I am writing this “Pastors Pen” the day that the architectural firm Runyan & Associates gave us their assessment of what needs to be done to keep our buildings safe and beautiful: from bolstering the tower to replacing the roof to repointing the stonework to keep it in place. It was a long and expensive list – at least at first glance. I was relieved to hear the architects say that not everything needs to be done right away. I was glad to hear that many other historic churches are facing these problems and finding solutions. And I was heartened to remember that we’re not in this alone: our friends at Partners for Sacred places are ready with sound advice and - if we qualify - financial aid. Nonetheless, it was sobering news, and I wondered if I was the only one who felt a bit overwhelmed!
But then I had the blessing of meeting with people who were interested in joining Summit Church and I was reminded of why we are taking on the challenge of restoring our space. To worship God and reach out to people who are longing to hear God’s Word, find community and serve others. To witness to the resurrection at the time of death, in a space that reflects the beauty and peace of God. To teach our children the Christmas story and see their joy in being in the pageant. To welcome teens for basketball, conversation and games – a record number have been coming this fall. To have a kitchen and parlor from which to cook and invite elders from the community to fellowship each week. To have a place for the community to dance, do karate, paint, write, hold meetings, play and sing. To offer space for the P'nai Or congregation to worship and study. Truly God is in this place.
We have heard from the architects. Our next step is to develop a plan that will support the mission of the church. Every decision we make about our buildings will be guided by the question: how will this support our mission? And as the Trustees and Session develop this plan we’ll be seeking YOUR input, questions and guidance. All members and friends will be invited to potluck suppers in the new year to talk in small groups, so we may refine our vision for the church and develop a restoration plan that supports it. I’m looking forward to these conversations and to discerning together how we can best serve God in this place.
Grace and Peace,