If you had told me when I first arrived as your pastor in 1990, that we would be involved in two major building expansion projects, buy two houses, increase our budget 400% to include adding staff and greatly expanding our outreach to the community, I would have found it hard to believe. But, with God’s gracious providence, that is exactly what we have done here in Hawley over the last 27 years!
Now we are embarking on yet another major building expansion. When we built the Roger and Helen Blough Education and Fellowship Hall in 1991, we doubled the size of our facility. In 2005, we added on to Blough Hall with a larger nursery, Sunday School area, and music room. With this new project, we will be doubling the size of Blough Hall by adding 1700 square feet of new space. We will also be enlarging the kitchen, greatly improving the restrooms in Blough Hall, and moving our handicap entrance and combining it with an enlarged entrance off the parking lot. Plus, we will be connecting this new wing of Blough Hall to Samford House.
If you attended the special congregational meeting on Sunday, September 24th, you heard, in a wonderful presentation by Elder Nancy Vignau, how the Session started talking about a possible expansion back in 2012, shortly after the Long-Range Planning Committee made their recommendations which included the possible enhancing of our facilities. Preliminary plans were even drawn up. Those plans were put on hold when we had the opportunity to purchase 825 Church Street and make that house the manse while creating the new administrative center in the old manse which is now Samford House. Then, in 2016, a member of our congregation approached me about funding what has now become this project in memory of Jackie Wolf. That started the ball rolling: an architect was retained, new plans were drawn up, a contractor started working with us, and another major gift for this expansion/renovation was received in memory of Howard Wentz. With the financial help of a couple of other members of the congregation, this project is completely funded!
As we begin this latest addition and renovation project with the Ground Breaking on Sunday, October 22nd immediately following worship, I am so thankful to all of you, the members of this congregation, for your support, your gifts of time, talent, and treasure, your love and prayers that have made First Presbyterian Church in Hawley the exciting and welcoming place that it is. Thanks be to God!
Grace, Peace, and Love,