On Thursday June 22, 2017 friends and members of Portlock United Methodist Church gathered together for "Messy Church," a once a month worship service that seeks to reach out and include the unchurched/dechurched within the neighborhood.
During a prior Civic League meeting, Pastor Mary Sullivan-Trent met Tammi Ammick, a leader on the South Norfolk revitalization committee who had asked during the meeting if anyone wanted to take a Free Little Library to their corner of the community. She explained that the Little Library would be constructed, sanded, and primed. All it needed was a place to call home. When Pastor Mary went back to the church and presented the idea to the various committees, the people of Portlock UMC were excited to say, "yes" to this opportunity. It was decided that the Messy Church team would take on the project.
Every month Messy Church meets for a time of experiential worship through story telling, singing, art, music, and a communal meal. Since the theme for this particular month was "The Gift at Pentecost," our friends wanted to reciprocate God's graciousness, and so everyone helped to prepare a Little Free Library.
The Little Library will be filled with free books that are available to anyone in the community. Passersby and neighbors are invited to browse and take however many books they'd like and have the option of returning or keeping them once read. They are also invited to bring books from home to share with others and may donate them to Portlock UMC to place in the Little Library.
The Portlock UMC Little Free Library was painted and "decorated" with all of the Messy Church participant's handprints. Once the city permits are in place, the hope is to place the Little Free Library on the front of the church's property beside a nearby bus stop.
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