The JESUS Gallery
sharing the story of Jesus via voice and vision
2113 Elwood Avenue
South Bend, IN 46628
The Dream -- and the Dreamer
"This is my beloved son,
with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him."
The dream -- the idea of a different venue for presenting the story of Jesus -- came to Deacon John Tugman in December 2015. It simmered for several months as he worked to refine the concept and articulate the idea to himself and others. The concept grew and changed with suggestions and encouragement from many -- but with skepticism as well. Yet the encouragement outweighed the skepticism and the dream persisted. In the spring of 2018 important doors opened unexpectedly: wonderful spaces, supportive landlords, and financial resources. The Gallery was able to open in August 2018 on Portage Avenue, then move into longer term space on Elwood Avenue in January of 2019.
The flow of visitors since opening has been modest in numbers but enthusiastic and encouraging. The focus on just the Gospels, plus the variety of translations used, has generated vibrant discussion. The visual art has helped create an engaging and welcoming atmosphere. The variety of folks dropping in and interacting with each other is the best result of all: when we share our reactions to what Jesus said and did, everyone is enriched. Relationships are being built and strengthened, earthly and heavenly!
The new location, 2113 Elwood Avenue, is freshly painted and has a new floor, giving the whole space wonderful light and openness. The JESUS Gallery only uses about half the space; the rest will evolve into a neighborhood center for the Far Northwest and LaSalle Area neighborhoods. Exactly what that will look like and what activities will take place is still being developed, but it will create a wonderful flow of folks into the space from both the immediate vicinity and from further away, a key aspect of the vision for The Gallery.
Deacon John Tugman ("Deacon Tug" to many) is husband of Manuela, father of Lisa, Tanya and Matthew, and grandfather of seven. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Catholic Church in 1991 in Connecticut, where he served until relocating to Indiana in 2006. He resumed diaconal service in 2008 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger, Indiana, from which he retired in the summer of 2016. Since retiring from active ministry he has worshipped at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Wilber Street and become active in the surrounding neighborhoods of South Bend. He also created and maintains another Christian website, www.tugsforJesus.com.