At the risk of repeating myself, I have to say thank you again to the members of the Renovation Working Group for the leadership and vision they demonstrated in the creation of the Fellowship Room (or as my brain keeps wanting to call it during cold weather, the Fireplace Room). Knowing the humility of that group, they will insist that it was the vision of the congregation which led to the creation of that space, and they are not wrong. But the idea of the room has come to life in a way far beyond our imaginings, partly due to the loving care given to the details of furnishings, lighting, and the inclusion of the fireplace, so we can send out a broad "thank you" to anyone who had a part in those decisions.
I remember Steve often alluding to our Sanctuary as sacred space, not only because it is where we gather for worship, but because the space has witnessed so many sacred moments in our life together. If this is a way to define sacred space, then our Fellowship Room also is taking on that identity. Yet, because it is a different, more relaxed and intimate space than our Sanctuary, it is offering us a very different way of living out our call to share love, do justice, and build a community of disciples.
Some of this occurs when we are gathered on Sundays, but so much happens between Sundays around here! If "these walls could talk," they would bear witness to the fellowship of our Young Adults on Monday evenings, as they listen, share, and study the Bible, with an eye towards justice and inclusion, and genuine Christian faith. Every Tuesday, some who are available in the daytime gather to offer their love and support to each other, and to wrestle with the weekly lectionary readings; and many stay for some exercise and lunch together. Who will ever forget two generations of "the Marks Brothers" at Café Ravensworth this past weekend? And if you are at church in the coming month, you will see the stunning offerings of art that are being shared by members of our congregation, lovingly arranged for your reflection and enjoyment.
During this coming week, we have the opportunity to gather for dinner and a documentary about justice in Palestine. On Saturday a group will be making signs for our annual witness to God's radical love at the DC Pride Parade and festival. And, thanks to the Fellowship Committee, we will have an opportunity following Sunday's worship to "just be" together.
I don't intend this to be a self-congratulatory note to our congregation; but to say that even as our congregation (and a lot of contractors!) shaped this space, now the space is shaping us. It is allowing us to become ever more creative and energetic about using our resources to live out our calling. As we move ahead together in discerning what we will be about in the coming years, I pray we will continue to be good stewards of this amazing space, and find ways to draw the circle of God's love ever wider as we invite others to join us in it.