ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY CUTS RIBBON ON TWIN CITIES LANDMARK HOME IN MINNESOTA’S CAPITAL OF ST. PAUL
OCTOBER 22, 2011
Scientologists, guests, state and city officials assembled in downtown St. Paul, Saturday October 22, for the dedication of the new Church of Scientology Twin Cities. The Church stands at 505 Wabasha Street and was formerly home to the Science Museum of Minnesota. The acquisition of the 82,000-square-foot facility in the heart of St. Paul was necessitated by the meteoric growth of the resident Scientology community. The Church of Scientology Twin Cities is now the largest Scientology facility in the American Midwest and will serve parishioners from Wisconsin to the Dakotas.
Located just blocks from the State Capitol and St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Church is additionally adjacent to the famed Fitzgerald Theater and so forms an “historic square” of buildings in downtown St. Paul. The premises were carefully renovated to preserve its most memorable features, including the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Wabasha Street and the three-story atrium. Also faithfully preserved was the original 300-seat IMAX Theater, now to serve as the Scientology Chapel and community meeting ground for citizens of all denominations.
Just off the expansive reception is a Public Information Center presenting the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion as well as the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center further provides an overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian programs. These programs include a worldwide human rights initiative, an equally far-ranging drug education and prevention campaign, global networks of literacy and learning centers and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program now comprising the largest independent relief force on Earth. The multimedia displays include nearly 500 documentary films.
In tribute to the import of the occasion, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, officiated at the ceremony. In pointing to the significance of the day, Mr. Miscavige cited all that new Ideal Churches of Scientology traditionally bring to their surrounding communities, pledging the Church's resources and support across a broad range of civic programs for the benefit of all citizens. Thus, by dedicating a new Church for Minneapolis and St. Paul comes the inauguration of a new partnership in Twin Cities.
Welcoming the new Church were St. Paul City Councilmember Dave Thune; Minnesota State Senator Sandra Pappas; Minnesota State Representative Rena Moran; and President of the Minneapolis Chapter of MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder), Mr. V.J. Smith.
In his salutary address, City Councilmember Dave Thune said: “I’m so happy to see that the Church of Scientology has moved into this landmark building. I always hate to see buildings go unused and sit vacant, especially in my Ward! So let me say this: thank you for moving across the river to the best side of Twin Cities.”
President of the Minneapolis Chapter of MAD DADS, Mr. V.J. Smith, addressed the Church’s anti-drug initiative: “I want to thank you, because we’ve already given out thousands of your Truth About Drugs booklets that show the impact drugs have on a person. The Church of Scientology and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World provided those to make it easier for us to do our job. You gave us a resource... and we’re really excited to see this beautiful Church open up in our community.”
Minnesota State Representative Rena Moran spoke of the Church’s pervasive volunteerism: “I believe very strongly in community engagement. And that is why I’m especially excited about your Volunteer Ministers and so impressed by the work that they do. It takes a certain kind of heart to give unconditional help to people you don’t even know and may never meet again. Your volunteers seem to specialize in that. They’re reaching out, they’re engaged, they’re facing the needs in our communities—and proving that something really can be done about it.”
Minnesota State Senator and leading proponent for human rights and human trafficking legislation, Sandra Pappas spoke to the Church’s award-winning Human Rights education materials and its longstanding support of human rights in general: “At the core of this support is an educational campaign that delivers a clear and impactful presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is certainly a credible endeavor that I think you should be acknowledged for, so thank you. …I am proud of my work and you should be proud of your work to educate others on what are human rights. Please continue.”