Friday, August 05, 2011

Fuller Prayer Garden Update

About four years ago, I suggested that the Fuller Prayer Garden was going to go away soon. As this picture demonstrates, I was wrong. It's still here, and in fact the area around it was landscaped earlier this year to provide additional prayer space. I also commented back then, as well as when my old apartment building (which was just behind the Prayer Garden) was being taken away, that Fuller was intending to use the site for a new worship center/chapel. Those plans are, I think it's safe to say, on hold for now, having been delayed by multiple factors, not the least of which being the financial difficulty that pretty much everyone has been dealing with for years now.

So, rather than keep the area completely walled off with green-tarped fencing indefinitely (as had been the case for far too long), Fuller decided to do some fairly low-cost landscaping to turn the surrounding area into a "Worship Garden." Personally, I think "garden" is being more than a little generous, as it's mostly just a large expanse of brown. But it doesn't cost very much to maintain, and it is a peaceful area to walk around in contemplation. Southern California needs more spaces like this.

I also want to remain on record as feeling that this garden is, in my opinion, in no way a viable substitute for the full-fledged worship center/chapel we were originally supposed to get. The fact that Fuller--one of the largest seminaries in the world--doesn't have a dedicated worship space, in which it's community can regularly gather together, is simply a crime. I don't know if the original plans have been totally scrapped, or simply delayed until a more viable time, but I still have hopes that the concept will be revisited in the future. Until then, this is definitely better than ugly green tarp-covered fences.

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