The Center, a ministry of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Davenport, hosted a visit by Bishop Laurie Haller last month. She has set a goal to spend “at least a day in each district before Christmas” in order to get acquainted with the people in her new ministry setting. She arrived in Iowa in September after being elected to the episcopacy at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference last July in Peoria.
The bishop was especially taken with the Skate Church ministry at The Center. The effort began some years ago to reach at-risk students who do not feel comfortable in a traditional church setting.
Middle School and High School skaters and bikers are welcome to bring their bikes and boards and skate in The Center’s three-level indoor skate park. When they come, they can expect to enjoy loud music and an age-appropriate Bible lesson in the company of other young people who share their interests.
Bishop Haller is pictured on one of the indoor ramps between senior pastor Anne Lippincott on her left and director Penny Kellenberger on her right. The Center received a grant of $14,000 last year, which was made possible with apportionment gifts from the United Methodist churches of the Iowa Conference.