Chandler church reaches out to worshipers
When Chandler United Methodist Church moved out of its downtown location in 2008, it left the UMC without a physical presence in that area for the first time since, pretty much, Chandler was founded.
Chandler United Methodist, now at Chandler Heights Road and Arizona Avenue, was founded in 1913, about a year after the city was founded.
The former church building on Chandler Boulevard just west of Arizona Avenue was torn down to make way for townhouses. Despite the move, church officials felt the downtown area was still an important one, so they made plans to form a congregation there.
The new congregation, Jacob’s Well, conducted its monthly worship service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, at the Gangplank building at 260 S. Arizona Ave. in downtown Chandler. It was only the congregation’s second.
Jacob’s Well is so new that it’s not officially a church. It’s a considered a fellowship of the United Methodist Church. It won’t become a church until it gets its charter, which is expected by the end of the year.
Pastor Jay Cooper was in town for six months meeting people, spreading the word and conducting informal gatherings before the first service on July 31.
Jacob’s Well is grounded in the traditions of its parent church but it sometimes takes non-traditional approaches to delivering the message.
Along with traditional Bible study, the church also conducts informal gatherings, sometimes in bars or restaurants.
“We did this thing called God on Tap,” Cooper said. “The reason we did that is because it communicates we’re willing to go to your turf, or whatever, to talk about God. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had about God have been within those settings because people are comfortable.”
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