This Sunday (Aug. 10) is a very big day in the life of New Life Presbyterian Church. On this morning, we will conduct our very first worship service in a brand new sanctuary that was begun all the way back in November 2012. There are at least three things I love about this new facility, which I share with you now:
1) It will allow for one morning worship service. There are a few advantages to this. First, a single worship service on Sunday mornings allows us as a congregation of about 340 people to worship as a unified community and not in separate groups. Since the fall of 2010, our church has been offering three Sunday morning services (two in the summers). Not only does this tend to foster a feeling of having three different congregations, where in some cases people don’t even know they attend the same church, it also makes it difficult for the entire congregation to witness special events in the life of the congregation, such as baptisms, testimonies and farewells. The second big advantage to having just one morning service is that it reduces stress on volunteers who by necessity have had to serve long hours on Sunday mornings. Many of us will now have more free time on Sunday afternoons because we won’t be napping as long! Best of all, one Sunday morning service will allow us to hear the sweet voices of all New Life worshipers lifting up their voices together to praise our risen Savior and King.
2) It is a beautiful facility. People have many different opinions about the way things look. As one who can be pretty picky about aesthetics myself, I am thrilled to say that I find the new sanctuary to be a beautiful building. I like the shape and feel of the room; I like that the colors are bold and yet blend well with one another; I like the shape of the cross that is prominently displayed in the center of the platform; I even like the smell of the place. The AV technology is state of the art. The narthex is gorgeous as well, with its high ceiling and cheerful skylights. Our God is a God of beauty. He created colors, textures and shapes. I believe He cares about the way things look, and personally I love the way our new sanctuary looks.
3) It is a testimony to the faithfulness of God. New Life came from very humble beginnings back in the early 1990s when it was planted by Pastor Mike Kelly and met in a local elementary school. After Mike’s departure, it was Pastor Tim Stigers who then led the church through its first building project, when our current sanctuary was constructed. I don’t know what those pastors and the original core group envisioned the church would look like in 2014, but here we are, getting ready to move into a second sanctuary that will seat about 450 people. God has been faithful. He has provided all that this congregation has needed. He has surprised us with his generosity. He has blessed us beyond what we deserve. This sanctuary is a testimony to the fact that God loves his people and the gates of hell will never prevail against his church.