Representatives announced the intended use of the Provo Community United Church of Christ on University Avenue as a community gathering place at the “Let Freedom Ring … and Sing!” interfaith concert on June 30.
Carol Sirana Menasian and C. Bret Pope, members of the Provo Community UCC, announced the church’s plans between musical numbers.
“Tragically, with the loss of the beloved LDS tabernacle, there no longer exists a sacred place downtown where all can feel welcome,” Pope said. “As a congregation, we desire to be a gathering place … our ultimate goal is to create a community center where groups of all kinds … will be able to come together in service and celebration.”
The church will continue to serve its religious functions, but its planned renovations and expansion will also allow Provo residents to use it as downtown Provo’s new community center. The mayor of Provo, John Curtis, also attended and spoke about the church’s role in the community.
“I don’t know if anybody can fully appreciate the announcement that was made this evening,” Curtis said. “My congratulations to this great congregation and to those of you with vision, who could see … what will take place here over decades and decades and how much that will impact, significantly, the culture of this great city.”
The event served as a fundraiser for the planned renovations, but also to bridge gaps between members of the Provo Community UCC, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Various groups performed at the concert, including the Utah Valley Bell Ringers, the Provo Community UCC Choir, the Utah Valley University Alumni Singers and the Provo YSA 19th Stake Choir.