News for the Church, 3/1/24

Happy Friday to you Church!

What a week of weather we’ve had– from 72 and sunshine to 0 with windchill. Yikes! Today feels a little more normal, and I’m grateful. 

Here’s the news: 


I hope you see this note in time to make a dish to pass for lunch this Sunday. We’ll be breaking bread together after the service on March 3rd. 

Youth Group to Meet Monday, March 4th

Our joint youth group will gather at our church this Monday from 6:30-8pm. 

Sanctuary Cleaning Days Saturday, March 9th and 16th

I have great news to share. We are planning to return to the sanctuary for worship on Palm Sunday, March 24th. In order to have the sanctuary ready for that day, we need a bunch of us to come together to do some cleaning. 

We’ll gather next Saturday, the 9th, as well as the following one, starting at 10am to dust the chancel, vacuum pew cushions, wipe down pew benches, re-install the sound system, and more. Even if you only have an hour or two to come volunteer, your help is important. 

If you have questions, please email Dave Wells at

Communion Set for Sunday, March 10th

We will celebrate communion together during worship in a couple of weeks. 

Palm Sunday Breakfast and Worship in the Center

Sunday, March 24th is our big day! That morning we will kick off the beginning of Holy Week by having a potluck breakfast at the church before worship. Please bring breakfast food to share at 8:45am that day. We’ll share this meal together in the Center and then make our first communal procession back into the sanctuary for worship with palm branches in hand! 

Just you you know, Session is planning a big re-dedication Sunday this summer. We’ll have a special worship service to celebrate our renovation project then, invite the whole neighborhood, and hopefully offer some sort of musical concert as well. In the meantime, this will be our “soft opening.” 

Per Capita Update

I am delighted to report that 19 people have donated $33 each to help us pay our Per Capita bill to the Presbytery. A big THANKS to all who have contributed! To those members who are still considering supporting the church in this way, we will continue to accept these donations throughout the coming months; just indicate that the gift is to help cover “per capita.”

$16,300 Raised to Help Cover the Cost of the New Floor

I am also delighted to report to you that we have raised over $16,000 to help supplement the cost of our new $25,000 oak floor for the sanctuary! We’ve had a couple of donors who have given large sums, and others who have given smaller amounts. Friends, no matter how much we are able to give, all of it works together for the good of the church. THANK YOU! 

Taking the Pressure Off 

Session met in the sanctuary this past week with a daunting task. We gathered together to decide the exact layout for our pews and chairs, so that our carpenter could come in next week and screw the pews down into the floor. 

As we stood there looking at our 18 rows of pews and 110 chairs– discussing all of the possibilities for how to set up our seating– we were feeling intense pressure to get it perfectly right. Do we angle the pews in towards the middle? Do we leave them all facing straight forward? Do we set them up in the round? And where do we put the chairs to compliment the pews best? Should they go behind the pews? Or to the side of them? Or behind them? 

If we decided afterwards that we didn’t like the configuration we chose, or disliked the degree of the angles, or even the distance apart between the rows, rearranging the pews would mean making holes in our beautiful new floor. We were sweating bullets under this immense pressure until Renee Stauffer came up with a great idea. 

“What if we take the heat off and move slower?” she asked. “We could use the chairs for a template, and try different configurations with them until we decide on a layout that we like. After we’ve tested various setups and decided on which one works best, then we can insert the pews into the mix and screw them to the floor.” 

This was a brilliant idea. And so, we did just that. We set our 110 chairs up in a particular configuration, which we will test out for a few weeks. After that, we will move the chairs around and try a different configuration– until we find the layout that suits us best. We will keep experimenting in this way with the chairs until we’re sure about where exactly we want the pews to be anchored. And then we will have the carpenter come in and drill the holes into the floor to screw down the pews. 

All that to say– when we head back into the sanctuary for Palm Sunday, don’t be alarmed when you don’t see any pews up front. It’s not that we’re not going to use them. It’s that we need more time before we make any permanent decisions about where to place them. It may take us a few months to figure out our lay out, but it’s better that way than have dozens of holes all over our brand new floor. 

As Renee noted, it’s ok for this to be a process. And it might be fun even, to try different configurations. Maybe we will decide on a layout that no one has yet thought of!

Life is a Process

This whole situation with the pews reminds me of a bigger lesson: Life in general is a process, isn’t it? God doesn’t expect us to “get it right” the very first time. We learn as we grow, and we mature, and grow in wisdom. 

For those of us who are perfectionists, this lesson is an important one. I was just talking the other day with someone about the word we translate as “perfect” in our Bibles. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is quoted as saying, “Be perfect, even as your Heavenly Father in heaven is perfect.” The Greek word teleios, which we have translated as ‘perfect,’ actually means something more akin to ‘complete,’ or ‘mature.’ I’ve even heard the idea of “fully bloomed” or “fully ripened” to explain the concept of what teleios means.

“Be mature, as God is mature.” 

“Move into full bloom, like God lives in full bloom.”

Maturation, ripening, blooming– all of these things are, by definition processes. And they take time! When we expect ourselves to get it perfectly right all of the time, we’re denying the creative system that God has built for us. We end up missing out on the beauty of the journey– on the transformative process that has to take place in order to move into the bloom. 

May we all take a lesson from the pews this week. Whatever it is you fret about getting perfect, give yourself a break and let God move through the ripening process with you. When we let grace in, the process of coming into bloom is just as beautiful, and important, as the end result. 

Working on Ripening Too,
Pastor Katrina