In between all the personal drama around here...we dedicated the new sanctuary of our church last week. It's not nearly done -- we had to put up folding chairs on the bare cement of the floor -- but it was still very exciting to worship in this new space.
I especially love the fieldstone, which I think captures some of the flavor of our community; if you've been around farm country for any length of time you know all about the ubiquitous stone piles dotting the landscape; a reminder of the toil of the first settlers who cleared the land, that also become small islands of wilderness and new life in the midst of neatly cultivated fields.
Back when this project was a glint in the congregational eye, someone suggested that we save building costs by hiring the Amish. Our pastor noted, "I think we have to be the Amish." And, indeed, the bulk of labor in this endeavor has been homegrown; members of the congregation, and neighbors in the community, who've helped with everything from excavation to putting up drywall to carpentry work. We've even gotten contributions of money and labor from other churches of other denominations.
It's a pretty cool thing, this new sanctuary.