Sunday September 25th is the last service to be held in the current building. We’ll begin worshipping in the auditorium of Jefferson Academy Middle School the first Sunday in October, the 2nd.
This process of exchanging our current configuration–a parking lot with a church building–for a new building closer to Maine Avenue and across from the Wharf–began in 2007. I and the chairman of Trustees sat informally in my office with the previous and beloved pastor of fourteen years, Robert Troutman. He blessed us as we began a process of questioning and pondering our future.
After many, many meetings and countless discussions and endless hoops jumped through and navigated, here we are: we are about to exit this building and cross over into our future. We are ready. We are brave. We are full of hope. When Joshua, the heir apparent to Moses, took the children of Israel across the Jordan River into their land of promise, he ordered them to take twelve stones out of the river bed and make a memorial. The scripture says, “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord.”
At some juncture three years from now, we’ll step into a new church building on the same corner. We will have secured our church financially for another fifty to one hundred years if those who come after us are as prudent and careful as we have been. I can hear a child ask what those stones mean–the stone from the First Baptist Church in America that will be placed near the date stone of the new edifice; the stone from the Sea of Galilee that Rabbi Zemel was so kind to have arranged delivery of and will be placed near the threshold of the new sanctuary. And the answer will echo through the millennia: God made a way for us to cross. Hallelujah! ~See you Sunday.