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Friday, October 19, 2012

Media, Rotarians, Dignitaries attend open house luncheon

Media Release
Joplin Missouri Stake
Public Affairs Council
W. Lee Hunt

Photos on this post are by Nancy Hunt, except those credited to Carmen McIntryre Borup.
Link to other photos of Stake Center Open House by Carmen McIntyre Borup
Luncheon for Media, Rotarians and Area Dignitaries
Oct. 18, 2012

   JOPLIN, MO – “What’s behind the closed curtain?”

   That’s what many guests were wondering as they gathered at a special luncheon of Rotarians, media and area dignitaries at the open house of the Joplin (Missouri) Stake Center on Oct. 18, 2012.
Guests listen to tour guide in Aaronic Priesthood Room.

   “When they opened the curtain and we saw the beautiful chapel, we went, ‘Wow,’” said guests Denee Motazedi and Gene Koester. “It’s amazing!”

   “I felt the chapel really fostered listening and reverence,” said another guest Gary Dunkin.

   More than 90 attended the open house luncheon, including Dr. Benjamin Rosenberg of the Joplin City Council, who presented Creed Jones, president of the Joplin Stake with a city proclamation, honoring the completion of the new Joplin meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dr. Benjamin Rosenberg of the Joplin City Council presents
city proclamation to Pres. Creed Jones.
Photo byCarmen McIntryre Borup   
   Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean and the city council stated in the proclamation that “a lighted steeple, symbolizing the living Christ, has been installed on the church and will serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration to the community and beyond.”

   The building replaces one at the same location that was destroyed in the May 22, 2011, tornado that ripped through Joplin.

   Pres. Jones thanked the city council and also the Rotarians for combining their monthly meeting with the church’s open house.

Joplin Stake Pres. Creed Jones
addresses Rotarians and guests.
Photo byCarmen McIntryre Borup
   He joked that maybe steak should have been served at the open house luncheon for the new “stake” center, but he then explained that the word “stake” in the LDS Church comes from the Bible.
   He said: “The Joplin stake is composed of 13 congregations, which conform to the tent image described in Isaiah 54:2: ‘Lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.’” He said that a stake in the church helps support the church the way a tent is held in place by its stakes.

   After the luncheon portion of the open house, guests were invited into the chapel, where Pres. Jones outlined a typical 3-hour Sunday service program. The first segment is the sermon and Sacrament service in which members of the congregation present the talks and even administer the Sacrament.

   “We use bread and water in the Sacrament,” he explained, “Not wine.”

Pres. Jones addesses guests in chapel and answers guestions.
   The second block of the Sunday service (basically Sunday school) offers class instruction separately for adults, young adults and children, he said.

   The third-block classes offer separate instruction for men, women, young women, young men and children, he said.

   Pres. Jones also discussed the features of the new 21,000-square-foot church building, including the various uses of the cultural center, which is separated from the chapel by a large sliding partition. When the chapel and cultural center are used for larger meetings, the two combined can seat around 700.

Chris Westwood of the Joplin Stake Young Women's
Presidency (on crutches) explains program to guests.
   He said the cultural center is used for many other types of recreational activities, such as basketball and volleyball, but also serves as a dance and dining facility with an adjoining serving kitchen, and also for musical and dramatic performances with a stage and full audio and video capabilities.

   After answering several questions from guests, he invited all to tour the different rooms in the building, including those for the Primary (all children between the ages of three and 11), Relief Society (all women 18 and older), Aaronic Priesthood (young men between 12 and 18), Young Women (those between 12 and 18), and the Family History Library.

Chapel view by Carmen McIntyre Borup.
    Beverly Block said following the tour that she was especially impressed with the Family History Library.

   “I’m going to get my husband and come back here to the library,” she said. “And it’s all free!”

   Kathryn Wilson was also intrigued by the Family History Library, which focuses on genealogy research. “I appreciate the fact that you all are really into family history,” she said.

  The tour drew a variety of comments from guests.

Guests visit with tour guides at south entrance of the
new Joplin Stake Center.
   “I just enjoyed the nice warm camaraderie shown by all,” said Mica Burnett.

   David Hathaway said he felt a kinship: “I’m a Baptist and I felt the theology was very similar to the one I grew up in.”

   Duane Moudy, Lutheran Disaster Response Regional Coordinator, said he was somewhat surprised about the separate instruction that the young men and women receive. “It’s an interesting dynamic,” he said, “Not necessarily bad but just different.”

Lisa Witbeck of the Stake Relief Society Presidency tells
guests about the women's program.
   The Joplin Stake Center is at 2107 Indiana Ave., Joplin, Missouri, 64804.

   The open house for the public continued in the evening of Oct. 18 and 19 and then on Saturday, Oct. 20, from noon until 5 p.m.

Rotarian addresses members preceding the tour program.

Rotarian addresses members preceding the tour program.

Pres. Jones addresses open house guests in the cultural center
of the Joplin Stake Center.

Open house guests find seating in the chapel after the

Pres. Jones addresses the open house guests.

Guests begin their tour of the new Joplin Stake Center.

David Farnsworth (center with arms folded), is the
supervisor over the construction of the
stake center.

Members of the Joplin Stake assisting in the open house.

Chris Westwood (on crutches) explains Young Women's
program to tour guests.

Lisa Witbeck of the Stake Relief Society presidency
tells guests about the women's program.

Open house guide explains points about the stake
center and the church to tour guests.

Open house guests exit the Aaronic Priesthood room and
Baptismal Font room.

Open house guide explains about the Baptismal Font and
its role in the church.

W. Lee Hunt, seated, interviews an open house guest after
her tour of the new Joplin Stake Center.

Mica Burnett told the interviewer: “I just enjoyed the nice
warm camaraderie shown by all.” (In background is
 Derek Martin, high councilman over the
Joplin Stake Public Affairs Council, which was resonsible
for the open house.  

Reporter for KZRG interviews Pres. Jones after he addressed
the open house guests in the chapel.
Link to the KZRG story and photos.
Photo byCarmen McIntryre Borup

Pres. Jones addresses Rotarians and guests.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dedication of Joplin (Missouri) Stake Center

I neglected to post this item when I wrote it Sept. 28, 2012, on assignment from the stake Public Relations Committee.

Nancy Hunt, my wife, took this picture before the dedication.

   JOPLIN, MO -- Sixteen months and one day after one of the most devastating tornadoes in U.S. history ripped through this southwest Missouri city, LDS members in the city and surrounding area gathered Sunday evening for the dedication of their newly rebuilt stake center.

    Presiding at the dedication and offering the dedicatory prayer was Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

   Joplin Stake President Creed R. Jones, whose home was one of more than 7,000 destroyed in the killer twister, conducted the dedication session and welcomed the more than 600 in attendance.

   Speakers recalled the miracles amid the storm’s tragedy and rejoiced in the completion of the beautiful 21,023-square-foot stake center – a new light on a rise in Joplin.

   The church building is at 2107 Indiana Ave., Joplin, Missouri, 64804.

   On May 22, 2011, the Category F-5 tornado cut a path through Joplin, killing 158 people and injuring about 1,000 -- the deadliest tornado in the United States since 1947.

   Eight members rode out the tornado inside the stake center in the only area of the building left standing. When the survivors opened the door out of the women’s restroom, virtually all the rest of the stake center was rubble!    

   Elder Callister warned that the new stake center itself will not save our lives. “Our lives will be saved only if we dedicate ourselves to Christ.”

    There is no tornado, earthquake, job loss or other misfortune that can take away our eternal blessings if we have faith in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, he said.

   Choose faith over the reason of the world, Elder Callister said.

   As Prime Minister Winston Churchill told his nation in the darkest hours of World War II – “We will never, never, never give up” – Elder Callister urged those in attendance to “never, never, never give up on the Lord's promises.”

   Pres. Jones, who with his wife rode out the howling tornado winds in their car, said there are three refuges in life: home, church and the temple.

   There is safety in the church ordinances, he said. “If you keep your covenants, your covenants will keep you.”

   Beryl Nickolaisen, a member of the Joplin 1st Ward, said that in the aftermath of the tornado, members have learned to put the needs of others above their own.

   Within days after the tornado, LDS Church members began cleanup projects and eventually put in more than twenty-thousand service hours in the stricken area.

   Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr reported on June 1, 2012, that by the end of April of 2012, the community and other volunteers had provided 810,476.5 hours in cleaning up and rebuilding the city area.

   Cleanup of the stake center debris after the tornado moved swiftly and less than seven months later, the building’s general contractor, Hunt Taylor Creek Contractors, was supervising the pouring of the huge concrete floor of the new stake center.

   The original Joplin meetinghouse was constructed in 1960-61 and was comprised of the chapel, some offices and several classrooms. Other additions were completed in the 1970s. The building as a stake center was dedicated June 15, 1996, as the Joplin Missouri Stake Center.

   Less than 15 years later, the tornado wrote a harrowing new chapter in the history of the church in Joplin, Missouri.
KSL.com posted the above picture and story on Oct. 15, 2012.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First meeting in new Joplin Missouri Stake Center

Members of the Joplin Stake met in the new stake center Saturday, Sept. 15, for the Adult Session of the Joplin Stake Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The chapel and cultural hall were filled, and many were seated even on the cultural hall stage.
The only thing obviously missing in the chapel was a clock on the wall: All the speakers had to use their own watches or cell phones to keep track of the time.
There is still a lot of work to be completed outside, including parking and even the northwest entrance into the north parking area.
The Joplin First and Joplin Second Wards will hold their first meeting, a joint session on Sunday, Oct. 14, the week after LDS General Conferance.
The Open House (see previous blog) is scheduled Oct. 18, 19 and 20. So don't forget to invite your friends, neighbors and co-workers to celebrate with us! 
Here are a few pre-dedication pictures before the adult session of stake conference.
A view from the center of the chapel back through the cultural
hall and stage.

The front of the chapel (looking west).

Getting ready for the adult session of Joplin Stake Conference.

Looking south at the connection between the chapel and the
cultural hall, including the mounted basketball standard.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dedication and Open House set for new Joplin Missouri LDS Stake Center

Dedication of the new Joplin Missouri Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is scheduled Sunday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m.
The stake center is located at 2107 Indiana Ave., Joplin, Missouri, 64804, just south of 20th Street and across from where the Joplin High School was located before the F-5 tornado of May 22, 2011, destroyed both the high school and meetinghouse and a major swath of Joplin City.
Also, an open house for the new Joplin Stake Center will be held Thursday, Oct. 18, through Saturday Oct. 20, 2012.

A special luncheon is scheduled at noon, Thursday, Oct. 18 for all media representatives and area dignitaries, which will be followed by a formal tour conducted by a member of the Joplin Stake Presidency.
A question-and-answer session will conclude the special tour.
The open house for the general public will follow that evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and again Friday, Oct. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The open house hours Saturday, Oct. 20, will be from noon until 9 p.m.
Members of the Joplin Stake will have their first meeting at the new stake center when they meet Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. for the Adult Session of the Joplin Stake Conference.
Sunday's general session of Stake Conference will be at 10 a.m. at Carthage High School. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

David Farnsworth has forwarded more pictures of the work on the Joplin Missouri Stake Center.
Joplin Stake Center, looking north at the south entrance.

Next step on the outside of the new Joplin Stake Center: Parking lots.

A view from the cultural hall, looking west toward the pulpit
in the new Joplin Stake Center in Joplin, Missouri.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A sneak peak inside the new Joplin Stake Center

A look down a long hallway at under-construction
Joplin Missouri Stake Center, Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The mirros are up and the dressing stalls are in at the
under-construction Joplin Missouri Stake Center.

A look toward the chapel from the cultural hall at the
under-construction Joplin Missouri Stake Center.

Work is moving along at the under-construction Joplin Missouri Stake Center

Looking east at the stage in the cultural hall at the under-construction Joplin Missouri Stake Center