Searching For Relevance
February 1, 2018
I must admit, I was both excited and anxious about our congregational meeting on January 21, at which members overwhelmingly approved the recently presented Capital Improvement Program for our church facility. I was anxious, because I know how much work and commitment an effort such as this requires. I can only liken it to having one’s kitchen remodeled — no matter how necessary, it is still inconvenient, loaded with yet to identify answers to unexpected questions. In contrast however, I am excited, because I know the energy such a project can produce as people pull together to reshape their spiritual home. Besides, it is so apparent that our facility needs care and attention, and to not address things would be unfaithful.
Still, I recognize there remain many questions “hanging” out there — questions that it will take time in order to provide a thoughtful and complete answer. Remember, everyone is on the same team! No one wishes to engage in a project that is unnecessary, unattainable, or worse, detrimental in any way, to our church. We must trust one another - especially our church’s lay leadership, who have spent countless hours, with more to go, in order to discern and develop a cogent, reasonable, and achievable plan in response to multiple issues — a plan plan that is sound and manageable. I know they will keep the congregation informed as we move ahead through various publications and general gatherings. In the mean time, they welcome your thoughts and input.
So, setting aside all questions or opinions regarding the specific nuts and bolts of such an endeavor — that is, where will this door or window go or, do we really need this or that or, can we afford it? — it is key to remember the fundamental reason for doing this because . . . it’s not really about You or Me, but the generations we believe will follow us! Most of us will reap the benefits of this effort for only a short time. It is for those who follow, this needs to be done! It is their needs and expectations we are challenged to anticipate. Just as the generation who preceded us, provided a church building that we have used, abused, and enjoyed for fifty years, so the hope is to accomplish the same for the unknown and unnamed individuals of the future — young and old — who will discover and grow in the spirit of Christ in the decades to come. As such, it is an endeavor, not of bricks and mortar, but of love, service, and legacy.
It is a reflection of the generational commitment of faith described by the Apostle Paul when he tells his young disciple, Timothy, that he is, who he is, because of the legacy passed omg by his mother and his grandmother. Our “Raise the Steeple” effort is this generation’s invitation to do the same!
Will we? Can we? The answer resides within the spirit of each of us, Personally, I look forward to the challenge. I hope you do too!
Rev. Dr. Keith Haemmelmann
P.S. You will soon receive more information regarding this project, along with material that will invite your commitment. The goal is to complete the architectural plans, and concurrently the fund raising by Easter. What a grand celebration of “raising” that will be!