By the time Thursday rolls around in the weekly life of the church, I sometimes have to pause to remember and make sense of all has happened throughout the week. As I did that exercise this morning, it occurred to me that much of my time this week — and some of yours as well! — was spent in our Ammons-Lolley Commons.

Sunday saw a number of folks in the Commons hallway, picking up devotional guides, words of encouragement for their Lenten journey, and making covenants to God and promises to pray for one another. Before the day had yet dawned one morning, a faithful group of men and women had gathered there over coffee and a candle to be guided by devotional classics this Lenten season. Another day darkening, another group cozying up in those couches and chairs within the holy invitation to be ‘present over perfect.’ Several hours one morning saw a boisterous bunch of women from multiple generations learning to loom knit, an old-fashioned sewing circle if I’ve ever seen one! Shortly thereafter, our staff pulled up chairs around those tables for midday lunchtime fellowship and connection. Later that night, the Finance Committee abandoned their usual boardroom post to slide tables together in the Commons, attending faithfully to the church’s fiscal resources under warm light and wide open spaces. And most poignantly, our youth piled in from all over the region, as is their custom each Wednesday, for late afternoon snacks and homework time, their anxieties over the demands on their energies and this week’s climate in schools around the country subsiding in the company of one another.

Time and time again this week, I was captivated as this space, dreamt up and discovered within beloved community, became holy ground for the work of Love to take place. I had a front row view to watch community be formed and transformed on those original heart pine floors that have grounded ministry in this space for nearly 100 years. My soul feasted on how we are shaped by the “Commons,” a space open to all and closed to none. In a time where so often we talk about the challenge of our facilities, I give thanks for this reminder that ordinary bricks and mortar can indeed create the sacred space to encounter the God in whom we have our foundation and the Christ who is our cornerstone!

Together in the work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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