“With your stack of paper, write down one asset (physical, social, emotional, partnership, etc.) that First Baptist has — one per sheet. Do as many as you can until I say stop!” These were our instructions in Sunday’s “Imagining the Future” gathering. Piles of paper and markers scattered our tables, but the stack of assets began to grow. Laughter and conversation peppered the moment — “I thought of that one too!” and “Oooh, that’s a good one!” Then off we flocked to the walls, each asset taped up for all to see. When you stopped to take it all in, it was an exercise in sheer abundance!

Same Fellowship Hall just a few days later, that same experience of abundance emerged in last night’s presentation on our facilities from architect and member Joe Bircher and folks from our Special Committee on Facilities and Mission. “How in the world are we all going to fit into one building?,” was a question I heard just before the presentation began. So after the standing-room only crowd heard about the preconstruction team, the mechanical and utility challenges our building presents, the homework our architects and contractors and engineers are doing to understand it all, we then all saw initial drawings of a floor plan for Building A. These drawings of “schematic design” are still in progress, but the excitement was palpable; sheer abundance!

Together, these gatherings around mission & vision and presentation on our facilities join to teach us all that what we need, we have! Yes, our building will get smaller. But in so doing, our church house will become more of a home. Far more opportunities will naturally exist for fellowship and relationship-cultivation. We’ll see each other in the hallways, move in closely with each other to be equipped and empowered for the worship that is our very lives. Spaces for community engagement will open up in new and innovative ways. And in it all, our church will thrive.

A number of the assets I saw you articulate spoke about our church’s our “willingness to take risk.” This historic moment in the life of First Baptist Church on Fifth is nothing short of transformational; what better posture to have in the midst of it all! Abundance indeed!

Together in the work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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