Sunday, October 06, 2013

Oct. 6--Church Update

Back in March 2009, I posted about how our church had outgrown its cute little building, built back in the 1850s.  We moved over to a local middle school, where we met for 3 years.  There was lots of seating, but the hallways were cramped, and there was no real vestibule area to hang around and fellowship in after the service.  So when a local high school opened up over a year ago, we took that.  The high school was even roomier, and it had a lovely open, bright lobby, so it was tons better.  But we were still having to set up all the classrooms for the kids and the nursery, plus everything in the auditorium, so it was still hassle.  Our church had looked around for a lot to build on, or a building to buy, but everything in this area is really expensive.

Our pastor, Mike, was friends with another local pastor, Mat, who came to the area 4 years ago.  He was called to a church that had really dwindled in size and was now composed primarily of older people.  The only real way they were staying financially afloat was by renting out their church building, which included a TON of classrooms to other really young churches, and also to a daycare during the week.  About 2 years ago, the idea was floated about merging our 2 congregations, but their congregation (well, I think mainly a few outspoken people) was opposed, so the idea was dropped.  But then over the course of the next year, those vocal people left, and the idea was broached again.  This time, both congregations were enthusiastic, and we have enjoyed getting to know the people from the other church over the past 2 months.  We continued to meet in the high school while we renovated the sanctuary to allow us all to fit.  Even with the renovations, it is still a very tight fit! 

This morning was our first service in the church building, and it was so nice to be in a  real church again!  The singing was WONDERFUL!!  Singing in an enormous high school auditorium just meant you could sort of hear a few people around you, but you couldn't really hear the congregation as a whole.  As you can see from the picture below, the wood ceiling is so beautiful!  We felt right at home because that is exactly what the ceiling looks like in the base chapel my parents attend, which is also where Bob and I got married.  We were sitting about halfway back, I would say.  Also, I love having windows!  The high school auditorium was sooo dark.  It was a great first service!
Here is a picture of the outside.  The sanctuary is on the far left (you can see the steeple), and then there is a wing of classrooms across the front, as well as another wing going back.  There are so many classrooms!  To the right of the building is a big grassy field.  Eventually we'll have to build a bigger sanctuary there, since we are already basically full, although I'm not sure how there could even be enough parking. 
Starting on Tuesday, Rivendell is going to meet here in the afternoons.  This will allow me to still keep all the lab stuff here at home, and Drew will be able to take his morning nap here at the house.  But the kids will be able to run around and play football at lunch and during breaks there.  In the back there is a lovely fenced playground area, which the little kids will love.  It will be nice to be able to spread out a bit.  The mornings are not bad at all--there are only the 4 older kids here, plus Megan's youngest 2 and my youngest 2.  But after we pick up the other kids at TNT, we have 15 kids 6th grade and under!  That gets loud!  We're looking forward to utilizing this building.  It is such a blessing to be able to use it!

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