The Dream, the Dreamer
When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.
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 operated at 909 Portage Avenue from August to December of 2018, then at 2113 Elwood Avenue for all of 2019, and moved to 1046 Lawndale Avenue in January 2020.
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 2020 location, 1046 Lawndale Avenue, is a residential property being loaned to The Gallery by very generous supporters. It brings us back to the NNN and gives us a chance to share Jesus with some new neighbors. Lawndale Ave is a street busy with both pedestrians and vehicles and we look forward to getting to know many new folks and introducing them to folks from all over the city and county who have become Gallery visitors.
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.