Church aims to bring community together

WEST CHAZY - The Wesleyan Church will soon be known as the West Chazy Community Church, and a community church is exactly what it wants to work harder on becoming.

"We don't want to distance ourselves from the [Wesleyan] denomination," said pastor Jonathan Hunter, "but we want to be known more as a community-based church than a denomination."

A main reason for the name change, according to Hunter, was because the Wesleyan denomination is rather larger and they wanted to make it more personal to the community.

"We're wanting to reach more people in West Chazy and in the surrounding areas," Hunter said.

Hunter also felt the church received a bad rap after the Wesleyan campground in West Chazy closed down last year.

"That kind of put a sour name in the community because of the way that it was done and we're trying to overcome that," he explained.

The church is also hoping to have more community-based events in the near future.

"We'll have a vacation bible school this summer with children," said Hunter. "We're thinking of a community-based or church-based garage sale. More projects that the kids want to be involved in."

The church is also hosting monthly pot luck dinners following their Sunday Mass.

Just as the church is looking to become closer with the community, the community is also becoming more involved with the church.

For the last five winters, the church has been burning wood in their outdoor boiler instead of using heating oil.

"We've had the availability of the wood," explained Hunter. "Some of it was donated, but we got a lot off the campground."

Hunter prefers using wood instead of oil, especially when oil was at a much higher price. He also feels it is better for the environment.

However, stacking wood can be a big task.

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