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Christian Unity Service moves beyond denominations
Dream Center chapel receives woodwork from CKMC/St. Rose
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Standing in front of the latticework at the Central Kansas Dream Center chapel are, from left: Matt Aycock, Sister Jolene Geier and Sister Celeste Albers, all members of the Christian Unity Service committee; Kimberly Becker, director of the Dream Center; and Randy Parr, who installed the latticework, which was previously in the chapel at Central Kansas Medical Center/St. Rose. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

The Barton County Association of Churches is moving to an ecumenical chapel this year for its annual Christian Unity Service. People of all denominations — as well as those without a church home — are invited to attend the service at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Central Kansas Dream Center Chapel, 2100 Broadway Ave. They should use the west entrance.

 The chapel is located in what was formerly the gymnasium when the building housed Roosevelt Junior High School.
An offering will be taken for the Barton County Emergency Aid Fund. Tours of the Dream Center and a social will follow the Christian service.

Matt Aycock from First United Methodist Church is a member of the unity service committee. He noted it’s an annual event where people set aside denominational differences and come together as the body of Christ.
Sister Jolene Geier and Sister Celeste Albers from the Dominican Sisters of Peace are also on the committee.

Sister Jolene said past Christian Unity services have been held at various churches, and most of those in attendance are from the host church. She’s hoping the move to an ecumenical chapel will bring home the message that the service is for everyone.

It will also be a chance for people to see some of the original woodwork from the Central Kansas Medical Center Chapel put to use in a new way, she noted.  St. Rose Health Center (formerly CKMC) is preparing for the razing of the facility’s circles next year, in part, by sharing excess items with the community. The latticework from the St. Rose Chapel was installed in the Dream Center chapel this week.

Sister Jolene said there are about 40 churches in Great Bend and the goal is to have someone from every congregation attend. She also plans to visit the Hungry Heart Soup Kitchen, which is located in the Dream Center, today to extend an invitation to homeless people.

Local churches have supported the ministries of the Central Kansas Dream Center Inc. and the Lasting Life Ministries, which started the soup kitchen, for several years. Sometimes congregations have used the old gym for their church services. But when the last church occupant, Cross Point Baptist, moved to its own building, it was decided to turn the space into an ecumenical chapel.

Kimberly Becker, director of the Dream Center, said the community has also come to see the ministries there as belonging to everyone. “The Dream Center is for all churches,” she said.
Becker added she is looking forward to showing people around the Dream Center. It offers a six-month residential program for people with life-controlling issues; a faith-based licensed out-patient drug and alcohol program; Kingdom Kloset, which provides free clothing, linens and household items; and other ministries.
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