“One Church Rutland” opened this weekend

Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 10:13 PM EST
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - “We want to help everyone experience and share the love of god. One of the best ways we can do that is pray for one,” said One Church Leaders Braden & Lindsey Etcheson.

This is Braden and Lindsey Etcheson. They moved here from Kansas city to start a new life and a new church. With community donations they purchased the old Methodist church in downtown Rutland. A building that’s been empty since 2018.

“When we were looking about where to go, we had really thought about coming to New England for many years and Vermont just felt like home. We really did fall in love with Rutland specifically. As we were learning we found out that Vermont is the least church state in the country,” said the Etcheson’s.

The new church is called One Church Rutland. Renovations have been in the works for a year and are still ongoing. The Etchesons want to make the church a safe space for everyone, including kids. The entire downstairs is a kid’s space. Each room is color coded for a different age group. Teacher Kayla Kolensky says in times like these being a kid is tough enough.

“I think Rutland is definitely in need of a place that kids can just come to. Feel welcomed, even adults at any point. Even if it was on like a Friday or a Monday, it doesn’t have to be on a Sunday,” said Kolensky.

“Our ultimate goal is for children to feel safe and have fun here, and ultimately experience the best hour of their week when they’re with us. We want to help them learn. We want to help them grow. We want to help them gain life skills that will help them be better people better neighbors,” explained the Etcheson’s.

People in town posting on social media are even excited about the one church. The Etcheson’s are looking into doing after school programs, and hosting educational and fun kid events on the weekends. They are also thinking about what to do with the big space in front of the church which is still under renovation. Kids anticipating the grand opening are eager to use the space downstairs.

“Mostly because I just like helping out and we’re excited for a new big space especially for dancing here too,” says teenager Kelsey Hayden.

The church will have a full Sunday service and a kid service as well every weekend. Anybody that wishes to join this church is more than welcome.