I’m writing today to share incredibly exciting news. As you know, St. Lydia’s, for about a year, been engaged in a process to find a storefront of our very own — a place that we can call home. As our congregation continues to grow, we need room! Room for two Dinner Church services a week, and maybe more, and room to host our growing number of events and initiatives. Over the last year, the Leadership Table and I have seen and considered a number of properties.
Recently, we learned of a property located at 304 Bond Street, near Union Street, that fit every single one of our criteria. We agreed to pursue the space, and I’m very, very glad to report that we have secured it! Rachel dropped off our check and picked up the keys yesterday!
304 Bond fits all the criteria the Leadership Table has been looking for. It’s about 1,000 square feet and boasts a nice, big backyard. It’s located in a culturally and economically diverse neighborhood (one that is changing quickly as the recently-built Whole Foods impacts the landscape along Third Avenue). Our new space around the corner from Proteus Gowanus, a local gallery and reading room, and there are other small galleries located just across the street. We also hear there’s a “2-story ice cream paradise” on the way, so we couldn’t pass that up!
During our search for a space, we learned a lot about realty in Brooklyn, and what we could reasonably expect for our budget. We found that the area Atlantic/Barclay stop was out of range for us (though we did apply for a space there that was over our budget — our offer wasn’t accepted). However, good subway access on multiple lines continued to be a priority for us, as we want our church to be as accessible as possible to those coming from different parts of the city. We feel that 304 Bond delivers. The Carroll stop on the F/G is a six minute walk away, and our faithful Union stop on on the R line is an 8 minute walk. The #65 bus may also be useful for those coming from Prospect Heights.
Our lease starts on March 1, and we have one month free rent to give us a jump on renovations. The main space is finished and neat with a new bathroom, while the backyard and basement will need some loving care. I’m excited to begin the design process with the help of plenty of professionals to guide the project. I’m not sure yet when we’ll move into our new space, but I will update you when I know more.
Finding and securing our new home has been an exciting and demanding process, and I have a few very important thank yous to make. First, to the Leadership Table — Phil, Charlotte, Jeremy, Aaron, and Burke — who have thoughtfully guided this process every step of the way. They, together with Jason, Jake, and Sarah have all visited a number of possible spaces and weighed the pros and cons of each, offering expertise and measured opinions. I wish to thank Phil, Jake, and our wonderful Community Coordinator Rachel who were integral to the process of getting the lease signed, sealed and delivered, while I was on vacation! All of these folks are Lydian heroes!
Well folks, I always say that we’re building St. Lydia’s together, and in the next few months, we’re going to see that happen in a way that’s more tangible than ever. It’s your presence as a congregant, your input to this process through Community Meetings and conversations, and your giving to the Room at the Table Campaign that’s brought us here. That, and a God who never seems to give up on us.
Here’s to the next leg of the journey!
With love and gratitude,
The interior of our new home! The buckets and wires are now all cleaned up. The bathroom is on the left, and there’s a little nook behind it which has one more window. And there’s a big yard out back!
PS: If you’d like to give to the Room at the Table Campaign, you may do so on our website. Just click “donate” and write “Room at the Table” in the “notes” section when you check out. Thank you!