Heights Christian Church has served the neighborhood and the surrounding community for over 100 years.
But when Reverend Amber Mattingly became the pastor of the church in late February and started talking to residents about it, she said she encountered a reaction that suggested the congregation at 1703 Heights Blvd. was a new and unknown commodity.
“Our first goal is to be relevant in the community. This is something that over the past decades we have completely lost sight of, ”she said. “When I went to talk to different people, they had no idea who we were or where we were, and we’ve been in the neighborhood since 1912. That says something. “
The church and its new leader hope to bring new momentum to the community and are already taking steps to that end. Mattingly said the Heights Christian Church resumed in-person services on Easter Sunday, having practically operated for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weekly services take place at 10 a.m. on Sundays, and there is also an adult Bible study on Wednesday evenings that is held virtually via Zoom, among other regular events. Mattingly, who is also a yoga and meditation teacher, also recently hosted a yoga session in the church garden.
And she’s hosting a community-wide event slated for next May called “Heights Got Talent.” Mattingly envisions the event as a showcase for the youth of the community to be held at Lambert Hall, which is on the church campus and was once the venue for the opera in the heights.
“Why wouldn’t we use this facility in one way or another for the benefit of the community?” ” she asked.
Mattingly said the Heights Christian Church wishes to benefit all members of the community, even if they practice another Christian denomination or a completely different faith. She said church members decided two years ago to become an open and assertive congregation “that extends all the responsibilities and privileges of membership to people of all nationalities, political beliefs, genders, sexualities and neurotypes. “.
“I really think we are entering a new season of ministry, where our focus is really to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our community,” Mattingly added. “It’s something that I bring, but also the church is really in a unique position to see this as its mission.”