To the Beloved at St. Augustine’s,
I write you in the name of our risen and ascended Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In March of this year we learnt that the chapel at Central College Presbyterian Church (CCPC) might be available for rent. Last month, Sarah and I met with representatives from their leadership council and in May CCPC’s leadership council voted to allow us to use the chapel “to the extent they could accommodate us.” Last week Sarah and I met with the facilities administrator of CCPC to see if indeed they could accommodate us and to answer a list of questions we had generated. While there are some serious problems we will have to work out—for example, the chapel is not handicapped accessible—we are happy to report that none of the issues are insurmountable. Accordingly, this past Sunday our Leadership Team voted unanimously to recommend that we enter into a three month trial period starting in June to see if the worship space “works” for us, contingent of course on parish consensus.
The chapel itself is beautiful and will provide us with a wonderful worship space, although there are some adjustments we will have to make. But that is the case with any new venue, including the venue the Lord finally gives us as our permanent home, whenever that becomes available. We will lay out all the issues for you at a special parish meeting on Sunday, May 31 immediately after worship. At that time we will also answer questions and concerns you might have and then seek your blessing to worship at Ellsworth Chapel for a three month trial period. At the end of that time, we will get back together with CCPC and see if it is working to everyone’s overall satisfaction.
Contingent on its being available this Sunday, we are looking at the possibility of holding the meeting at the chapel so that you can see it first-hand before deciding whether to worship there. For those of you who might not be able to make the special parish meeting, the chapel is open every day from 7am-11pm. Feel free to drop by and peek inside. Just make sure that that you do not interrupt any classes or meetings that might be scheduled during the day. And of course, please do hold this potential move up in prayer, asking God the Father if this is what he wants us to do.
In closing, if we do decide to worship at Ellsworth Chapel on an interim basis, remember that this is only a temporary measure as we continue to look for our own permanent space to worship and have as a base of operation. Buildings don’t make a church. People do, people like you who love the Lord and who are committed to living out our mission statement to be “Changed by God to Make a Difference for God.” Worship is a vital part of being changed by God and having a space that inspires worship is an important part of being St. Augustine’s. But it is only one part. We must continue to be a people who are on fire for the Lord and each other in the power of the Spirit, and who will continue to work tirelessly to do our part to help bring about God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. May this decision be an integral part of that work.
I Remain Yours in Christ,