Our Church Is Moving

IMG_5437Last Sunday we held a Decommissioning service for Ridglea Presbyterian Church, where we’ve worshiped for over 45 years. The church itself is 75 years old. Both our daughters were baptized there. One daughter was married there. My mother’s memorial was held in the Chapel. Both Bob and I were ordained as elders there, and he, a trustee. We’ve served on numerous committees, including Bob serving on one which called one of our ministers. We’ve taught Sunday School and served as youth sponsors. I worked for the church for a couple of years as a temporary Director of Christian Education. And as I’ve written here, I’ve preached two sermons.IMG_5436

After the service, when I drove home Sunday afternoon, I felt a huge pressure on my chest. One part of my brain took note and told myself it was “just” grief. But it was a real physical hurt. I’m sure I’ll have to use that in a book sometime.IMG_7206Of course, the church is more than a building, but….

To say the move is painful is such an understatement. (See paragraph above. 😊) I was not the only person wiping my eyes during Sunday’s service, which was beautiful. The PR committee of our Relocation Central Commission did a super job with the reception afterwards.  Many former members and kids of members returned for this last service, including our younger daughter, husband, and our granddaughter who sat with me for the children’s sermon.IMG_7211

It was lovely seeing the sanctuary packed. This picture courtesy of Mary Beth Sisolak Waggoner

The garage sale after the reception for members went well. We have a wonderful couple with helpers who have organized the whole thing. We’ll have a garage sale August. 17 & 18 for members of the community. Packing has been ongoing for some time. I have the sore muscles & a bump on my head to show for it. Even though staff and committees have tried to purge, I know we’re taking way more stuff than we should. Where we’re first going is smaller than where we are, but larger than where we’re ultimately going. So, we’ve got too much stuff.IMG_7204Fire Fighting’s Finest will physically move us over three days. We have some incredibly talented church members. One of them has not only figured out where stuff can go in our temporary home, she’s drawn floor plans, so the movers can put things where they belong, and we won’t have to move them again.

August 5, we’ll have our first service in our temporary home where we’ll be until maybe Easter of 2019. Initially, we were unhappy about this delay, but one of members reminded us we hope to be in our new location for at least another 75 years, so in the big scheme of things, an extra couple of months doesn’t matter.

IMG_7205We are using the building of a former church that wasn’t willing to move, and it closed. We are grateful for the space and for only paying the cost of utilities.

The weather change has been a real blessing since after weeks of 100+ temps, a cold front has blown in, and all week we’re in the 90s with lows in the 70s. Much nicer weather for moving.

As I’ve written here earlier, I’m privileged to be chairing the Relocation Central Commission. I pushed off the release of my 7th book until early next year because of all the time spent on this task. And that’s all right. It’s been amazing to see how everyone has come together to make this all happen. An experience that we will always remember.

Have you been involved in a large move? What was your experience like? What did you learn? Were there things you’d do differently? Love to hear from you.

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11 responses to “Our Church Is Moving

  1. Why is the church moving? It sounds like your entire family was “invested” in the church emotionally, physically, spiritually. I’m sure it must be hard and it sounds like it’s taken a toll on you.

    I’ve never moved a church, but the first 20 years of my married life, we will have our 40th anniversary in December, was constant move, every 1-3 years. You get used to it. You get hardened to it. It’s part of life. I know your family moved a lot also when you were young.

    Best wishes always!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Susan. I guess I should’ve explained the why of the move. We have 11 parking spaces. Our building sits on a spring, and we run a sump pump 24/7 for thousands of dollars, and yet the basement continued to flood. Ultimately the mold made us shut it down. A developer approached us 5 years ago and offered to buy the property. Long story short and 4 contracts later, we made a deal with a buyer. We found an empty Methodist Church still in our Ridglea neighborhood and a temporary palce while the Methodist church is remodeled.
      You are correct, I did move a lot growing up and even in Fort Worth, we’re now in our 6th home. One of the good things about moving forces you to go through and clean out. The church hasn’t had that opportunity, but we do now. 🙂 Thanks so much understanding and for stopping by.

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  2. That’s a big move and I can see where it’s more than a physical building to you. It’s a place that holds so many precious memories and will forever remain in your heart. At the same time it sounds as if a lot of time and thought has been put into building a new church that will provide a home for people’s hearts and spiritual life for many years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Pat. We are so blessed to have the temporary home while the Methodist Church is remodeled and enlarged a bit. And we have three acres. After only 11 parking spots, that’s just divine. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

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    • Hey, Vicki. All the members of the congregation who’ve stepped up to help are making this endeavor manageable and inspirational. It’s truly amazing. Hopefully, we’ll be able to cull more before we move to the permanent place so the next move is easier. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

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    • Hey, Jo-Ann. You’ve got that right. We are sad to leave this building the site of so many wonderful and meaningful experiences, but we’re also really excited about the future. The move will free us to use are resources in a better way to help others. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  3. That is an overwhelming task ahead, but it sounds like you have lots of great help and hard workers to make the move. Breaking it down into manageable steps will help. I know it’s tough to uproot the congregation, but looking ahead, you will rejoice in the new surroundings and attract more folks to feel the love of God and the congregation and touch many with outreach programs. I’ll keep you in my prayers for a successful transition and lots of willing workers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, JQ. You exactly nailed it. And it’s been amazing how each little piece (and boy have there been thousands of those) has fallen into place. I do appreciate your prayers on our behalf, JQ, and thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

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  4. Your church sounds like a wonderful community. I’m sorry it has been so painful to have to move the building. It sounds like you will go from strength to strength after the move, and will build up fresh memories. All the best for the future xx

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