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Journey in Faith dedicated during special service

Pastor Peter Schmidt speaks during the dedication of Journey in Faith Lutheran Church on Sunday. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

Faith Lutheran Church has been a part of West Fargo for decades, but they recently expanded their presence south of the interstate with Journey in Faith Church, located just west of Sheyenne High School on 40th Avenue.

To celebrate, Journey in Faith held a dedication service on Sunday, in which several members of the congregation shared stories that occurred during the planning and construction of the new church.

“We wanted to share stories from different perspectives of ages and involvement in this journey, because it really has been a journey,” Pastor Judy Holmen said. “It has been a journey that has required faithful persistence.”

The staff at Faith Lutheran Church decided they needed additional space back in 1999, but did not begin looking for land until 2001. Six years later, they purchased the lot on which Journey in Faith now stands.

“The school was here… but everything else was fields,” Holmen said. “I know some people were thinking ‘what in the world are you doing buying land in the middle of nowhere?’ but now we are placed in the heart of the growing part of West Fargo, and we are very visible.”

The main goal for the facility was for it to be youth-friendly. Every room — with the exception of the building’s three offices — was built for multiple purposes, including the main service area which doubles as a full gymnasium.

The church staff also wanted to be sure they paid attention to “the care of creation.” As a result, the building uses geothermal heating and cooling, and much of the building’s possessions have been donated.

“We plan to recycle, reuse and redistribute things, and we have now become the recipients of many things that have been redistributed and repurposed,” Holmen said. “That goes along with the whole theme of caring for God’s creation and allowing people to know that that ministry continues.”

Journey in Faith will work very closely with Faith Lutheran Church, coordinating programs and occasionally rotating Holmen with Faith Pastors Peter Schmidt and Rick Kramer for service. According to Holmen the entire “support staff” for both churches will be stationed at Faith Lutheran Church.

Journey in Faith will not only work closely with its parent church, but the community as well. As of last week, the West Fargo Park District launched a youth program that takes place in the Journey in Faith gym.

“We have always said that we want this to be a place where the community gathers and that it is always used,” Holmen said. “We want to provide opportunities for kids. That is a big part of our ministry. If you reach out to the kids, you have a chance to reach out to the parents.”

While this is the church’s first collaboration with a community organization, the church staff plans to make themselves as accessible as possible for their congregation and the community as a whole.

“This community is ever-changing,” Holmen said. “It is so exciting to see where God is leading us.”

Service is held at Journey in Faith Church every Sunday at 10 a.m.