Seventh Day Adventist Church looks to share Main Street building with Dexter community
DEXTER — On Jan. 16 many Dexter Age-Friendly members and community leaders listened intently and with some surprise about a wonderful new project underway in downtown Dexter to provide “a place to hang out,” as Assistant Pastor Dawn Tritch explained.
Tritch, representing members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church that used to call Dexter its home, brought models of renovation plans for the 12 Main Street building, which she and her husband purchased for the church. Although the exterior of the building will remain the same, inside, the main floor will be totally gutted so as to include all new wiring, plumbing, walls, ceilings, lighting, restrooms, and a new kitchen that they hope to use for Community Café, community luncheons, and other small events. Tritch envisions mothers with small children stopping in for coffee as there will be a play space for the young ones. Older people can gather to catch up on their news in the facility as well. She told her listeners that the very best in building materials will be used in this renovation so that the building will be pleasant for its visitors.
Tritch sees the finished project as a way to bring members of the Dexter community and the church community together in a positive and loving way. Other churches in Dexter and the greater Maine Highlands area provide weekly, free luncheons and dinners to achieve this end. Tritch and her church community want to eventually be able to provide their space six days a week to benefit citizens of Dexter and those from surrounding smaller communities. The seventh day, from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday, will be the time used for church members’ worship services and will be closed for other activities during that 24-hour period.
This project will be a win-win situation for the town and the church. The town needs a community center. The church members need a place for worship. No town funds will be used for this project, which will be finished in the summer of 2019. The town will not be responsible for the upkeep of the building. Churches traditionally have missions of many kinds. Community use of the 12 Main Street building will be a love offering given by the Seventh Day Adventists to the people of Dexter.