The Next Chapter

November 2010 Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Article It has been a long time since we held that service of groundbreaking on February 28th, but by the time this newsletter is published, we expect that the capital improvements made possible by the “Extreme Makeover; Church Edition” fund drive in 2006 will have been fully completed. We have spruced things up on the interior, we have updated the landscaping that surrounds our church building, and we now have a great front porch and a children’s play yard, clearly visible from the street to anyone who happens to be passing by.

So what comes next?

Next is the hard part: making sure these improvements are not just window dressing for those of us who are already here. If the time and energy we put into this project is going to have been worth it, we will need to let the new appearance of our church facility become an asset for welcoming others into God’s love, and into our fellowship at Saint Peter.

One of our long-time challenges at Saint Peter has been the fact that no church activities (not even parking) have been visible from the street. There have been no signs of life to neighbors or passers-by. Now we have a visible place, not just for children to play, but for people of all ages to gather. Some of us have imagined plays and concerts in the amphitheater, tables and chairs scattered around where people can sit and visit, congregational picnics on the courtyard, night-time, outdoor movies projected on a big-screen (and the smell of popcorn wafting out through the neighborhood)… What are your visions for how this can become a place of ministry and witness?

November is Thankful Month at Saint Peter this year – a month during which we’ll explore how thankful we are for our blessings. We’ll do that on November 7th as we pledge our generous financial support of Saint Peter in 2011, and we’ll do that on November 23rd as we join with our Greenwood Village neighbors for a Community Service of Thanksgiving.

Perhaps we also need to be thankful for these new outdoor gathering spaces, and those who worked so hard to make them available to us. The best way to show our gratitude, of course, is to put them to work in service of what pleases and honors God. The hard part will also be the fun part. Who’s ready to help?

God’s peace to you all,

David J. Risendal, Pastor