Somewhere I remember reading a story about a man who was visiting the Grand Canyon. For a long time, he stood speechless before this miracle of creation, simply taking in the magnificent spectacle. Finally, he said to himself, a little louder than he intended, “I wish I had been here to see this happen!” At that, a ranger standing nearby said, “You are!” Then the ranger went on to explain that the Grand Canyon is still happening. The mighty gorge in the earth is still changing and in the process of being created.
The same is true of us as a church. We are still in the process of being created and becoming who God wants us to be as a congregation. One of the mistakes that many Churches make is they get stuck in a particular time period and do not continue to change to meet the needs of the ever-evolving world in which they live. As a result, too often they become a museum of the past, but irrelevant to the present and future.
Thankfully, DUMC is not one of those churches. The last couple of years we have seen tremendous change as a congregation. It has not been easy, but on the whole you have embraced it, and I believe it is helping us to remain a strong and constantly relevant church.
One expression of that is the renovation of the Sanctuary. As you know, this week the renovation began. Already, much of the administrative area has been demolished to get ready to provide the underlying support that will be needed to carry the extra weight in the Chancel area once the choir and organ are moved. In the days ahead, there will be other areas of demolition, but eventually, we will have a sanctuary that will not only be beautiful to the eyes, but useful and relevant to the whole church as we continue to move into the future.
In the meantime, there is a great deal of displacement. We have staff scattered all over our campus. During the early days of our construction period, it may not be as easy to find the staff as you have been accustomed to in the past. The 11:05 a.m. Traditional Service moves to the Fellowship Hall. The doors to the Narthex of the Sanctuary will be locked, so you will need to enter the church by way of the Activities Building. The Morning Prayer and Holy Communion Service is moving to their new home in the Chapel; and while the service itself will not change, it will have the new name, “Chapel Service.”
Anyone who has ever experienced a time of change knows that when you are going through the change it is easy to become frustrated and lose your patience. That is one way to deal with it. Another is to realize that change not only happens around us, but God is also about the business of constantly changing us on the inside and to use this as an opportunity to grow more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Obviously, one way of dealing with change is better than the other.
See you Sunday, if not before.