Last week our church building had a terrible, no good, very bad day. A 4' inch water line froze in the wake of record-setting temperatures of negative double digit air temperature with wind chills of -40F. Thankfully it set off the alarm at the church and one of our church's leaders found water gushing into our fellowship hall. Because of the location of the burst pipe and a comedy of other errors, the pipe ran for 5-6 hours dumping an estimated 300,000 gallons of water into our church building. Needless to say, the damage was extensive with a water line on the walls a foot off the floor.
|Water in auditorium|
We don't know the extent of the damage as all of that continues to be worked out. In the meantime, our church called an audible and moved a few hundred yards west to the campus of Rochester College where we met in their theater. It was much tighter, required much more patience in order to get in and out of the building, and at least in my opinion was an absolutely wonderful morning.
Too often our routines dictate our lives and to be honest, they make lousy masters. Our dayplanners and calendars are a myriad of appointments that boss us around often robbing us of the creativity, spontaneity, and energy that give our lives purpose and meaning. Church is no exception. Often times we sit in the same places, have the same conversations with the same people, and go through the motions. Today was not one of those days. People were forced out of their comfort zones and into a place where new possibilities and opportunities are possible. In fact, God seems to do some of his best work when his people are away from their preferred locations - wandering in the desert, exiled as captives to a hostile nation, etc. For those willing to listen, God may just show up with reminder that His work - proclaiming his kingdom, loving your neighbor, offering a cup of cold water - is no more tied to a building than he is. His mission and his calling remain.
One of the ways we were reminded of his mission today (and one of the huge perks of meeting on a college campus) was that next door to the meeting hall is Kibo Corner, a coffee shop with outstanding coffee staffed by some of our church members whose profits support Kibo Group International, a nonprofit based in Uganda that works in community development and drilling of wells to provide much needed water. Today, all proceeds from Kibo Corner and from a bake sale (with ridiculously good sweets) went to Kibo Group to help support a couple in our church who are moving to Uganda to lead this organization. And yet, a displaced church was able to raise $3,300 to help support this couple! :) Who knows what is possible when we allow God to interrupt our routines and remind us of his mission? And sometimes he seems to prefer using small things like coffee and cookies rather than large buildings and organizations.
** Of note, we do not typically offer our three boys cupcakes and cookies before church. Today was the exception! And yes the boys were wired! :)