and Brothers in Christ:
I write, the copier is kicking out the bulletin, the vacuum cleaner is running,
and the preschool staff is busily hanging name tags in the hallway. Today is
the first day of school in our school district, and I am just off the phone
ordering lunch for our full staff. We are at an all-time high number of staff
members – twelve of us will be working here this year. It’s Biblical! Twelve
staff – twelve disciples – twelve tribes of Israel! (It’s the preschool staff
that has expanded so we can accommodate our record number of 60 students!) We
are open and ready for business!
that we ever were closed. But alongside all the worship and day-to-day work of
the church, lots of special things were going on. You may have heard that I was
on Sabbatical this past spring and summer, and while I was gone, Pastor Dick
Sebeniecher made sure that all the pastoral bases were covered. Divine worship
carried on, uninterrupted. Preschool graduation took place, the rummage sale
came and went, and several of our kids went to camp. Meanwhile, worker bees
laid painted our offices and laid new flooring, then more worker bees came and
replaced the ceilings and lights in the hallway, classrooms, fellowship hall,
kitchen, and library. More worker bees came and cleaned up all the construction
mess, then more work was done when all the “regular” (i.e., not stained glass)
windows were replaced. The Preschool budget paid the bulk of the bill for the
windows through a grant they received for improvements to our facility, and the
church coffers covered the balance, only about 1/3 of the final cost.
had a gift of a new sign by the front door, which is now lit at night. The
front entrance way was cleaned up and made more inviting. The landscaping
around the church and by the driveway has been tenderly cared for through the
hot dry summer and it is looking good! We are indebted to all the “worker bees”
who volunteered time to organize, clean, and tend to each of these various tasks.
Wow! It all looks great!
it all just window dressing, so to speak? No. For one thing, it’s stewardship.
We inherited from congregations of the past a home that requires care if we
will be able to pass it to congregations of the future. Our new windows and
tight ceiling add up to better use of our heating and cooling moneys. We want
to leak love, not heat!
it’s hospitality. The fresh, clean appearance of the church is an
important piece of our outreach, because it makes people feel welcome and
comfortable here. The community comes to our church every day of the week,
whether to drop a child off for school, or enjoy ice cream at the ice cream
social or shop the rummage sale. We have guests and members at our Friday
potlucks and our midweek coffee groups.
it’s evangelism. When people come to us, we can share the good news: God
loves you! Our building tells everyone who comes here, this is a congregation
who cares! We care about our property – we care about you, too! Come back and
let us show you how much!
if you haven’t been to church in a while, come see the great work that’s been
done on our building! And use this new school year as an opportunity to come
back to church – as we all enjoy a fresh, clean start into a new season of the
year, make it a fresh, clean start to a new season in our lives!
The Rev. Dr. Mary N