The Hi-Plains Area of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) sought to spend a gift from the former members of Arden Road Christian Church on a mission first for Amarillo. Arden Road Christian didn’t make it, said the Rev. Paul Carruth, an associate area minister. The former church turned its assets over to the area.
“We wanted to be faithful to their gifts by beginning new ministry from the proceeds,” Carruth said. “We spent some time chewing on it and decided that the last thing Amarillo needs is another church because there are plenty of churches doing good things out there.”
So a fully volunteer nonprofit was born to run The Chalice Abbey Project out of retail space acquired at 2717 Stanley St., south of Hastings Entertainment at Georgia Street and Wolflin Avenue. The project will operate Chalice Abbey Fair Trade Emporium and Chalice Abbey Center for Spirituality and the Arts.
The emporium will be the only certified fair trade store for a far piece, according to the church denomination’s research.
“While some fair trade products have begun edging their way into the marketplace — some of them right here in town — there is no store dedicated solely to fair trade,” Carruth said. “The Abbey will be.”
Carruth defines fair trade goods as those for which everyone involved in their production derives “a fair living wage for their corner of the world.”
Plans are being drawn up now for the store and center, which Carruth said will provide space where people “can share their experiences of God and creation and explore together their deepest questions of faith.”
The project will open the center to community events and also will have 1,800 square feet of lease space available.