And so the work begins…

Our first Sunday in our new worship space is almost here! After closing on April 5th, our facility team began working with great speed and determination in preparation for this weekend. As I write to you, the new carpet is about to be laid in our sanctuary (around the altar). Our pews are now sitting in the nave (see we have to learn to use the proper liturgical terms again) and the gifted statue of “Jesus the Good Shepherd” will shortly be moved from the Langelands’ home to the narthex (area outside the doors of the nave) where people will gather before and after the service. This is a very exciting time in the life of our parish.
There a so many folks to thank for this process including the great number of volunteers who have showed up since the 5th of April to clean and prepare our new space. I do want to especially acknowledge some folks who have done the “heavy lifting” in this process. First, Ramona Chance who offered legal advice and worked diligently to help us form the condominium association, and acquire our financing. Also Ken Langeland, our junior warden, who worked tirelessly with the vestry to negotiate the purchase and is now working with our facility team. Last but not least, Daryl Johnston, who heads up our facility team. Daryl is managing our moving process and is leading a great group of leaders who are tackling a long list of “to do” items. I owe a great deal to these three people for keeping us on track over the last six months. Please let them know how much you appreciate them for their hard work.
Sunday is not the finish line. Some of you will recall those were the words of Bishop Neil when he was with us in March. Although this has been a day we have prayed for and longed to see – especially those of us who have been here since our first service January 8, 2006 – we cannot rest now that God has given us a permanent home. Sunday is just the beginning of our life as a parish within a secure base from which to minister to our community. That is why I think it is especially important that in the midst of our move, we have adopted a parish-wide initiative to “Love Littlewood.” Littlewood Elementary is right next door and Justin Smith and his team are leading us in ways to bless Littlewood. Several servants have begun offering tutoring and mentoring at the school; several more participated in the running of their carnival in March. This past Saturday, nine of us were privileged to clean the gutters of the school. I encourage all of you to speak with Justin about ways you can “Love Littlewood” with us. We have also begun a transportation ministry: thanks to all of you who have offered rides. You are a blessing to many who otherwise couldn’t get to church.
A couple of things to keep in mind: there will be a need for interior painting and light moving over the next couple of weeks. Please contact the church office if you have some time to volunteer. Our facility team will definitely need your help. Secondly, while we start worshiping in the new space this week, we recommend inviting new people to our May 20th service (Pentecost) so that we have a couple of weeks to work out the kinks. Third, for the month of May, our children will continue to use rooms B-5 and B-6 as usual. This will allow the facility team to prepare our new spaces for the kids once the church space is ready. Lastly, please remember your regular tithe plus offerings for our building fund during this time of transition. I am so thankful for the generosity of this congregation.
And so the work begins and ministry continues. Together we are offering a redemptive experience of the Church to our neighbors, co-workers, and friends. What could be more important?
Onward and Upward,

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