When I came here to serve, a dream of the congregation was to replace the flooring in the Narthex, Fellowship Hall, classrooms, and the hallway.

Early this year an appeal went out to raise the necessary funds, $15,000.  Within a few weeks through gifts both within the congregation and outside, the appeal was fully subscribed.

There also was the need to add furniture, such as a sofa, and chairs.  We decided we needed to repair and paint walls everywhere, even the Pastor’s Office.  Last week the work was finished by the tireless efforts of this congregation, new members and older members alike.

In the worship today we heard Caleb and Mandy Crotts share with us the ministry they are doing in Nigeria.  I pray their message has inspired us to both continue our outreach and see new horizons.

We come from all religious backgrounds and places from New Jersey to Wisconsin, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, and today from Nigeria.  While being born everywhere we are all God’s children.

We are but building on a ministry started by the Lord here when this congregation was formed, and this building was built in 1964.  Norm and Fran Zimmerman were two of those pioneers.  Norm was the architect of this building.  You can see the original plans in the hallway.

God has brought us together today for a new beginning.  Each of us has our hopes and dreams.  The challenge will be to start a new future together, taking the past efforts of this church family as well as the dreams and efforts of those of us who are relatively newcomers.  Christ will guide us as we deal with growth pains.

The psalmist writes, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who labor, labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1)

Let us pray: We give you thanks, O God, as we rededicate this building and this ministry and all who labor here.  We ask you to bless the fruits of our work.  Grant us faith to know your gracious purpose in all things and continue your blessings to us though the bounty of your creation; especially this food we are about to share; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Let us bless and thank the Lord.  Amen.

by The Rev. Bernard W Hess

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