Tuesday, September 20, 2011

closed doors, open doors...

Well, after that little teaser on Saturday, I figured I'd better get back here with some details.

I'm just gonna skip vacation for now...because really, it was wonderfully, blessedly uneventful.  Not much to tell...I had a glorious week with my family, without schedules, without constant running around.  There was still cooking, laundry and sibling squabbling...but when those things are tempered by sand and sea breezes...and boardwalk fries...well, they seem much more bearable.  I do have some amazing photos that my talented daughter took, but I'll share them another time.

Today I want to tell you about our new church building.  Now, I realize I haven't really talked about church since I shared with you our vision for our 'church pub'.  Well, not that we would have used it as a pub...it was formerly a pub...but we had (and still have) plans for transformation.  But alas, the current owner of the property has not been cooperative in any way...not with us, not even their own realtor!!...so after lots of prayer, questioning, and discussion, we felt that we needed to really be open handed (and hearted) and allow God to lead us anywhere he wanted...even in a direction we wouldn't have thought.  And so we, once again, surrendered to whatever HIS plans were...and we waited.  Within a few months it seemed he was opening a new door...and within a few weeks after that...we have a church home!! 

(Additional note on the pub...we still hope that God has that place as part of his plan for us, and that maybe it's just not our NEXT step...but maybe a step for the future.  We would love to bring blessing to that community, and look forward to seeing it happen down the road a bit.)

In the meantime, God has opened the doors for us to rent an adorable little church...NO renovations necessary!!  Granted, it's the last place we thought we'd be.  We are a very non-traditional, non-churchy type church.  We just feel it's who God has called us to be.  The building we are going to occupy is old...like, 1800's kind of old, with pews and stained glass windows.  Nothing wrong with that, but at first glance we wouldn't have thought it was 'us'.  However, we are beginning to think of the rich history that building has, first used by a Methodist Church, and most recently a Baptist congregation. 

We look at the beauty and symbolism of the lovely stained glass windows and think, really, how easily we can incorporate the traditionally sacred with the contemporary. 

We have plenty of space for our little, energy-filled blessings, as well as a space to set up the prayer rooms and cafe area that we have always envisioned. 

We continue to be blown away by God's provision, as just this week we were contacted by a church willing to donate tables, chairs, lots of kids' curriculum and other things a church needs...for free.  We feel amazed and thrilled and excited to have the opportunity to see some of our long-held, but largely unrealized vision be able to come about.  Words can't even do justice to the hopefulness I feel about the whole thing. 

The journey has felt oh-so-long sometimes, and it continues.  It always continues.  And that's the very thing to remember...we never 'arrive'.  Our entire life is filled with times of blessing, times of hardship and times of growth.  And I truly believe that it's some of the harder times that make the times of blessing so very sweet.  And so I'm very, very thankful to be enjoying a time of refreshment as we experience God's blessing.

In future posts I hope to share with you how we take this little space and make it into 'our own'.  We have lots of creative ideas swirling about....can't wait to see them materialize so I can share them with you!!!


Anonymous said...

Is that the one on Reading Ave in New Berlinville? Cool!


Jessi said...

Yep, that's the one Scott!! Once we get there, feel free to come visit!

Debi said...

Jess this is awesome! I used to live at 638 n reading ave. Down near the post office if its still there. Close to rt 100. I can't picture where this church is...

Holly said...

Congrats! That is so exciting! I'm so happy for you guys! God is so cool!!! I cannot wait to see how you make it your own and how God will continue to bless you guys as your faithful to Him!

Jessi said...

Debi, it is right there across from the post office. In fact, they use the post office lot for parking on Sundays, because the church lot is actually very, very small.