Good Morning Church:
II hope by now you have had the opportunity to take a look at the newly renovated Chapel. I think it looks great!! Since we started the renovation project, we have sealed the leaks and protected the stain glass windows by installing store front windows on the outside and filling in the large cracks that were allowing for the free-flow of air in and out of the Chapel; we have removed the carpet and refinished the floors to make it look like it was when the Chapel was built in the early 1940s; we have patched and painted the walls and ceiling so that it looks clean and fresh, and the colors really make the stained glass windows “pop.” Throughout all of the remodeling we have been very intentional to try to retain the feel of “sacred space.” If fact we were able to hold Holy Week services in the Chapel, and it was a wonderful space in which to worship.
One of the things I have always admired about this congregation is the willingness to adapt to new situations in order to fulfill the mission of the church “to make disciples of Jesus Christ,” it seems to be in our DNA. Throughout HFUMC’s history, you have adapted and changed. For instance, did you know that the current church campus is in its THIRD location? The way I understand is that when the church was chartered in the late 1800s our location was at the top of the hill in our present cemetery (located on NC69 across from the Dodge dealership). Then as needs warranted and times changed, the congregation moved and built a new building on the square. Then in the 1930-40’s when it became apparent that another change was needed the “rock church" was built and used as a worship space. Since that time, the Gathering Place building was built and when the time had come for a larger worship space, the present day sanctuary was constructed. All of this was done because the folks of HFUMC saw a need, looked to the future, and adapted to fill that need so we could live our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
That same adaptability and missional focus was used when we sought to remodel the Chapel. It had seen some better days and needed a little loving care and a new mission. We feel like we have done that with our renovation project. We went into the project with two purposes: maintain the Chapel for a place to worship and be able to use it as a place where disciples are made and grown. Consequently, we have made the decision to use chairs, rather than pews for our seating in the Chapel. This allows us to have the flexibility of that room to hold classes, children and youth gatherings, AA meetings, and other types of ministry in order to grow our faith and connect with God…AND still be able to use the Chapel for some worship services. This flexibility will allow us to more fully chase our mission of: "Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Please be assured the leadership did not go into this lightly. We spent many hours praying, discussing, and listening. We wrestled with the history and sentimental feelings that are tied with the Chapel space; we looked at a variety of alternatives and we asked the question, “What way best serves the mission of the church?” which is the ultimate and most important question. In the end, we looked at our DNA, and how this congregation has always been forward-thinking and last Sunday the Leadership Team made their decision.
The trustees are making the pews from the Chapel available to you on a first-come first-served basis. Henry Prine has written an article in this month’s newsletter how you might be able to have a pew of your own. Please read that article and if you have any questions or would like a pew, contact Henry.
In other news:
Clay County will host this year's Special Olympics at Hayesville High School. These games, held on May 1st, will welcome more than 250 athletes from the 6 counties participating. Hayesville First will host a hospitality tent for 55 of these athletes. Snacks such as crackers, fruit, fruit snacks, granola bars, baked goods, water & sports drinks are needed. If you would like to donate any of these items they may be brought in and placed in the basket in the hallway outside the sanctuary. Please help us in supporting these athletes!
As summer is fast approaching so is Vacation Bible School! It's not too early to register your child or sign up to serve in some capacity in this year's Everest VBS. Look for an insert in this Sunday's bulletin and mark your calendars for June 21st - 25th 5:30 - 9:00pm, dinner included. Ages preschool - adult classes.
Invite your friends and join us for our annual Spring Fling, sponsored by our Children's Ministry, on Sunday, May 17th from 5:00-7:00pm. This fun family event will include a cookout, games, a bouncy castle and lots of fun and fellowship. A great time for the entire family!
The United Methodist Church recently presented a check to an organization that is dedicated to eradicating malaria. The gifts came through donations to the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign. We at HFUMC gave a gift to that campaign through our Easter Lily gifts. Here is a quote lifted from an article that appeared in the Huffington Post (the full article is posted on the HFUMC Facebook page): The United Methodist Church gave $9.6 million on Wednesday to the Global Fund, a health-focused nonprofit based in Geneva, to help the group fight malaria. It was the single largest contribution to the fund by a faith organization, and was made possible largely through grassroots efforts by congregants.
Local fundraising efforts, ranging from lemonade stands to car washes to 5K runs, provided the bulk of the sum, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton told The Huffington Post, with the average contribution amounting to just $87.31.
That is all for now. Be the face of Christ.