September 16, 2012

KBC: Rededication of the (Remodeled) Sanctuary

I did not expect to be as overcome by emotion today as I was.  There is no doubt that God was in and among this sacred space today as it was rededicated to His work and we celebrated the ways that He is moving in and among us.  It was a beautiful service with beautiful music and beautiful words.  God was there, regardless of my personal perspective.  But my personal perspective did add to my own emotion, for sure.  This is not just any sacred space.  In this sacred space I was: dedicated as an infant, baptized and served my first communion as a child, married to my soulmate, and ordained as a deacon.  So many of my spiritual milestones took place in this sanctuary.  It is also where we dedicated Clara, formally and officially, to God.

There is such new energy in our church (the people) right now; it was a real honor to see some of that same newness in the furnishings, the carpet, the pewpads.   It is my hope and prayer that someday Clara might look back at this space with the same sense of fondness that I have for it.  That she might recognize that it has been made new for her and her peers, but that it contains a rich history of meaning and tradition from all those who have come before her. 

It felt like a  new beginning for a new generation and a new wave of enthusiasm and passion.  It seemed an appropriate day for Clara to wear the dress that I wore in 1982 when I was dedicated at Knollwood.  Clara, this is your sanctuary.  May you meet God often there.  

The morning began with fellowship and a hymn sing in the fellowship hall (due to rain). 

photo credit Stephen Ball
Clara loved the brass instruments!
photo credit Stephen Ball

Then, Dr. Bob led everyone (beginning with all the children) into the narthex (like a sanctuary foyer) for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

photo credit Stephen Ball

photo credit Stephen Ball
 The children gathered behind the rope, to be the first to open the doors to the new space.  I can't tell you enough how much I love that Dr. Bob wanted them to be front and center for this.  It spoke volumes to me. (And I love that Clara thinks she's a big kid, right in the mix with the rest of them.)

Dr. Jack, the founding pastor of KBC, cuts the ribbon (with some help!) .

photo credit Stephen Ball

And as soon as the doors were opened, Dr. Bob picked Clara up to give her the tour himself.  I love that he was the one to share this moment with her.  Teary-eyed mama will treasure it always.

What a beautiful space it is. 

photo credit Stephen Ball
photo credit Stephen Ball
photo credit Stephen Ball
photo credit Stephen Ball

And here is the hymn commissioned for today:

"In this place of light and beauty, God of Light, come now to dwell
As we welcome all your children, may we greet Emmanuel.
In the changing hues of nature, in the shadows' dance and play,
Help us sense your moving Spirit through the window of this day.

Here, our stories meet your story as we grow in faith and grace,
Seeking Christ in one another till we see you face to face.
In the central act of preaching, wonders of your truth are heard.
Young and old, we come to love you through the window of your word.

When we kneel before your table, sharing in your wine and bread,
We are called to deeper loving as our hungry hearts are fed.
In the joyful feast of worship, music soars; your cross uplifts.
You, we see and sense and savor through the window of your gifts.

When we leave this place of beauty, parting for a place of need,
May your Spirit journey with us, guiding every word and deed.
Grant us strength to work together for a world where justice thrives.
May our neighbors glimpse your kingdom through the window of our lives."

-Mary Louise Bringle, 2012

Thanks be to God.


  1. Enjoyed taking this journey with you. Sounds as if it was a soul-searching one for you. Don't you just love those special moments that grab your heart and bring you sweet tears of joy?

  2. This was so beautiful...and it made me teary too! I love that your pastor showed Clara around the new place. She is so special to so many people...many of whom she might not meet on this earth. I continue to pray for ya'll. Much love-


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