Often recently, I’ve found it hard to believe that after all this time, the season of a capital campaign in our church’s life together is finally upon us.

But then I remember you, dear church

You’ve listened carefully over the years and prayed intentionally for our church’s work on facilities and mission. You’ve attended meetings and listening sessions, asked important questions and talked with your ministers. You’ve trusted that the God we love and serve is bigger than any one building (or two!), and you’ve laid down your particular passions in order that God’s dream for our church may come to light. Then over these past few weeks, you have received letters and picked up packets filled with information to carefully study.

Two Sundays ago upon the conclusion of worship, you saw stretch before you a bevy of leaders who believe in God’s boundless possibility through First Baptist Church on Fifth. And then you heard Leslie Lowdermilk, our fearless campaign leader, share a dream she had months ago on the night I asked her to chair our capital campaign. In that dream, I hadn’t asked her to chair a campaign, but (far scarier!) to sing a solo in worship! Somehow she agreed (“I said yes because I am not good at saying no!”), and she arrived that morning terrified, fear increasing each moment as her solo drew near. “I walked to the microphone still wondering what I was going to do,” Leslie told us, “And I just said, “I can’t do this alone.” I looked at you, and you all looked at each other. And one by one you joined me at the microphone, and we sang together, and it was beautiful.” Leslie finished her story, saying “I fully believe we are stronger together than we are individually, and that together with God’s guidance and help we will get this done.”

And now, in this pivotal moment of our church’s life and future story, you are assembling around one another and our beloved church as a great and hopeful choir — committing to attend a campaign gathering in the coming weeks, prayerfully considering your family’s pledge to our church’s future, seeking renewal of your own spiritual life as we reach towards this boundless home, where what we build together with God goes beyond any wall, however meaningful. You are breathing deeply, summoning strength from the Spirit to let your voice carry its hope into the vast horizon ahead. You are ready to sing!

I shouldn’t be surprised that the season is upon us. For oh, how glorious the sound you’re creating together already is! May it ring loud for all to hear!

Together in the work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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