Church Responds to Midwest Heat Wave with Community Cooling Center
By Carl Stagner
It’s hot out there! Very hot. For many Midwesterners who simply aren’t used to dealing with heat indices in the triple digits, such weather can be dangerous and even deadly. As the mercury climbs on the thermometer in one Indiana city, a Church of God congregation has put faith into action by opening their building to anyone needing relief from the excessive heat and humidity. Park Place Church of God has shown that a little effort, a little promotion, and a little love goes a long way in extending the hands and feet of Jesus.
The father north you go on the map, the more residents you’ll discover have never had the luxury of air conditioning. Even for those who do, it’s relatively modern technology that has become a big blessing for countless families striving to survive the sticky summer weather. Especially for those whose outdoor living conditions don’t provide adequate protection from the scorching sun, welcoming and no-cost environments to escape the hot temperatures are a God-send.
Enter Park Place Church of God. Literally. Step inside, and cool off! Their Facebook promotion put it this way: “It’s HOT outside! If you or someone you know needs a cool place to take a break from the heat, the welcome center space at Park Place Church of God will be open Wednesday, June 15 through Friday, June 17, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. We’ll have a cool place to sit, access to restrooms, water bottles, and free WiFi. The welcome center can be accessed through our main entrance or the circle drive entrance at 501 College Drive.”
Kirsten Streit-Harting is the pastor of community development at Park Place Church of God. She chronicles the origin of the cooling center. It all began with a private message sent to a Park Place group on Facebook, checking in to see how everyone was staying cool: “One of our church members said we should open up a cooling center, to which we responded, ‘Of course, we should!’ I know there are other nonprofits around town that do this, but we figured we could certainly do it this week! Just wanted to help in this miserable weather and make sure people are safe.”
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.