After what seems to have been years, the Fellowship Hall is nearly ready to be used.  We sacrificed some storage space for a room large enough to hold everyone for events like our Homecoming, and other large gatherings.  Our kitchen can hold more than three people without being crowded and it is possible to wash dishes and still get to the sink for water as there are now two sinks.  We have two refrigerators in the kitchen as well as a stove with an oven and a double oven.  Food can be kept cold, reheated or cooked all at the same time.

No more trying to find counter space to prepare plates of food, counters run around all four walls, plus the new pass through window to the fellowship hall saves having to run into each other coming and going from the kitchen.  There are also two large windows over each sink to let in light and when the kitchen gets too hot, the windows open can be opened.

New flooring in the main room looks fantastic and will be easy to clean.  New lighting will allow us to have a brightly lit space for events.  Everything looks clean and nice.  New chairs and tables will allow us to be creative in seating arrangements so as to provide for greater fellowship and better function for meetings.

We owe a large thanks to the work of the 2010 team for developing the plan for the renovation and overseeing the design and work.  Take time to thank David Von Almen, Denny McReynolds, Charlie Hebenstreit, Mike & Gidget Hurlbert and all the people who helped with color selection and design details.  They have done very well!!

Now at about this point, most people would anticipate some sort of statement about the need to keep this facility in pristine order for years to come.  This is the first renovation done on this building since it ceased to be the sanctuary for this congregation.  We should care for it with regular cleaning and service, but I hope that we wear it out from repeated use through our fellowship events, programs, and special gatherings as a congregation.  I also hope that we can add to the wear by continuing to allow outside groups to use this space for meetings.

The Fellowship Hall is one of the first places that many people will encounter our church family.  We need to treat it as God’s kitchen and dining room, but also remember that according to the Bible, God wants us to welcome ALL into God’s spaces.  We have a place to welcome and feel and fellowship and share the unique character of this congregation.  We have a space that truly reflects our understanding of identity of “Come and Be Embraced.”

May this space be a place for feeding, for fellowship, for growing families, for service, and for welcoming others in God’s name for decades to come.  May this space be a blessing to all who enter and find the love and presence of God.

Shalom, Darrell