Writer / Heather Chastain
This fall, I walked into Avon United Methodist Church’s new $4.4 million-dollar addition to their facility and was absolutely stunned by their gorgeous new building. Immediately, I noticed the open lobby seating area filled with couches and tables for people to gather. There is a beautiful wood sign with the church name and a coffee and juice bar. Above the coffee bar, you see these comforting words, C.O.F.F.E.E. – Christ Offers Forgiveness For Everyone Everywhere.
The classrooms are large and offer a wonderful space for the children to play and learn. My 2-year-old daughter has absolutely loved attending Play-N-Share preschool at Avon United Methodist Church. The 36,000-square foot addition offers a comfortable 600-seat sanctuary with a beautiful stained glass window behind the large stage area. The expansive multi-purpose room can be used for basketball, volleyball and pickleball (a paddle sport) as well as receptions and formal events. A kitchen next to the multi-purpose room is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.
Lead Pastor Larry Kurtz says they were also able to do quite a bit of remodeling in their present building. They refurbished the former sanctuary into a 160-seat chapel and relocated and expanded the resource library with comfortable seating.
“We now have the needed space for our growing kids, youth, music and fellowship ministries,” Kurtz says.
People who are discovering and attending Avon UMC are young families to retirees.
“Many people today are looking for hope and answers to their daily struggles,” Pastor Kurtz says. “They are looking for non-threatening entry points to come into a church family and explore their faith in a God who loves them unconditionally. We welcome the people who are bummed out, bounced out and burned out with open arms. We can offer them a place to learn and worship and grow in their faith.”
The church has several services on Sunday morning to accommodate the different preferences of those attending. They offer a traditional service at 8:15 a.m., an informal/contemporary service at 9:30 a.m. and a blended service at 11:00 a.m.
“We stress a reverent, but relaxed attitude of worship,” Pastor Kurtz says. “We know why we are here and what we are about as we thank God for what He has done, and what He has planned for us.”
Kurtz says the theme he stresses during his weekly messages is that they are not only a family, but also a T.E.A.M. The acronym stands for Together Experiencing Awesome Ministry.
“Together, we can make a difference in individual lives and families of those within our community,” Kurtz says.
He encourages everyone to have a ministry inside the church and a mission outside the church. The church supports 40 different missions including a soup kitchen, Sheltering Wing and Fletcher Place in downtown Indianapolis. The leadership teams work hard to create new programs and ministries to meet the needs of the growing church family.
To learn more about the Avon United Methodist Church visit avonumc.com.
“It is exciting to see who God is bringing into our church family, who will join with people who have been with us for more than 50 years,” Kurtz says. “It is a great church with a lot of great people, and I am blessed to be a part of what God is doing at the Avon United Methodist Church.”