Strewn along the tops of the tables in the Foster Room are books from the Jerry Davis Library. There are books from the 1960s, some of which deal with issues that threatened the unity of churches (Black Power and Civil Rights, homosexuality, gender equality) and on this side of the 21st Century, it is fascinating to see how our brave little church stood up for Civil Rights, women and gay men and women. Those issues at that time were fuzzy, murky and unclear but our church found a way (and still does) to speak with clarity. There are books about war and politics and there are of course a myriad of religious books.
Speaking of which, I noticed there are several hymnbooks (some given as gifts to the church in honor of loved ones at Fifth Baptist Church). These hymnbooks are somewhat dated but I have said more than once that a practice of piety that you can count on is to have a hymnbook at your night stand so when you cannot sleep or are troubled, you can open that hymnbook and read a hymn as a prayer. There are several–help yourselves and in the process, enrich and encourage your spiritual life.
We are sifting and sorting now. Our summer will be a time for such and then, end of September, we should be exiting this building and stepping into our interim worship arrangements. It is not easy to say goodbye to a building that has offered us sanctuary and where we have evolved as individuals and as a congregation into God’s people. We will do so with dignity and hope. Christ tells the Church (in The Revelation of John), “Behold, I make all things new.” We will trust in him to do so with us, for we have been and are in dialogue not only with our architect (Phillip Renfrow), but we are and have been in prayer with the Architect and Designer of worlds. Of all the things we take with us, let us be sure to take our brave discipleship. Of all we leave behind, may we leave malice, anger, grudges or anything else that weighs us down in our journey. I love how Numbers (10:11) describes the journey about to begin as Moses led the children of Israel into their interim wandering through the wilderness:
Then the Israelites set out by stages
from the wilderness of Sinai
By stages, methodically, full of faith and dedicated to Christ who calls us to the future, let us prepare to leave. Let us prepare to arrive! ~ See you Sunday