Darlene played a fluid, gentle introit to usher into worship which began with s song titled "Holy Spirit."
Brad asked the building committee to come to the front and a small ceremony was held as they handed the keys to Leadership Chair Pam Johnson.
Jeff Burton of the Northwest Conference joined us for this special occasion and shared a few remarks before offering a prayer of dedication. There are many other celebrations taking place today but I drew the best one, he said.
"There's really in the building today a building within a building. In Ephesians Paul writes that the people of God are themselves a building, brought together to be a dwelling place for the work of the Holy Spirit, with Jesus Christ Himself the chief cornerstone." Jeff Burton said that the physical building here was a symbol of the building of our faith and this "building within the building."
The quartet sang "Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this Place" while an offering was taken. This was followed by a time of prayer and praise, and special music, "Find Us Faithful" sung by the choir.
Greater Things Are Yet To Come
What's important is not this building but our mission.
"For this reason -- because of the the matchless, sinless life of Jesus -- I kneel before the Father..."
To kneel was an act of surrender, a matter of humbling oneself. When you kneel, you're saying, "I'm not in control."
The United States may be a great nation but even the best minds here can't make the sun appear and make a beautiful day like this one on command. So often we think we're special. God is the one we're dependent on here.
How much control do we really have about the things in this world, including what others think about us here in this community. But unless you step out in faith you can't experience God's faithfulness.
God, how can I just trust you to make me the person you want me to be? The times of not knowing what an outcome will be are the best time to learn how to trust God.
God is not sweating bullets over the future of our world. God is faithful and we can trust Him, again and again.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
This is what I pray for more than anything else in this church, that the indwelling of Christ will fill you. And I believe this is real.
The word indwell that Paul uses means "to sit down and make his home."
I pray that we will be transformed that purifies us from sin and empowers us to fulfill His purposes. When it comes to power, think tanks and political powers pale in comparison to a changed life.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
How big is our God? What is He capable of?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
We are ever measuring capabilities, but what God is able and willing to do is immeasurable. It cannot be measured. It's beyond all we can conceive or imagine.
"I don't want to be known as the rich church, or the poor church or the liberal church or the conservative church, or the smart church or the gifted church. We want to be known as a church that believes God can do immeasurably more, and we want to ask God for the power to do not only what's possible for us, but what's impossible."
What follows are some photos from this special day.
It was indeed a magical day. To all who helped make it happen, thank you.