On Sunday, October 22nd, a new chapter in the life of our congregation began: we broke ground for our new addition! It was a beautiful day. Construction should begin in early November and should be completed by Easter, April 1st, next year.
As I look back on the last twenty-seven years, I feel blessed to be the pastor of a congregation that takes risks. In 1991, this church took a major risk when we doubled the size of our church building by the construction of Blough Hall. We were a congregation of only 50 people, but we knew that if we were to grow into the future God was calling us into, we needed a better facility. That risk paid off and we did grow. With help from the Presbytery, I became your full-time pastor on July 1st, 1996 and we continued to grow. In 2003 we purchased 823 Church Street for the manse. (By the way, 823 Church Street was built in 1907 as the original manse and sold in 1983 until we bought it back). 2005 saw the addition to Blough Hall. Then in 2014 we bought the house at 825 Church Street and that became the manse and the old manse became our administrative center, which you have graciously named “Samford House.”
I have recounted that history to remind us of how we have taken risks to not stay stuck in the past, but to discern God’s will for our church and its ministry to the community. With the Good News Café, Vacation Bible School, the Cookie Walk and Victorian Luncheon, and Spring for Kids, we have greatly expanded our outreach to our community in the last twenty-seven years -Thanks be to God!
Now, with the new addition, we are taking the next step in our life and ministry here in Hawley and the surrounding area. When it is completed we will have a beautiful facility. But, it will just be that – a beautiful building, unless we continue our programs and outreach to the community.
Over the years, as a congregation, you have responded wonderfully to new opportunities for growth with your support. On Sunday, November 26th, Christ the King Sunday, we will make our financial commitments for the ministry and mission of our church. I am confident that we will continue to take risks and will say “Yes!” to the future with our commitments of support for the coming year. Remember: we worship and serve a loving God who promises to make “All things new!”
Let us continue to build on The Past for a better Tomorrow!
Grace, Peace, and Love,