How Did We Get Here? We Moved Our Church Family!
How Did We Get Here?
In March of 2015, Fairmount Community Church, United Church of Christ gathered as a congregation to formally discuss our future in the building at 4801 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY. The building had been our home since 1949, but regular floods from bursting pipes, leaky roofs, and all the expenses that had come with them led us to prayerfully consider that God might be calling us away from being caretakers of the aging structure.
In early 2016, at the Annual Meeting of our Congregation, we voted to consider selling our property and building, and to begin looking for potential partners in ministry. Conversations with several congregations helped us discern the path ahead, and a Transition Team of church members was formed.
When it became clear that the congregation of Robinson Elmwood United Church seemed to be the best fit theologically and liturgically, and that the recently available space beneath their sanctuary was available for our offices, the Transition Team worked diligently with Rev. Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the Robinson Elmwood Interim Pastor and a select group of Robinson Elmwood members to work out the details of a possible relationship.
When the congregation at Robinson Elmwood United Church made it clear that we were welcome to share space with them, and that they were ready and willing to discuss all the ways we might work together in ministry, Fairmount Community Church United Church of Christ voted to accept that invitation.
The space underneath the sanctuary has been renovated from a dance studio to a modern office suite. Each congregation made adjustments to their worship schedules and now Fairmount Community Church worships at 9 a.m. each Sunday and Robinson Elmwood worships at 11 a.m. each Sunday. We have periodically combined our worship services.
Robinson Elmwood’s hospitality, grace, and faithfulness have helped make our transition smoother than we might have expected. Pastor Janice’s wisdom and expertise helped us all make good choices in defining how we want to exist as two congregations under one roof. Our first service was held on October 22, 2017.
(as reprinted in part from our Christmas Eve Bulletin 12/24/2017)
What did we do with the contents of our Church?
Our Branches stretched to the following organizations in selling or donating our pews, organ, piano, hymnals, Bibles, music, kitchen dishes, pans, silverware, volley ball court, furniture, speakers, refrigerators, commercial stove/ovens, pulpits, altar and so much more. Our Church members, and especially our Pastor Rev. Ferner and Administrative Assistant, Sue Miller, worked tirelessly finding homes for our items. The organizations that received our items were very grateful. Here is how far our branches reached:
West Genesee School District
Town of Camillus Parks and Recreation
Interfaith Works Center for New Americans
Cathy’s Cookie Kitchen
Marcellus Parent Nursery School
Our Community Preschool at Christ Community Church of the Nazrene
Nshimiye Kwitona Olivier (a refugee/piano protégé from the Congo who needed our keyboard)
Pentecostal Evangelical Missionary Baptist Church
True Vine Missionary Baptist Church
St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church
St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
Plainville Christian Church
Plymouth Congregational UCC
Fay Road Baptist Church
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Baldwinsville)
Liverpool First United Methodist Church
Half Acre Union Church
Robinson Elmwood Church
Malden Road UCC
Habitat for Humanity Restore Shop