Members of the Maker’s Church weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when it meant helping their Norman neighbors.
About 20 members of the congregation gathered at Frances Cate Park 11 a.m. Sunday at their Love Your Neighbor Day to spruce up the park and the Carter Avenue sidewalk running along it.
“The biggest goal is to clean up the area and make it more accessible,” Maker’s Church co-founder Dottie Moon said. “This is our area, this is our neighborhood [and] this is what Maker’s is about.”
Maker’s Church co-founder Arlis Moon said he heard complaints from local residents that foliage on the edge of the park was so overgrown, it had extended through the fence and was blocking parts of the sidewalk.
“Right now, if you’re in a wheelchair, there’s no way you can make it all the way across that sidewalk,” Arlis said. “So, we’re doing a little bit of tree trimming, some weeding and cleaning up the sidewalk.”
Along with taking on the overgrown bushes and tree branches, the volunteers also cleaned graffiti off the concrete floor of the park’s picnic shelter.
“Our whole goal is to help our community,” Dottie said. “Not just with these projects, but beyond that with just being here for our community in every way.”
Arlis and Dottie Moon developed Maker’s Church last March.
“We love the vision of the church,” congregation member Evea Moon said. “They want to reach anybody from any walk of life. It doesn’t matter what your background is, we accept you and love you for who you are.”
In addition to the church, the Moons also are developing Maker’s Spaces where Norman residents can pursue their passions.
“There are a ton of people who have goals and dreams and passions that they can’t reach, because they don’t have the means to,” Dottie said. “[Maker’s Space is] a creative space for anybody to use … to follow their passion, instead of just their nine to five.”
The Moons are renovating two buildings on the corner of Porter Avenue and Main Street.
The first will contain creative spaces including, a recording studio, conference room, photographic studio, private offices and a coffee shop. The other will hold an automotive repair garage and a woodworking shop.
“All of it is free for anyone in Norman to use,” Arlis said. “I thought it would be an awesome gift that our church can give to our community.”
In addition to supplying spaces for creative expression, Maker’s will also offer tools and gear for visitors to borrow.
“We want to be seen as a group of people that are helpful and accepting,” Arlis said. “We help people become the best version of themselves.”
The Moons plan to open their first creative space next Fall and the automotive and woodworking garage next year.