Thank you! Do we ever really say it enough? It is one of the first things that parents teach their children – please and thank you. But it is far from a childish behavior. The ability to recognize the things we experience in life and life itself as a gift and the discipline to give thanks are at the very core of faith. When we truly recognize who we are – creatures made in the image and likeness of a loving and gracious God – the appropriate response is gratitude and praise. Over time, saying thank you becomes not only something you say but how you live.
As we return to our sanctuary this month, my heart if full of thanksgiving. October 2 (God willing) will be our first Sunday to return to worship in the sanctuary. On October 23, we will celebrate Music Festival Sunday with choirs and brass, and we will rededicate the sanctuary to the glory of God. As I am writing this, we are almost finished, and there will be a few final touches to be completed as time goes on. But I think you will find that this old space seems new and that it is even more beautiful than we remembered.
We have been on a sojourn for 13 months and learned a lot along the way. Here is some of what I am grateful for:
The Fellowship Hall: this beautifully renovated space has been our home and become “sacred space” for us. The close quarters have brought us closer together. Many of you have made new friends. We have all loved having choir members and their wonderful voices among us.
Custodians who have moved chairs (sometimes multiple times a week) and kept everything looking neat and clean. Frank Heller and Jan Ward and the Chancel Choir for giving us the Choir Room for coffee hour (and moving all that furniture!). Staff who helped re-choreograph worship often on the fly as we adapted to different space.
The Construction Committee – Willie Harshaw, Bill Wade, Tom Raderer, Tom Reichard and Mike Smith who have met every other week for 13 months and guided this entire renovation project. Their dedication and expertise have been simply invaluable.
Joe Lenzi, the engineer who (with his staff) designed the repairs and oversaw the process; and everyone on the staff of Schaefer General Contracting who implemented the repairs with such care and skill; and the rest of the Property Committee and Lee Best who made decisions about carpet, decorating and landscaping (not yet complete!).
All of YOU who have been patient with the process, good natured about little inconveniences, and generous beyond belief with your support of the “Sharing Hope – Building Hope” Capital Campaign.
As you will read elsewhere in this newsletter, the theme for our fall stewardship campaign is saying “Thank You.” I cannot think of a better theme to capture where we are as a congregation. God has indeed been good to us, individually and as a community. Financial support is one way we express our thanks and expand the work that God has called us to undertake in the year to come. Please join me in making your pledge for 2017, and thank you!
Cynthia M. Campbell, Pastor