Let us worship Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh,
One with God, and God himself.
Learning to do life together in our sanctuary
Through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
Last week I introduced the phrase, “Stone Hill toddling.” I pointed out that 2014 would be a year of learning to do life together in our new facility the way a toddler learns to walk, with a mixture of successful steps and occasional tumbles.
So let me talk a bit about our sanctuary. Those of you who attended back when we were on Westerly Road will remember how multi-use that sanctuary was. It functioned as a worship space, welcome hall, entrance foyer, corridor, pass-through to the kitchen, etc etc etc. It was crazy! But now that we have the Atrium dedicated to Sunday morning greeting and fellowship, we can be more intentional about our sanctuary. In particular, we can reserve the sanctuary for quiet preparation and prayer during the five minutes or so preceding worship. So please keep that in mind and “practice a soft and quiet landing” in the sanctuary during those five minutes beforehand. Together let’s learn a new set of habits that serve one another.
Let me also provide guidance about something a bit more material—better, something a bit more liquid: let me discuss coffee and the sanctuary. Recently I attended a three-day prayer gathering for area pastors. The main meeting room had a sloped floor much like ours. Twice during the conference my bag and books, which were on the floor, were soaked because of spills one row behind me. Alas, gravity will have its way even in a prayer meeting!
Similarly, the slope of our sanctuary floor and the thick padding of its pews do not offer any place to safely put down a cup of coffee or other such things. So again, as a way to serve one another in love, let’s learn a new set of habits. Let’s keep all coffee, tea, and snacks out in the Atrium.
Let me close with one final appeal, perhaps the weightiest of all. Please do not allow these guidelines to become cause for policing or begrudging one another. In love let us serve one another; let us do so with kindness, being tenderhearted, forbearing and forgiving one another just as God in Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32).