Please Pardon Our Dust
I am sure you have heard it said of Illinois (and this entire region of the country), “There are two seasons around here: winter and construction!” As you drive, or attempt to drive, around this certainly seems to be the case. Even in many of our neighborhoods where just a couple of years ago there seemed to be foreclosures on every street, new homes are being build, and we can wake up to the beautiful sound of air-compressed nail guns and the lovely aroma of sawdust. (Don’t you just love the smell of sawdust in the morning?!)
If such sights, sound, and smells bring a smile to your face, the next several weeks at New Covenant have the potential to fill your heart with glee as we enter full-scale into a building improvement project. If they do not, remain calm and carry on. All is well (as in It Is Well With My Soul). We can get through this together.
Whenever a construction project is begun, it is good to expect the unexpected. However, here are some things that you can expect: remodeling of the sanctuary (new carpet, new sound & video equipment, reconfiguration of the platform to accommodate additional seating), complete remodel of the bathrooms across from the kitchen, new Center for Gospel Care, new seating/gathering areas in the foyer and halls including in the present Welcome Center area, and new carpet and paint in the pastoral offices.
Several aspects of this project have already begun, but major renovations (e.g. the sanctuary and baths) are scheduled to begin on July 1. On the Sunday prior (June 30) at the end of the 10:45 a.m. worship service, all those who are able will asked to pick up their chair and march it from the sanctuary to the gym. From Sunday July 7 through Sunday August 18 we will hold our regular Sunday morning worship services (at 9:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.) in the gym. Lord willing, on August 25 New Covenant will worship for the first time in our newly remodelled sanctuary and enjoy an All Church Picnic together on the north lawn (more details will be forthcoming).
Personally, I am looking forward to worshiping together in the gym. The change of setting provides an opportunity to let our guard down, meet new people, and even (dare I say it) attend worship at the hour opposite one’s normal routine. I think the very informal setting will give us all a feel for what Sunday morning is like every week for our sister church in Lombard, Hope Fellowship. It might also stir a passion within New Covenant for church planting by giving us a picture of what a typical church plant looks like. There is no telling what the Lord might do for his glory with that kind of passion (hint, hint).
We have already seen our God getting glory for himself through this building improvement project. Although our congregation approved a line of credit of $250,000 to finance this project, more than half of the project has already been financed through the generous giving of individuals in the New Covenant family. What a great reminder of the Apostle Paul’s words to the church at Corinth when he said that the believers there gave themselves first to the Lord Jesus and then gave of their resources to His work (2 Corinthians 8:4).
We have also observed God’s gracious hand in working out many of the details of the project like the coordination of the contactors under Tim Holloway’s excellent leadership, the approval of permits, etc. Please pray for continued wisdom and guidance from the Lord as we begin the major phases of the work. Pray as well for the protection of the workers and our witness as church to them. The elders also ask you to prayerfully consider giving toward the building improvement project, over and above your regular tithes and offerings. (Please note “Building Improvements” on your check and/or giving envelope.)
Construction projects can be both fun and frustrating (often at the same time!). In either case we need to remind ourselves that the purpose of these improvements is more than just making our building more aesthetically pleasing and convenient to worship in. Our goal is to communicate that we are investing in long term gospel ministry in this place. Our desire is that even something as mundane as the design and decor of our building could communicate the welcome of the gospel to all who enter it.
May it be so, and may each of us communicate the beauty and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Leaning on our Chief Cornerstone,
Pastor For Gospel Care & Outreach