Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Home Away from Home

Progress is being made on the development at Mount Vernon Place! Our temporary office trailer arrived on Wednesday, and the asbestos abatement will commence on this Monday! We have been waiting for these two things since September, when we vacated the two buildings and prepared ourselves for demolition. We have waited patiently and expectantly. We have waited with delight and wonder. We have waited, and when I finally saw the trailer on Wednesday afternoon, I laughed. I laughed out loud for it is hard for me to completely imagine being in this space for over a year.

The interior of the trailer is absolutely beautiful, complete with hard wood floors and granite countertops. It is much more spacious on the inside than it appears on the outside. Still, this trailer is about to become our home as our entire operation is moved from three massive buildings (over 50,000 square feet) into a space that is 52 feet long and 10 feet wide -- it's even smaller than my 537 square feet apartment!!

We'll start discussing this week the things that we anticipated bringing with us that need to now be left behind. We'll continue discerning this week how best to utilize this space for mission and ministry. We'll continue to think creatively about where and when we can worship God and serve our community. And, we'll continue to ask God to lead us and guide us, shining light on this unknown path.

I have said often how our church is living in exile as we are away from the sanctuary and space we love, living in a wilderness-like place that is unfamiliar to us, journeying towards the promised land of a renovated building and new construction.

While the last few months have not been easy, we have been reminded often since the beginning of September how God is not limited to a beautiful sanctuary or a massive building. We have seen and experienced the presence of the Lord in real and powerful ways in the last four months as we have followed God into uncertain and unfamiliar territory. We have grown -- both as individuals and as a congregation.

I would venture to guess that there is going to be some complaining in the coming weeks as we vacate the historic building completely and move into new space -- just like the Israelites. I would be willing to bet money that there will be people who will question the direction we are going -- just like the Israelites -- asking, "Why did they make us move out of the sanctuary into this place? Couldn't they do the renovation work around our schedule?" And, I am absolutely positive that we will experience God's leading and faithfulness once again -- that God will show up in unexpectant places with unexpectant gifts like bread from heaven and water from rocks -- just like the Israelites.

Please keep us in your prayers and come join us on the journey!

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