Eventually, this would be a convenient page where visitors could find links to most of the items they might be seeking without having to use the navigation menu up top. It would put the most commonly visited pages within one click without “Where did I see that menu item?” and “Was that under this or that heading?” angst. Also, for editors, it’s much less involved to add an inline link here than to edit the menu.
For right now, it’s mostly a place to gather and develop links, some of which are live, many of which are not.
For an events calendar, I’ve installed the free version of the WordPress Events plugin. The “pro” version offers several additional features which would make it easier to keep current (recurring events, for example, can be generated more quickly). But note that this very popular and well-supported plug-in is not yet optimized for the current version of WordPress so there are good reasons to go slowly with it and maybe choose a different calendar plugin.
I’ve installed the free version of the Modula plugin to manage image galleries. The “pro” version offers more options, but this is a start, and I don’t want to commit you to a specific product if something else would be preferable.
Among other links I think might be appropriately featured on this page when it is live before the public include: meet our staff, contact numbers and emails, announcements, newsletters, and pastoral messages. Recent services, streamed Sunday services, and sign ups for classes, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. Etc.
In the event you want to password-protect certain areas of the site, there are several ways to do that. This is the simplest: assign a password to specific pages and distribute the password to whomever needs it. Here’s a quick demo of a secret page. The password is “Ovaltine” (as in “Don’t forget to drink your…”). A more complex, and possibly more useful, method would involve having visitors register individual accounts which would need to be approved by an admin. If you go that route, you’ll want to let automated software handle password change requests and other routine account chores, because otherwise even the nicest people will drive you crazy.