09 Jun Purging, Giving Thanks, and Being a Blessing
As is so often the case, a major project starts off as one thing, but ends up taking you in unexpected directions. Such has been the case over the past month with The Purge.
First, many, many thanks to Janet Gayle and Sharon who have spent dozens of hours in the building expending herculean amounts of effort and energy to get us prepped and ready for Saturday. Without them, I would have no sanity left and we would never be able to accomplish what is needed this weekend. Thank you, ladies. You are a gift.
As we have cleaned out and organized almost every room in the church, I have had numerous unexpected moments of gratitude for the legacy we have inherited—and which, through the work we are now doing, we continue to pass on. I have been reminded of Marcelo over and over again which has given me an opportunity to say a prayer of gratitude for his life, his sweet, sweet spirit, and all the ways he kept the building operating. Mr. Ritchie was well before my time, but I stood in his workshop and imagined all the hours he spent there working on various projects. His fingerprints are all over Calvary.
As we worked our way through the second floor, I said more prayers of thanks for the myriad ways those spaces have been used through the years and for all the people who have been impacted—for the ESL classes (thank you, Sharon MacInnes!), the Ghanian children’s choir rehearsals, the Music Makers rehearsals (thank you, Debbie Noel!), the youth group and confirmation class gatherings, and the Sunday school classes where many hundreds of children over the decades learned the stories of Jesus—because of the scores of men and women who taught them.
It is bittersweet at times to reflect on what used to be vibrant ministries of the church but are no longer part of our collective life together. Judy has been cleaning out and organizing the choir room, for example, especially the filing cabinets which are full of pieces of music that once blessed Calvary’s worship, but which are not useful to us moving forward. It’s been like that in the CE office, in the worship closet, in the office files, in the library, and in every other room in the building.
The truth is that we are who we are because of everything and everyone that has come before us. And the impact of those ministries, programs, and relationships lives on. There is so much for which to be grateful! At the same time, this purging process enables us to respond to the new directions God is leading us. It is a good and healthy and necessary work.
One thing to know: we have repurposed, recycled, and donated everything we possibly can. Old technology equipment, paint, and scrap metal have all been set aside or already taken to the centers that deal with those particular items. Several loads have been taken to the Inova thrift store or Goodwill. Whitney posted pictures of items like metal folding chairs and bookcases on a neighborhood online bulletin board, and most of those items have been claimed. We are using every opportunity we can to bless our neighbors through our efforts.
A second thing to know for those who will be working on Saturday: this is filthy, filthy business, so wear your grungiest clothes! And trust me, you will have a renewed appreciation for the blessing of a hot shower when the day is done!
Janet Gayle and Steve Roberts will be “directing traffic” on Saturday for how we will get things out of the building and into the dumpster—being careful not to damage our new concrete work which looks awesome! I am looking forward to sharing the day with you!
Yours for the Kingdom,