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For many years I’ve dreamed of VCL having a small garden or park along the path that fronts our property where the passersby could sit quietly or visit with friends under the reach of our oak trees. Recently as we’ve been thinking about VCL as our Church Home, this idea has gotten fresh traction.

In 2009 I read a fascinating article in the Chicago Tribune by Barbara Brotman about a family who put in a small seating area in their front yard. Neighbors dropped by. Kids played nearby. Pretty soon neighbors would visit even if the owners weren’t home. The title of the article was “Front patio makes a great hook if fishing for people.” Of course, that resonated with me. It was just what I’d been dreaming of for our church.

Currently, we’re assembling a team of people under the leadership of Mary Jo Rust who would like to make this garden become a reality. We have applied for a grant from the Lincolnshire Garden Club. We imagine a small area of plants and flowers with chairs or a couple benches, and perhaps a Little Free Library (see We may have a plaque or stone with Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” In short, we envision this as a front garden for our church where our neighbors can get a sense of the home we’d like to be to them. If you’re interested in help ing with this project, let me or Mary Jo Rust know.

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