Something really cool has happened.
Once upon a time, just after I was born, my parents started attending a new church. I have been a part of that church ever since. It is a part of me, and I am a part of it. Through good and bad, it is my family.
Once upon a time, I started Kindergarten. I have been a part of the same school district ever since. I graduated with a handful of people I started with (including my husband). My dad retired after 32 years in this district, and my mother-in-law (my former second grade teacher) is in her 36th. My husband and I are in our 7th year of teaching in this district. Our kids will learn here, also. It is a part of us, and we are a part of it. Through good and bad, it is our family.
Our church has beautiful buildings on a beautiful campus with limited space. Parking was a main inhibitor for numerical church growth. We are adjacent to my alma matter high school, whose parking was typically maxed. Throughout the years, the church and school have created lease agreements regarding parking. They essentially said, “The school can use the church lot on weekdays, and the church can use the school lot on Sundays.” This was a band-aid on a big problem.
Eventually, it was proposed that the church pay for a two-story parking structure on the adjacent school property, owned (of course) by the school district.
Could this really be done?
After years of meetings with architects, rejections, school district meetings, modifictaions, elder meetings, rain delays, etc. etc…
It has been done.
The agreement of shared space is now viable for 99 years, so I suppose our descendents will figure out what to do next.
A member of the school board attended church to shake a pastor’s hand and thank us for our contribution. A pastor attended a school board meeting to shake hands and thank them for the land. In lieu of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a car was driven through a red ribbon and was the first car parked in the lot. The structure boasts 338 spaces – 114 more than the previous lot.
I have no ranting editorial of this event, except to notice that there doesn’t always need to be a separation of church and state, especially when they can help each other out. I think this would make a great cover story for any church or school administration publication. The news would be that church and state helped each other out, and hell didn’t freeze over.
And on a personal note, I have the proud glow of a family member whose relatives just communed.