This article was written by Dianne Star
The Parkway United Church of Christ building on Washburn and Lowry will soon be gone. The congregation mourned and celebrated their final service on Sunday, September 8. The following Sunday they met at Robbinsdale United Church of Christ in Robbinsdale. At that service, members of both congregations voted to dissolve their churches and to create a new church, Robbinsdale Parkway UCC. The new church also called their pastors, Rev. Kathy Itzin and Rev. T. Michael Rock, as pastors/teachers of the new church.
The consolidation of these two congregations required more than a year of concentrated work. Four members from each congregation formed a Joint Consolidation Team (JCT) to work on the tasks. There were legal requirements and church procedures that had to be fulfilled. Sub-committees of the JCT planned ways to merge finances, ministries, by-laws and constitutions. Shared services and joint events allowed the members opportunities to get to know each other. With plans for consolidation complete, each congregation voted on April 14 to consolidate and to call Pastors Itzin and Rock.
The consolidation brought together two historic churches. Parkway UCC was the culmination of four churches, the earliest of which was founded in 1848. Robbinsdale UCC was the oldest church in Robbinsdale dating back to 1889. Each congregation was committed to hospitality, extravagant welcome and unconditional love. Robbinsdale Parkway UCC is a Just Peace Congregation, a Sanctuary Congregation, and an Open and Affirming Congregation.
The Parkway members were active in North Minneapolis, serving Lucy Craft Laney School, St. Anne’s Place, Families Moving Forward, and area food shelves. The members of the new church are committed to continuing these activities. The congregation responds to the call of Jesus to serve “the least of these” in many ways. They are welcoming to all. They are creating accessible spaces. They are offering safe space for groups and persons on the margins of society.
The Parkway congregation also wanted their property to serve or help others. Some items, including some of the stained glass windows and the old steeple bell, are part of Robbinsdale Parkway UCC. Other items, including the pipe organ, pew Bibles, and hymnals went to other congregations. Several offers were received for the building and adjacent parking lot. The congregation voted to accept the offer from the developers who will turn the land into senior housing.
We invite you to visit us! Robbinsdale Parkway UCC is located at 4200 Lake Road, just east of Bottineau and Lake Dr./42nd Ave. N. Visit our website at rpucc.org or call 763-537-6965 for more info.
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome at Robbinsdale Parkway!