30 minutes and a vote. 118 gathered at a church conference to lend their voices to the on-going mission to follow and invite others to follow Jesus Christ. When all was said and done, the results of the initial ballot were 112 in favor of moving forward in the process, 2 abstained from the vote and 0 voted against the motion. The expansion moves forward!
30 minutes is deceiving. Prior to the church conference hundreds of hours of work by the Building Team, the Specialty Teams, Martin-Gardner Architecture Firm, sub-contractors, Trustees, staff, designers, Capital Appeal Team and dreamers went into this night. With a deep understanding the structure was getting in the way of the mission, a building design took shape to help lead us to an expansion not simply in square footage but in ministry.
30 minutes is misleading. Thousands of hours were spent in children’s classrooms making yet one more craft to teach a Bible story helping lead us to this moment in time. Countless hours were spent driving youth to mission service trips, camp and numerous activities to help usher kids into a relationship with Jesus. Too many prayer shawls to count were knitted to remind people of the presence of God. Multiple bikes tuned up and given to children, youth and adults as a way to live into our mission. The hundreds upon hundreds of volunteer hours spent feeding people through our Pantry, Free Lunch, Summer Lunch and Fun went into this vote. 600+ families walking through the doors as part of our Creation Kids ministries were part of this night. We can’t even begin to count all of the ministry service hours offered by Stephen Ministries, worship teams, gardeners, and oh yes… the prayers that guided us forward in our mission.
30 minutes is deceptive. The current membership stands on the shoulders of generations of faithful people in the North Liberty area who have called this church home over the years. Men and women who steadfastly served the community as they bore witness to Jesus Christ.
30 minutes is just the beginning. 30 minutes is just the beginning of the adventure of the build while continuing to serve God. In upcoming weeks you will hear more about start dates, timelines, input meetings and logistics. The brown envelope mailings will provide monthly updates to make you aware of ministries and expansion progress. In April, we will set up a special church email address specifically for expansion questions or comments. In the next few weeks, a number of the trees surrounding the parking lot will be moved to a new location on site in order to keep them safe until it’s time for landscaping once again! A flurry of activity will take place behind the scenes with the Building Team, the city and the contractors.
30 minutes and a thank you. For now—we pause. We pause to say thanks to the Lord for leading us on this journey. We pause because we are grateful to help usher the kingdom of God into this community. We pause and breathe in the Spirit as we begin this next phase of our journey. We pause and give praise to the One who seeks to restore all things.
The Psalmist writes, I rejoiced when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord!”