Slideshow image

Lent, Good Friday, and Easter have come and gone. Early, this year to be sure. Even though the date for Easter changes every year, there is one thing that never changes: God's promise to forgive sins through His Son Jesus Christ. It's a joy to hear the old, old story once again each year. It's a proclamation of God's unending love for us and we need to hear it over and again.

A big "thank you" to everyone who helped make our Lent and Holy Week so special this year. If you see someone you know who did something additional to make Lent special, I encourage you to be generous with your gratitude. I know I appreciated all the extra effort so very much!

Some great news about the marquee. Holy Cross leadership has signed the necessary paperwork and put down the deposit so that we will have a new marquee soon. Currently, the marquee company is building our sign, and we are waiting on the city for permitting and zoning. When you deal with the city it's not always easy to nail down a solid completion date. But we are estimating that installation work will begin in the next couple of months. So please rejoice with us that we are getting closer to completion.

Speaking of the changing dates of Easter, there is one other visual change the Board of Directors wanted you to be aware of. As you may recall from some of my sermons, the Board has been discussing some updates and remodel work for the Worship Center. While we love our church building and change can be particularly difficult for Lutherans, (you can laugh at that joke), we also understand the importance of stewarding the resources given by God and making sure we keep our facilities warm, inviting and up to date for our members and guests. The massive ice storm forced our hand in renovating the majority of our building a few years ago, and now it's time to take steps and finish with the Worship Center.

The Board plans to work through any updates in phases. Mostly because there are a lot of options when it comes to updating a building like ours, and we want to make sure any work we do glorifies God, blesses those who worship with us, and allows us to be very functional. As I have hinted at in some of my sermons, Phase 1 begins the process by simply rearranging the furniture. The Board wants to try out a new furniture layout to better fit within the design of the building's architecture. If the new layout works for us, we can then discuss updating paint, carpet, lighting, and other details, to fit the new layout as we move into future phases.

Last Sunday after church, the Board took steps to implement Phase 1. When you arrive this coming Sunday, you will find that the furniture layout will be very different and looks much more traditional. We now have two rows of pews with a distinct center aisle. Additionally, there are several rows where space has been provided for anyone needing wheelchair or walker access. Our musicians also have a dedicated space under the low ceiling to the left (or right depending on which way you’re facing). You may also notice that because the building’s architecture includes a rising ceiling, the new layout takes advantage of that design feature and gives the visual impression of a larger space.

Naturally, like the dates of Easter, some things will change. Your favorite sitting spot may seem out of place. You may even have to find a new favorite sitting spot and get used to it just like you got used to the old favorite sitting spot years ago. And we will have to announce a new plan for how to walk up to the communion rails. But I think you will find the new format brings everything together very nicely. The new arrangement allows us to include the baptismal font with the other altar furniture and brings the eternal candle into the altar area where it belongs. There is much more room around the altar so I have more room to pace while I preach, (you can laugh at that joke now too!!!) and the additional space allows us to place the pascal candle more prominently next to the pulpit where it traditionally sits. 

We may not have everything arranged perfectly. There may be more tweaks over the coming weeks. We want to make sure the praise team, choir and bells have everything they need to serve at their best, and they will need to use the space before they can share their feedback. Additionally, because we want to test everything out first, we have not yet moved the cross, video screen or sound equipment to fit the new space. But I think we have a good start and hope you will like it too.

Thank you again for a great Lent and Holy Week. It was a special first one for me and Darcy and I pray you were blessed by it as well.

Jesus loves you and so do we. 

Pastor Luke