Is it possible that only a year ago we had embarked on our great "camping" trip for the summer, moving offices to nearby Hope Lutheran church, holding Sunday school in the Annex, and worshiping there as well? It is already starting to feel a bit distant in our collective memory. How quickly we have become accustomed to the comfort and warmth of our renovated space!
In that year, we have begun to live into our space--not only in ways that support our fellowship and ministries together, but in ways that are supporting our greater community. On theSaturday before Easter weekend, about 50 parents and children from our church and local area gleefully scrambled around our playing field and playground, in search of Easter eggs. This was a joint effort between our Children's and Preschool Committees, and the Ravensworth-Bristow Civic Association (RBCA): RBCA managed the egg hunt, while our volunteers provided arts and crafts in our new child care area and renovated classroom space. To invoke Mr. Rogers, it was indeed "a beautiful day in the neighborhood."
In April we hosted 38 adults who attended a parenting seminar one Sunday afternoon. Thanks to the efforts of the RBC planning committee, other RBC volunteers, Parents' Day Out staff, and presenter Myra Binns Bridgforth (all of whom donated their time), and with support from our RBC staff, parents were able to attend the presentation while 28 of their children were supervised in our classrooms. Then the parents enjoyed a reception in the Fellowship Room, where they were able to greet each other and share their reactions to what they had learned.
On June 27, a crack team of RBC volunteers prepared the Fellowship Room again, for a Shepherd's Center Lunch N' Life event. About 25 seniors, from RBC and other local congregations, shared a delicious meal and an informative, thought provoking presentation from the retired pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church. Judging from the remarks of the group, we will likely be hosting other Shepherd's Center events in the future!
What does each of these events have in common? I see our Ravensworth family, offering its time, energy, and space to our neighbors. We are reaching out to our community in a different way, as a vital body of Christ that is a positive presence in their lives. In 2009, when our 50th anniversary committee chose the theme "Blessed to Be a Blessing," they could not know how that idea would be realized as we moved ahead in our life together. As we reflect on the past year, we have to give thanks again for the vision, dedication, and perseverance of the Renovation Working Group, and all who played a part in bringing the vision to life. Blessed by God's grace with the leadership and resources to transform our space, we can pray for continued wisdom in seeking to share God's love and build community in a way that is a blessing, both within and beyond our walls.
Director of Outreach and Administration