A church offers two things, tradition and vision. It is a place that honors and upholds the habits of the past, a groundedness, a place of stability and comfort. At the same time, the congregation is the place of vision, of challenge, of prophetic wisdom and learning. These simultaneous responsibilities of carrying and inspiring is what makes this a place of meaning, a place of friendships, and a place that encourages growth, both spiritual and emotional.
So, we have arrived at the time of the celebration of our new building. We have become accustomed to the offices, kitchen, classrooms and fellowship area so much that we have almost forgotten that we used to slide open the coffee window at the back of the sanctuary for fellowship, that we used to open the front of the sanctuary to welcome people into the church, arriving first at the chancel before traveling to the rear of the room. I used to walk down the steps from the offices to come to worship. It’s only been since August that we have experienced the beautiful new windows in the sanctuary, the creamy colored carpet, smooth walls and recessed lighting. It’s been just one half year since we’ve had the joy of our crystal clear sound system, with aids for anyone needing a little assistance in listening.
On the 13th, we will be taking a collection to help pay for our sound system as we had agreed to do when we received the grant from the Chalice Lighters of the Pacific Central District. We will build and install a cabinet to hold this valuable equipment, and we hope, in the future, to even be able to purchase projection equipment for visual aids.
For this celebratory service of dedication, I feel grateful to welcome my dear friend and former minister of the church I attended in Denver, the Rev. Dr. Stephan Papa. Stephan now serves the Unitarian Universalist Association as a special assistant to the President for fundraising. He travels extensively, visiting congregations and reminding them of the importance of stewardship to the larger association. There will be a ribbon cutting, a bench dedication, community guests and a festive reception. I’m looking forward to our congratulatory event.
Let us celebrate the vision and challenge that led us to build this house of peace. Let us acknowledge and appreciate the tradition, the institution that has brought us this far. Let us seek to discover together what we are called to become.