Sunday, October 5, 2008

A new beginning for AUMC

Today was a momentous day for the church where we're members.

We worshiped in our new sanctuary for the first time today. This building has been a very. long. time. coming. (It was definitely on God's time, not ours.) So today was a celebration of joy, of faithfulness, of praise to the One who brought us to this point.

Here it is on Saturday morning, during the furniture-moving process:

I tried to take a few more pics this morning, before the first service, but only got a few shots because of all that we still had to do. Here's our pastor at our new altar table which, along with the lectern and baptismal font, was custom-made by a group of our members:

Here at the bottom of the frame you can see what I thought was the top of the baptismal font. But it wasn't quite the top. I thought the bowl would sit down in that opening, but a few minutes later someone brought in a large basin that rests on top of the opening. It's absolutely beautiful. Didn't get a picture of that, though, because we were doing sound check.

My fellow band members during setup:

(Yes, those are boxers...but at least they kinda match the jeans. Our drummer's 18 and we love him. Give him a break.)

It took a lot of restraint for me to resist taking a picture of the congregation while I was standing up front leading singing. The place was packed out -- the view made me giddy. And when we robed up for the choir-led service, it was packed for the second time.

Before the early service it dawned on me that I was going to be the one speaking the first official words of welcome to this holy place about to be consecrated to the glory of God. (No pressure, huh?) So, rather than ad-libbing it, I grabbed a pen, dashed out to the narthex, and sought out a dear friend's help. Here's the end result, with emphasis on the words I wanted to make sure people heard:

"Good morning! What a joyful day! As we celebrate our new surroundings, let's remind ourselves of the reason we're here. Let's prepare our hearts to worship God in this place."

(You can't have too many reminders that the church is not a building.)

At the second service, we sang a few verses of the Jane Marshall hymn, "What Gift Can We Bring?" One of the questions in the first verse is, "What words can convey it, the joy of this day?"

I've tried plenty of words here, but I don't think they really can convey it.


ElastiGirl said...

thanks be to god!! sounds like a glorious day indeed!!

Songbird said...

Wow! It is gorgeous!!

Kathryn said...

I think you did a pretty good job of conveying joy, my friend...I'm sitting here in the cold dark of a Monday morning grinning from ear to ear. Wonderful :-) xx

God_Guurrlll said...

Congrats on the new Sanctuary. It is gorgeous!!!

The congregation was so fortunate to have you open worship in this new space!

Peace and love,

SpookyRach said...

How cool! I love the huge windows on the side - do they run the length of the building? It's just gorgeous.

zorra said...

Congratulations! It looks beautiful. The table and font are gorgeous.

DogBlogger said...

They pretty much do run the length of the building, Rach. Besides pointing us toward the world in which we are to be in ministry, they also show us exactly who's late for worship, because you have no choice but to walk by them to reach the entrance.

SpookyRach said...

ha ha! That should be fun on Sunday mornings.