In a historic church building in downtown Lincoln, Neb., a young congregation is cultivating new community and life.
F Street Neighborhood Church was started in 2014 by Northern Lighthouse Ministries, itself a church with a practice of investing in the community.
Pastored by Jeff Heerspink, F Street began with a vision for starting a new church in a building and neighborhood that have experienced decline and poverty but are also at the heart of the city of Lincoln.
Worship services began in June 2014, but F Street is also involved in the community throughout the week through a farmer’s market, block parties, and other events.
The church is in the process of refurbishing its small chapel to be an art studio and gallery as a new way of ministering to neighbors and bringing them into community.
F Street has received a Community Engagement grant through Home Missions to help with the initial costs of purchasing such supplies as easels, tools, brushes, paint sets, and other start-up needs.
The studio will also rely on volunteers from the church and community who contribute their time. Jean Stryker, a classically trained artist at F Street, will volunteer as the primary staff person. Instructors will not only be skilled artistically but will also be followers of Christ with a heart for the community.
Stryker describes how the studio will “bring the gifts of creativity and beauty to our challenged neighborhood.”
The studio will be a safe space for people in the church and community to take low-cost art classes and to come for open studio work hours.
At times, the space will also be used as a gallery for various public events, giving people a chance to showcase their creations. The newly refurbished F Street studio will be a place where the human spirit can thrive: where people can grow artistically and find community.