Shortly after I arrived here we began asking some tough questions about our church building and about our future. We spent three years talking and visioning and finally deciding that the best option forward was to reinvest in our building that provides the base for the ministry we carry out. It was then that the journey began. 1 million dollars was the price tag! Some of us wondered if this was even possible but we dove in.
4 Years Later …
the steeple, the roof, the windows, the walkways
– a million dollars and we are almost finished!!!
For those of us who call this home there are feelings of relief, joy and celebration. I have noticed that folks on the outside have been following our progress with great interest and often also express feelings of joy and celebration for us. On November 17th at noon we will gather in the hall for lunch, a time of thanksgiving and then make our way into the church for a service of re-dedication.
The Most Exciting Part
I take a moment now to confess that I am very grateful that this is nearing the end! Mostly, because the restoration seems to be dominating most of my conversations of late particularly outside the church family. While I understand people’s curiosity and appreciate their interest in the building it is not the story I really want to be telling. It is what happens inside this building that is the most exciting part, the most life-giving and the most transforming. The building merely provides a space where we can be enriched and nourished and empowered to move out into the world as the hands and feet of Jesus.
Something to Celebrate
As I reflected on this I began to think about the things that make us who we are and that have been in a stage of growth over the last couple of years.
Our children and youth ministry comes immediately to mind. We have committed to reinvest in this ministry and it has been growing steadily. With the increased hours and addition of Adam to the ministry team there is a renewed sense of excitement among our younger folk and the energy is tangible as we gather.
Then there is the ongoing gift of music that fills our cups to overflowing and speaks of hope, love, peace and challenge, continually bringing us to places of joy.
The film group and the Bible study call us to new places of insight and understanding. They reach out beyond our faith family and draw a wide circle for people who are seeking and searching. Every Tuesday we see numbers increase around the craft and conversation table. Here people find a place of support and friendship.
The drumming circle has moved from a small group of three or four to a group of ten or twelve and in this space souls are fed and spiritual paths are honoured.
The mental health support group which began as a gathering once a month has grown now to include a theatre group, art therapy and energy wellness.
Then there is the scouting program that continues in the place and the addition of the guiding movement that now calls this place home.
There is archery, line dancing, and chair yoga and this only covers a portion of what happens in this place.
We also have those things that take us into community where we share the story of love and care – our pastoral care visitors, the community dinners, our refugee sponsorship program, the nursing home ministry.
This is who we are and this is something to celebrate!
So, while the restoration of our building is amazing, what excites me most about it is that we now have a home that will hold us in good stead for another 100 years! In this place we will continue to find
comfort in the midst of our grief;
support in the midst of our challenges;
laughter in the midst of our joy;
insight in the midst of our seeking;
wonder in the midst of our celebrations;
a place of safety in the midst of our insecurity.
It is from this place that we will have the opportunity to share a story that has the power to change the world!
May it be so
© 2018 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved