Yesterday we had stumbled across the Kroc Centre here in Coeur d’Alene and today we went back to attend worship. This huge $38 million dollar facility was built with the generous donation of the Krocs. Some of you will know the story of how the owners of McDonald’s gave a significant amount of money to The Salvation Army to build centers of excellence for education, arts and mission across the country. While $7 million was raised locally, as I understand it, the rest came from the Kroc estate. (They also own the San Diego Padres).
There were 133 in attendance this morning and even as we worshiped in what is arguably the best equipped “sanctuary” I’ve ever seen. The theatre which is used as the sanctuary is accessed by the entire city as a performance center. Even as we worshiped some of the 20,000 members who have joined the centre used the recreation complex which is attached. There are lap pools, walking and jogging tracks, exercise equipment, a recording stuido, classrooms, a gym, an Olympic sized pool, offices, a cafe, a dance studio and on it goes….
What is even more amazing is that 5 years ago there was no Salvation Army presence in this city. Today they are a major force to be contended with. There are four officers here and after the service they invited us to join them. We found the worshiping community to be very welcoming and very young. The theatre has a capacity of 400 and somehow it won’t be hard to see this filled soon.
By the way did I mention that the corps has only been in existence 18 months – and started in the officers livingroom.
In the midst of the joy of our vacation I should mention that some of our friends are having a very tough summer. Cheryl and Gary are struggling with Julia (their youngest) in the children’s hospital in Calgary. Julia has started treatment (5 days a week for 6 weeks). Also a friend from many years ago, Don Kerr has a daughter in hospital too. She suffered a brain aneurysm and you can follow their journey at this site. Perhaps you could add them to your prayer list.
I wish I could upload some photos but the internet speed here makes that almost impossible. So I sign out from pool side and hope you’re enjoying summer as much as we are!