During it's long existence, the Garfield Park Christian Church worked diligently to make itself an essential park of the larger west side community it had established. 

The sanctuary has been a host to a myriad of religious groups and has lent a hand to alienated populations. Special outreach was made to the LGBT community, the homeless, refugees, atheist/agnostic, evolutionists and backed progressive causes of Gay Pride, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock Indians, Women's Rights, Environmentalism, Science, Etc.

When Trump was elected president in November 2016, the church displayed a rainbow flag on its front lawn.

The different community offerings the church has provided in its later years include four addiction self-help programs, AARP driver safety training classes, Coryell Autism center, Grey Bears Brown Bag pick-up, Westside Choir, West Creative Performing Arts-Studio Wilde, among other programs. The gymnasium was in constant use for basketball, volleyball, badminton, and fencing, plus yoga classes as well as for a long-time voting precinct. 

Neighborhood groups were encouraged to make the church their community center. The courtyard park hosted the yearly Hindu "Navrati Festival", and the first-responders "National Night Out" party, plus neighborhood flea markets, picnics, ice-cream socials and 4th Sunday lawn games.

With the disciples' tradition to recapture the early activism of 1st century Christians, in a way responsive to contemporary culture, the congregation decided to re-imagine what the church is.

Garfield Park Christian Church became the "Circle's Church".

Sacred and popular music was played. The sanctuary doubled as an art gallery. Banquets and pot lucks were a big draw, so they spent $12,000 to replace the pews with tables, each with a centerpiece of communion-ware. The tables created intimate groupings for conversation and a "cafe style worship service." The church started the Sunday night "Faith on Tap" program to share beer, wine, cider, and food, and plan ways to achieve greater purpose, and donate proceeds to progressive causes.

It was this that led to the selling of the church. The owner at the time- Christopher Drury had the idea to continue "faith on tap" but at a brew pub he planned to open at the old Logos location on Pacific. In December 2017, they sold the church to "the circle of friends" for 3.3 million.

Thus, the church and the community lost a staging ground for lawn activities, their organic garden and bee sanctuary, and all the various amenities it was previously providing the neighborhood.

Save the Heart of the Circles

savetheheartofthecircles@gmail.com

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