Archive for March 2015

Resurrection: Part 1

No Comments »

    We currently have less than a week before our big launch! It's been crazy around here. We've been at the church almost every day of the past month scraping, sanding, painting, more painting, more scraping, and more painting. I've dealt with printing companies, illness, and projects that took way longer to complete than anticipated.
      Amazingly, I'm much more calm this week than I was last week. Last week I was freaking out. I was nervous we put in all of this work and then I'd get up on Sunday morning and only the launch team would be there. I was nervous we wouldn't get things done. Lots of anxiety I placed upon myself.
      Mostly I was thinking "what if I'm not good at this church planting thing after all? This is the first big test it feels like, and what if it's evident that I'm not good at it."
     I think we all feel that way about something at one time or another. This week though, I feel great. Is everything done? Absolutely not, but as I was working on my thoughts about resurrection, I realized that Christ's resurrection took 3 days. For anyone that has ever lost a loved one to death, 3 days feels like forever. It feels never ending, and overwhelming.
     Resurrecting a church, it isn't going to happen over night. It's going to take significant time. Significant energy. Significant stretching. Some failure, and lots of growth. I am far from perfect as a church planter. I hide in my house way more than I should. I avoid conflict, and neglect my own needs some times, and I'm HORRIBLE at not allowing myself to spiral into self destructive thoughts when I'm stressed out (no seriously, it's one of the things I've been working on for years and still haven't conquered.). But, for whatever reason, God still chooses to use me. To speak life, and breathe resurrection into the people and community around me. The small ways I'm seeing life spring forth is amazing, and those moments where death tries to consume me, I'm learning bit by bit, to speak resurrection into that too.
      Probably one of the most concrete ways to see resurrection, is in the physical building. While that is not the church in the kingdom of God sense, it is important for us to have a space that feels safe, that feels sacred, that feels welcoming. Where people can come and pray, listen, speak, and be listened too. A place where worship takes many forms, but is seeking out the heart of God.
    So, while we still aren't perfect, and there are a few tweaks that need to be made, and some new furniture pieces that are being brought in, I want to show you our new sanctuary space. It took lots of hours, and lots of help to transform this space, but I think it truly does speak to resurrection, and I am so excited to worship with friends, family, and neighbors celebrating the resurrection on Sunday.
       In order to get the full effect, here's the before. This is what it looked like when we moved in last May.

And now

A close up of this awesome art. It's hard to photograph, but looks amazing

It's truly amazing what it looks like, and how much work we've put in. Seeing it side by side is shocking. I look forward to showing everyone the updated breakfast area as well, which is still getting some finishing touches, and showing you some other areas of the church. Resurrection is at work, and it's amazing to be a part of. 

Work Weekend (Number ???)

No Comments »

     We are officially in crunch time for launching on Easter. That means that things are a little crazy around here, muscles are sore, and every weekend you will find us from dawn until dusk working on something. Setting a timeline has helped in motivating us to get things done, and we have done a lot. The launch team has been the greatest team I could have ever asked or hoped for, and I am truly blessed as they help me get things off the ground, and breathe life into this space. I look forward to the years of  ministry ahead for us. 
      In order to give you an idea of the huge amounts of work that have been put in over the past 2 weeks, I want to show you some before and after shots of the sanctuary. 

Remember the following shot, you'll see a similar one at the bottom... looking different.
 These pictures are the sanctuary when we first moved in, in May, 2014. 

The following picture is our sanctuary cleaned and set up for Christmas. 

These two pictures are of the sanctuary after tearing the foam board off the walls. We'd also like to say, liquid nails works really great at keeping things up forever. So, unless you want something on a wall forever and ever, don't ever use it. The prepping of the walls took us hours of time. 

Next comes the primer. We used some heavy duty primer to cover all of the wall flaws (from the glue, and general wall damage. It is after all, a 70+ year old building)

Now with the paint on the walls. We are still doing a few touch ups, and still have the stage area to paint, but I think it might be safe to say that as to date, this is our biggest transformation yet!

Look familiar? 

     We still have a long way to go, but it looks like we'll have a pretty amazing space to celebrate the resurrection in, in a few weeks. A space that itself has been resurrected.  Make sure that you check back in the weeks ahead, for official finished shots of this space. In the meantime, we're clinging to the words that a good friend of ours said, that in the short term, we will never feel done. There will always be something else to paint, something else to clean, and something else to be done, but we aren't here for the short term, we're here for the long term. Imagine and think about the impact to be done in 5 plus years, not just to a building, but to the community around it. 
    That's what we are thinking about. If we can transform a building like this in 10 months, what can be done in a neighborhood in 10 years? I imagine great things.