Ok, so those of us who take the stairs in the Sanctuary building — especially those who do so without even thinking about it — you might not even realize that some of our co-worshippers use the elevator. For some, they couldn’t worship with us without the elevator. (It’s hard to get yourself and a wheelchair or a walker up a flight of stairs!) The elevator is that important because the people who need it are that important.
You might not even have noticed last Sunday. But the elevator was acting ‘wonky’ before worship. Making an unusual, and not confidence-inspiring noise. Before service, the elevator was also not always moving on the first button push. No one got too panicky, or stuck in the elevator, and it got everyone who needed it “ascended” for worship.
It must have been serving on its last breath. Because after getting everyone to worship, the elevator stopped. And then it died — wouldn’t move or move anyone. For most of our ‘elevator crowd,’ the stairs can be navigated descending. And almost everyone made it out of church! But we had two folks who didn’t think they could.
Tony M., as usher, and Tony P., our property manager, said they’d wait around with the folks who were stuck. We called the fire department for help. Michael had seen situations before when the fire department would carry folks out of 5 floor walk up apartment houses on a lightweight aluminum and mesh chair, designed so they could maneuver it in tough spots. But the firemen, instead, talked our folks down the stairs. Literally one went down on his bottom. The other did a step at a time standing, surrounded on all sides by firefighters. The firefighters then carried a wheelchair down the steps.
Michael took a thank you note and cookies to the firemen this week. And Kristyn called he elevator company. It was frustrating because the elevator repair man had just been here last Thursday for his monthly service call.
The repair man came back. It’s something about the electric not getting to the motors. Not a huge repair, and one for which the repair man needed a manual on the electric system which he didn’t have. That manual has been ordered.
To make a long story short, we will have worship and communion in the Social Hall this Sunday. It’s a fun break from our normal routine when this happens. And there is something about worshiping in the round so we can see each other. People who never would come up front for prayer in the Sanctuary pray comfortably from their seats when we are downstairs. And it’s a communion Sunday. Everyone can be included because everyone will be able to gather there.
In the Sanctuary, the hard space pretty much defines, at least the outlines of how we worship. That’s not true when we are in the Social Hall. There’s room and accessibility for all. Join us.
See you in church (which it still is downstairs, or any place else the people of God gather to worship and serve),