The pews have been empty in our sanctuary for quite some time. It’s not an easy sight, especially on a Sunday morning, for this pastor to look out and see them go unused. In my head I know that God is still active; His people are still faithful; the Church is still open. Because we, God’s people, are the Church.
But our long, green pews are still empty for now.
So we’re doing something about that. Pastor Ken, Pastor Gage and I have deep cleaned every pew in the sanctuary. We’ve used our vacuum and our carpet shampooer to, in the words of Jim Phillips, “take the pew out of the pews.” In other words, we’re using this time of inactivity to refresh and bring new life.
We’re also making some changes to our church lobby. We’ve given the walls fresh paint (and a different color). The carpet has been ripped up and thrown out. And new carpet goes in this week. Then we’ve got new furniture, decorations and a redesign of the space we use in our lobby and inner foyer. I can’t wait for you to see the new updates.
In some ways the new designs will spread us out a little more and alleviate the congestion and traffic jams we used to see in our lobby. We’ll also have more obviously designated spaces for coffee, communication and welcoming areas for first-time guests. Our hope is to bring a new, more efficient function and a more welcoming look to our common areas.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:
“He said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’”
We’ve got some old treasures that we’ll never give up. This includes our essential beliefs, summed up in the Articles of Faith, and our sacred practices of baptism, communion, worship, discipleship and service. Then there are new treasures: some much-needed carpet, furniture and, by the way, some new video and audio equipment that should continue to increase the quality of our live streaming worship services.
We’re still set on our target return date of Sunday, June 21. Nothing is written in stone these days, but we’re so excited for the summer and the possibilities of being together again. Please continue to pray for the health and safety of our community. We move forward cautiously but also confident that God has remained faithful in His presence and providence. Can’t wait to see you soon!
‘til the storm passes by,