Together, our church community has been engaged on a critical path of Building Our Future activities. We find ourselves, as a congregation, its members and friends, in the midst of a great call for creativity.
After a successful congregational vote supporting the purchase of the Viola Road property as our future church home and having concluded that purchase this past week, we are entering into what our board president has described as, “our time to dream.”
I can sometimes be a broken record. I never miss an opportunity to remind anyone who will listen that there is a long wish list for our new space; a list that has been growing since 2019 with heartfelt suggestions offered at forums and casual comments shared during mahjong games in the Chapel. But even with this long bulleted list, I believe there is more creativity out there.
Rest assured, the Building Our Future team is grounded in reality and we know that not everything will be possible whether prohibited by cost, or time or discovering that today’s technology is not quite ready for the future we want. Even knowing that, we want to hear everyone’s dreams. Every idea will be held tight and, if not incorporated into our 2025 building, then that bit of dream will be saved and maybe implemented in 2035 or 2050 or even 2125.
I feel the advice shared by Rev. William Sinkford’s in a recent article entitled “On Predicting the Future” pertains to what we are doing – Building Our Future – Beyond Ourselves. His words were intended to offer guidance as congregations continue to re-gather and try to understand how we, as faith communities, will behave after having lived through a significant worldwide experience. But I believe his message is not just about post pandemic activities but also about how we acknowledge; how we embrace change. His article is based on an essay by the award winning science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler and her rules for predicting the future: In that essay she wrote:
All that you touch
All that you change
The only lasting truth
I know our congregational world is changing, that this beloved community will be simultaneously the same and different in a new church home. In the early morning hours, I will admit to the same worries and concerns that may be on each member’s mind and in each heart when thinking about the magnitude of this project. But then I look at the person next to me at a Tupper Supper, I look at the faces of people sitting in the sanctuary on a Sunday morning and the librarian in me begins cataloging the depth of the talent pool, the variety of skills in our toolbox and I am infused with confidence.
We have over 150 years of history in this community; a history that includes drawing blueprints, fundraising, constructing, and moving into four different buildings. But before any of that hard work began so many times before, so many years ago, before ground was broken, or rafters set, before church bells were hung or buildings dedicated, those that came before us dreamed of what their new home might be. So let creativity soar and let us dream of the place Rev. Luke has described as:
“A church at the intersection of public witness and preserved wilderness. . . A Sanctuary for community, for nature, and the soul.”
It is our time to dream.
Graphic credit: Chalice Art © Karin Lindsey