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Spring Cleaning

At the beginning of February, our church council met for a mini planning workshop. We talked about our hopes and dreams for the congregation, and we began to list all the different things that happen in our building—everything from once-a-year ministries like Peace of Pizza to week-in and week-out tasks like paying the bills and scheduling worship leaders. Our charts fill one wall of my office. You’re welcome to stop by and see. You’re also welcome to add ideas if we missed something.

Throughout the year, the council will continue to work on this. Ideally our day-to-day activities and our special projects and events will support our mission and help us bring our hopes and dreams to life.  Maybe we will realize some things we’ve been doing forever no longer make sense. Maybe we will discover unexpected joy in ministries we haven’t yet considered. All of that will take prayerful thought to sort out.

In the meantime, the council is also committed to accomplishing smaller goals and easy wins. One of these is cleaning out some of the treasures we have accumulated, looking for creative ways to spark new life. Here are some highlights:

We donated thousands (!) of cups, plates, and plastic utensils to Ministry of Caring to use in their Emmanuel Dining Rooms and shelters.

We gave a set of choir robes to Maranatha Baptist Church in Elkton. Their sewing group went right to work, converting the old robes into “angel garments” to clothe infants and young children who die while in the hospital, offering support and care for grieving families.

We sent two truckloads of white boards to Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center to use in their classrooms and offices. Another half dozen bulletin boards went to support community health education projects.

We gave our old pews to The Challenge Program, a Wilmington non-profit helping at-risk youth learn skills in the building trades. Wood from the pews might be remade into flooring or shelving for a building project or turned into a new creation in their furniture shop.

As gratifying as it has been to find neighbors who can put these items to better use, we are also freeing up space so we can put our building to better use. Time will reveal new opportunities.

All of this seems a fitting Lenten metaphor for the ways God brings new life in unexpected ways. As we continue our Lenten journey to empty tomb of Easter, may God help us see what we can let go of to be ready for what is to come…and not just in our building.

In hopeful anticipation,

Pastor Sue


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