May will be an exciting month at Hillsdale UCC. Having received a second bid, we will be able to move ahead with the permitting and elevator- ordering—another step toward beginning our long-awaited construction.
On the whole, as I told you in worship on April 12, I think we are doing the right thing to improve and modernize this building which is our collective greatest asset.
It is, however, a concern of mine that we might begin to think that we are installing an elevator so that the 85 of us gathered here on Sunday mornings can ride up and down for an hour.
Instead, we give generously—sacrificially, even—not to something that belongs to us: the people we like and the people like us and the people sitting here now. We give generously— sacrificially, even—exactly because this building does NOT belong to us. This building is a gift, passed on to us by others for us to hold until we can pass it on again: not just with the people we like, or who are not messy, or who can give us something in return, or who think like us—but for all people.
Recently, members of the Consistory and Foundation visited Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, which has, in the last four years, transformed its building into a community center. Every room is in use most every hour of every day: a coffee shop buzzes with customers, children play in a small toy corner while their parents chat nearby, there is a writer’s group meeting in one room, an AA meeting in another, some people are there to learn about organic gardening techniques, and some others are there to plan a campaign to help immigrants have safety and rights. There is a feeding program for the poor in the basement and somewhere else a kid’s birthday party is in full swing. The Sanctuary doors are flung open, and signs invite visitors to meditate or pray or light candles in this sacred space. The doors are unlocked all day. That building is alive! As we move ahead with this campaign, this is the vision that we must have for this building as well, if we are follow Christ’s teaching in all that we do.
Is Taborspace at times inconvenient for those who share the space? Yes. Is it messy? Most assuredly yes. Do the folks of Mt. Tabor Pres sometimes wish they could spread out into their space in all the ways they used to? I do not doubt that the answer is yes.
But are they doing what Chrsit has called them to? Is everything they owned held in common? Yes, yes, yes. Let our answer to Christ’s calling also be YES, YES, YES.
See you in church! Pastor Jennifer