The framing of the new chancel is about to begin, as soon as the new attic access is completed. It will only take a week or so. The electrician needs to add the wiring and the inspector needs to come and check everything before the decking is laid — the last step before the floor installers come in to lay the new wood floor.
I tell you all this because it provides our timeline.
Beth W., speaking to a group from the Pleasantville UCC church that was volunteering at the Saturday morning program last spring, heard about how when they built their new church building, they wrote “Letters to the Future Church” with sharpies on the concrete slab, before the the subflooring was constructed for their their Sanctuary.
Beth thought, Old First should be able to write and then tuck letters in somewhere in our Sanctuary renovation.
Most of you haven’t been up in the attic, but there are messages up there from workers over the years, written on the beams that span the building east to west. Ok, some workers weren’t clever enough to do much more than write their name and the date. But there are also some short messages and blessings.
And, I bet, we can think of things to say to those who will come after us. What do you want to share with the Future Old First? In a letter, you aren’t necessarily limited to a few lines with a sharpie… And you can decorate your letter, or use a special card if you want. You could also tuck a picture in there.
Imagine, decades or even hundreds of years hence, when Old First is making some new change to the Sanctuary and they come upon our letters…
We’re thinking of this offering of Letters to the Future Church as one of the ways the current congregation can bless our renewed space. Once we are back in the renovated Sanctuary, we will have a special service to re-Consecrate the space, to thank God and our people, and ask that this space be dedicated to service and mission: faith, hope and love. But each week, while we are worshiping in the space, our blessings, hopes, messages and Good News will lay in wait under the chancel, waiting to be found by someone some time in our posterity.
Prepare your letter, seal it if you wish, and get it to the office — in the next two weeks — where they will be gathered and wait, ready to be placed before the chancel is covered.