July 20th is Get to Know Your Customers Day! And while it should be noted we’re generally enthused about all people we work with, we had our clients from The Bridge Church on the brain this month as we helped them opened their Hub project in Iowa.
[Pictured above: Lead Studio | BRiNK designer, Amanda Swartwout, warms up the new Hub Green Room with Bridge Church leaders Marty Schmidt and Kerry Van Hemert. Photo credit: Dan Schwalm]
The Hub is a community center in the heart of downtown Ottumwa. It is a re-imagining of a 1920’s brick building that was once a YWCA and then sat vacant and lifeless for many years. And most importantly in our eyes, it is a call to unite the community and give them a place to gather.
Accommodating all visitor types, the Hub offers a variety of amenities, from coffee bar, to auditorium, to private and public meeting zones. All this was the vision of this local church organization and their Lead Pastor, Marty Schmidt (MS). We got a chance to sit down and “jam sesh” with him recently to talk about their wonderful organization and goals for their new space.
Q+A With The Bridge Church
SB: One of our favorite Bridge mantras is, “rebuild, repair, restore.” How did this come to be a core Bridge value and why was it important to honor it in the development of your new Hub space?
MS: The idea behind “rebuild, repair, restore” came about at a low point for me. I was feeling stuck as a leader. I felt like our achievement as an organization had hit a ceiling. I was in South Carolina in a hotel and I couldn’t sleep. I picked up my Bible and came across a verse in the book of Ezra that was talking about a people who were rebuilding, repairing, and restoring. It immediately clicked for me. That is what I want us to be about.
We have since spent all of our efforts chasing this as a vision. To be a people who are rebuilding, repairing, and restoring individual lives and a community both spiritually and physically.
SB: What role does music play in the message you share with your community? How does it set you apart from the other messages out there?
MS: Music has a way of building bridges. It has the power to connect people with each other. There is something spiritual about our music. We have found people to be deeply impacted by it. People leave our gathers encouraged and empowered and a large reason why is the music.
[Pictured above: The Bridge Church leadership connecting with their community through music at their new Hub space. Photo credit: The Bridge Church]
SB: What do you hope the Hub community center will bring to/ be/ provide for the community of Ottumwa?
MS: One of the definitions of a “hub” is the center of activity. We really see this building being that for us as well as our community. We have intentionally designed it with a purpose that is larger than just our organization. Our hope is to inspire and connect with both students and adults. We long to see it as a training center for people. A place of refuge for others.
Stay tuned for more photos of the space to come!