Unitarian Universalists congregation in Colorado Springs bought an amusement park in 2007.
Miniature golf course at the High Plains Church in Colorado Springs (© Jack Majors).
The High Plains Church, Unitarian Universalist in Colorado Springs, Colorado, may be the only congregation—anywhere—with its own thirty-six-hole miniature golf course. The 160-member congregation, which had been meeting in rented quarters, bought an amusement park in Colorado Springs in January 2007. In addition to the golf course, the five-acre property consisted of a 6,000-square-foot building housing video and air-hockey games as well as a batting cage. The main building, constructed of steel, has been insulated and dry-walled. It now contains the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and kitchen. Modular religious education classrooms were added in December 2007.
The Rev. Matthew Johnson-Doyle, the church’s former minister who is now serving at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, Illinois, was one of the first to spot the property for sale in 2006. “I called the building committee right away,” he said. “I said maybe it’s crazy and maybe it’s the perfect solution. The turning point for the committee came when they started to imagine the mini golf course as a meditation trail. The other benefit was that the property was located on a main street and everyone knew where it was.”
The church operates the miniature golf course as a separate entity and employs young people from the congregation. The church’s youth raised money for a local charity last summer by donating a portion of the entrance fees. Parishioners have also adopted holes and are responsible for maintaining the landscaping around them.
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Jane Greer is a former senior editor of UU World magazine.