Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Rock in Oakdale

On Tuesday morning, before heading to the Washington County Fair, I attended a briefing and tour for public officials of "The Rock," the new youth and family center that will open soon in the former Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in the heart of Oakdale Borough.

The Rock is a program of Oakdale United Presbyterian Church. The congregation of Oakdale U.P. merged with that of Good Shepherd Presbyterian after Good Shepherd was heavily damaged by the September, 2004, flood caused by the remnant of Hurricane Ivan. The day after the 2004 flood, I toured Good Shepherd and other parts of Oakdale's business district. The memory of the church's water-logged carpets and damaged hymnals and pews will stay with me for many years to come.

But Good Shepherd has been transformed in the almost two years since the waters subsided. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, its sanctuary is almost ready to become a basketball court. An area off the sanctuary will have ping-pong tables and the like. The building's upper rooms have been repainted and refurbished and will soon be a computer lab, cafe and small library for the use of local young people.

The dedicated team behind The Rock will be seeking federal, state and private grant monies to help fund some of their programs. Local individuals also can contribute to turn this local landmark into a new community resource! Interested donors (and potential new volunteers) should call (724) 693-8950 for details on how to give.

An aside: The Rock in Oakdale would be the second youth center with this name in the 46th District. There's also "The Rock Youth Center" on Pike Street in Chartiers Township. It's a ministry of Central Assembly of God Church.

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