In 2021, St. John's Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City called The Rev. Nate Carr and his wife Sarah Carr to serve as their next Vicar. Immediately upon their arrival, Fr. Carr & Sarah took on the task of updating the nursery as a safe and inviting space for St. John's kids. For 54 years, St. John's ministry to children thrived as a K-8th grade school, but, unfortunately, four years ago, the school closed. When Fr. Carr arrived, he saw a need and a passion amongst the congregation to provide a space for children. "It seemed like the best place to start because this is the very thing St. John's is good at," Said Fr. Carr.
Sarah spearheaded the project with her passion for children and creative eye to make the space come alive to children's imaginations. Sarah was convicted to create a new space after a conversation with a young single mother who told her she wouldn't attend church again unless there were a place for her children to be during service. She wanted to be fully engaged in the service and not be worried about her kids and their formation. As a mother of six, Sarah related to this single mom, and thus Sarah's passion project began.The nursery needed extensive updates. It had suffered from water damage. In addition, it was closed for a year because of the pandemic.To begin the project, Sarah started reaching out to people she knew could help her. She collected a group of artists and talented individuals to create this blessing. The team consisted of the St. John's Community, Sarah Carr, Victoria Rogez, Miranda Faircloth, Whitney Kolbe, Sherry Rowan, Christian Crain, Carol Johnson, Katie Dodson, Jenna Swanson, Chelsie Taylor, David Kolbe, Truitt Kolbe, and Erin Abbott.Whitney Kolbe, a professional and gifted artist, helped direct the volunteers in painting the beautiful mural on the nursery walls. Whitney felt so passionate about the project that her family foundation donated money to help it along.Sarah said Whitney's help was very appreciated. "It was so sweet of her to really dive in and create a space for St. John's kids," she said. The newly updated nursery made its debut on Pentecost Sunday, 2021.Sarah said that the church nursery plays a vital role in the family's connection to the church. "When you visit a church, you can like everything about the church, the priest, the music, but if the nursery doesn't feel safe and welcoming, that can be a deciding factor," Sarah Carr said.Plan to visit the new nursery at St. John's Episcopal Church at 5401 N Brookline Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73112. For more information click HERE
Read Sarah Carr’s blog about the project HERE
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