“Lord, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We have prayed this prayer every week during the renovation of our sanctuary. Venture or Adventure? We have certainly been called out of our comfort zone during this project. What began by ripping open walls at the beginning of December is getting close to finished. We have walls and lights. We have newly refinished floors and a beautiful new color to surround us. We wait for carpet and the final bits and pieces to pull our new space together. Each Sunday morning as we sit shoulder to shoulder in the space meant for gathering and visiting, we get a glimpse of what our new space will be like when it is ready to welcome us. Our spirits soar.
“Remodeling a sanctuary is a metaphor for rebuilding a ministry,” said a friend when I told him what we had on our agenda. Venture or Adventure? We are living in that pregnant time of expectation and anticipation. We hold our breath, we struggle to appreciate other people’s vision of how our new space will work. We pray. Our spirits soar. I, for one, have never felt God’s Spirit so powerfully at work in our community. I feel as if our prayers are being answered, even as they are being formed in our hearts and minds. We began this venture because we believed that it was where God’s Spirit was leading us, not sure what we wanted, not sure where the money would come from, not sure how to tackle all the complexities that such a project entailed. But God has provided all that we needed: our in-house project shepherd, skilled labor from our own men and from professionals, an experienced supervisor, a bountiful financial legacy from a dear member and generous contributions from our membership. Do we dare to hope that this is just the beginning of new ministry for us?
Our spirits soar. It is a reflection of the Spirit of God which has called us into community, a community formed through our trust in God’s mercy and grace brought to us through Jesus. He is the One who called us from death to life in his own death and resurrection, promising his presence with us whenever or wherever we are gathered. He is the One who continues to shape us into His own Body in this place. Through the forgiveness he promises, we walk into the new life he gained for us free to live joyfully as God’s dear people. Venture or Adventure? As we continue to walk the path we feel called to walk, we realize that walking with God is always both.