Drive along 16th or Delaware Streets near downtown Indianapolis, and you will come at their intersection to a large, red-brick church building that obviously has been there a long time. The simple, perhaps plain, exterior hides a heart which is pulsing with life.
A Transforming Presence
Look inside the church, and you’ll see one glimpse after another of community life: a lively folkdance group doing dances from all over the world; an active neighborhood meeting; the delighted smiles of little ones at a toddlers’ music class; the intent rows of bent heads of local high schoolers who have spread out to use the space for standardized testing; a down-and-out man earning a few dollars picking up trash; a religious scholar who’s driven an hour for the unusual selection of books in the one-of-a-kind bookstore; two women who have stopped by to light a candle and pray for a sick relative. All these people experience, each in their own way, the transforming power that this church, Joy of All Who Sorrow, has in the Indianapolis community. Whether by connecting with their neighbors, participating in a new activity, or taking respite from life’s stresses inside a sacred space, they have been enriched by their connection with this place.
Come during an incense-filled church service, and you will see a slightly different cross-section of the people the church serves. There are families with active small children, immigrants from three continents bringing their distinctive cultures and traditions, native-born Americans from farm-boy to hippie backgrounds, and many others. All of them have found their home in the church, the place of spiritual and personal transformation.
A Transformed Building
When the Joy of All Who Sorrow congregation moved into the building in 1988, it was in a sad state (much as the neighborhood had been when they moved into the area in 1971). Built in 1901, after nearly a hundred years, it was decaying in dozens of ways. As they stepped into the new space, the congregation breathed life into the old structure, repairing and rebuilding one step at a time. During those years, the congregation has never owned the building. (In a unique arrangement, we renovated the building year by year instead of paying rent to the owner). Now is the time to make the building completely our own. Joy of All Who Sorrow is conducting a capital campaign, Transforming Joy, to raise the money to purchase the church building.
The goal of this campaign is, by buying the building, to build the foundation for continued and strengthened transformation, in individual lives and in the life of the community.
We invite you to participate by investing in us. Please click on “donate” at the top of this page to easily make a secure online donation.
Stefanida Bauman is a member of Joy of All Who Sorrow who serves on the Steering Committee of our campaign.