When I look at the addition, now with the kitchen and appliances installed, and hear the plans being made for the nursery and library, old and new, and see zoom services with 40, 50, 60 people attending, I consider all that our church has undertaken during this pandemic year. It is impressive and heartwarming how we have met appropriately and safely, worked together, made decisions, helped one another, and accomplished tasks that were beyond our consideration two years ago.
Knowing where old wall stood, I look at that space compared to the whole addition and think, “how did we ever all fit in there?” Recently, when I stopped by and walked through the door into the hallway, I thought someone must have left the lights on. But then I realized that, with the addition being finished and clean, the doors were open and the daylight was streaming in, lighting the gathering space. Likewise, we now get international perspective and conversation from members and friends, at home and wintering away, at church services, salons, and coffees. In a way, with everything being closed up and shut down, our church has become more open and bright.
I think that the new addition presents many possibilities for us and our church. There are tentative suggestions about all that this attractive space can be used for in addition to social hour and occasional meals. The Adult Ed committee is meeting to explore ideas of what the congregation might like once we can socialize again. Is it time to revive the Dave Nixon Film Series? Do we want to try a Tai Chi class? Maybe meet for crafting? Of course I look forward to sitting in the office and hearing musical practices again.
And when I look at the nursery, I think it will be hard to keep the adults from wanting to use it; perhaps volunteer for the nursery because it’s such a nice place to spend time? The Children’s Religious Ed Committee is making the plans of what will be returned to the room and what may be purchased, and how it should all be arranged. In addition, ideas will be considered about the structure of the religious ed curriculum.
The old nursery is turning into a cozy and comfortable library that can accommodate small meetings. Work on both that room and the old library, which will become known as the Gathering Space, will take place over the winter and spring. If you are interested in helping out with these projects, be sure to let Carol know and she will pass on the information.
Best of all, when I walk around these great spaces, I imagine them with people laughing and joking, having a passionate discussion, sharing a coffee or a meal, participating in an activity, listening to a talk, or waiting for a meeting to start. I imagine hearing the children or watching them play, enjoying a safe, bright, clean, room. Different committees are also beginning to visualize how we want to keep our electronic outreach going after we’ve returned to meeting in the church. Considering all the changes we will see in 2021, everything before will seem like a distinctly different era, and so it will be.
A more formal “Thank You” will be given to everyone who worked and contributed to making all the changes and possibilities a reality. The dedication service may very well be our first service back in the church. Until then, I have some happy dreaming to do over the winter.