Virginia congregation partners on affordable housing
Redevelopment plan also includes new worship space, child care center and ‘retail consistent with ministry’
November 26, 2013
On Nov. 18 the members of Arlington Presbyterian Church agreed by a vote of 34 to 19 to move forward with part of their newly discerned vision — redeveloping their property in partnership with Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to build new worship space and church offices, a childcare center, retail consistent with their ministry, and affordable housing.
“Our decision to partner with APAH represents our new vision for discipleship, crossroads and affordable housing. We believe in being good stewards of our resources by using our land to further this vision, as this redevelopment represents the innovative social change that has been a hallmark of our ministry,” said the church’s pastor, the Rev. Sharon Core.
For the past three years, the congregation has been engaged in an intentional discernment process. Recognizing that both church and culture are changing, the leadership and those involved in the life of the church have been grappling with “What does it mean to be a church in the 21st century?”
In the summer of 2012, a group of church members offered their time and energy to seek answers to this question. Working with a new church development coach, the group committed themselves to spiritual disciplines, conversation and engagement with the community. As they moved through the neighborhood, they listened for an answer to the question “For whom are our hearts breaking?”
What emerged was a three-part vision:
- A congregation of disciples of Jesus Christ
- A place of crossroads and gathering in the community.
- Affordable housing.
It is this third part of their vision, to provide affordable housing for our community, that the congregation took action on with their vote.
The request of the congregation now goes to National Capital Presbytery and Arlington County for their approvals.
For more information, visit www.arlingtonpresbyterian.org.