

“We’re not at all about the building – it’s about the ministry.”

The walk came almost exactly a year to the day following the groundbreaking ceremony held September 17, 2007. Six hundred people gathered to “stake out” the building. The congregation marked out the perimeter of the facility with stakes prepared with prayers and purposes for the new building, which is laid out as a cross.

Over the last year, the church also changed its name from North Mankato Covenant Church to Crossview.

The church will conduct its first worship service this Sunday in a large multipurpose room and celebrate a grand opening on September 28. A dedication weekend will be observed November 1-2, when previous pastors will participate in the festivities.

“We’re not at all about the building – it’s about the ministry,” says pastor Kevin Melin.

Members will have an opportunity to show their dedication to scripture between September 28 and October 4. The church will read aloud the entire Bible over the course of the week.

Volunteers are signing up for 15-minute slots when they will come to the church to read their assigned portion of the text. Each volunteer will read roughly three chapters. They also are encouraged to walk through the church to pray.

Associate pastor Roger Gilbert says the reading aloud of scripture is rooted in Nehemiah 8, when Ezra and other leaders read the scriptures to the Israelites. “We want to raise the awareness of ‘Where is it written?” Gilbert says. He also hopes the experience will help people to more fully integrate scripture into their daily lives.

Melin says he empathizes with the people who will be reading through 1 Chronicles. He had prepared the congregation for the upcoming celebrations by preaching on the Prayer of Jabez, which is found in that particular book. “Whoever reads the chapters that include that, I have a prize for them,” he adds, laughing.

The new building has been a long time coming. The church met in the gymnasium of the previous facility for the past 13 years. Since the 1990s, members had been discussing and praying about possible construction plans.

The church received an answer to its prayer and then some. The church originally purchased 12 acres of property that the city later decided it wanted. The city exchanged 19 acres of prime real estate for the 12 acres Crossview had purchased.

In addition to a sanctuary, the $6.1 million facility will include classroom space as well as a small office. The church will continue to use the older facility for a youth center, its main offices and for community outreach ministries.

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