Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saying Goodbye

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but my church is about to begin construction on a whole new wing! It's a pretty exciting time, and we know God has amazing things in store. However, this is bittersweet for me. It's Just a tiny bit bitter, and mostly sweet. I can't help but be a little sad.

Our church is not big enough at this time. Sunday morning it can take up to ten minutes just to get from the sanctuary to the exit door, because of the huge mobs of people in the lobby. We currently have 4 services every Sunday morning, and all but one are bursting full of people. We need more room!

Here's a little (recent) church history: In 2002 (I believe) we added a whole new wing onto our church. It included a big new lobby area, a gym, classrooms, offices, a social room, kitchen, and a new library. We thought we were set for awhile. But it seems that we have outgrown the facility again. There is only one problem with that: our church is land-locked. There's a big canyon behind it, a road right in front of it, and parking lots and houses on both sides. There is literally nowhere to grow! So after months and months of deliberation, the church finally came up with a plan: completely demolish the old section of the building, and rebuild it, in a way that will provide for more church growth!

What an exciting time, right?? It really is. We start construction very soon! This morning was our very last church service in the sanctuary. And this week, things are going to start being cleaned out and deconstructed. I hate to get sentimental, but I felt like I really wanted to "say goodbye" to the place where I feel like half of my memories have been made!

I have a lot of personal history at this church. My parents have both attended there pretty much forever. They were married there. My sister and I were dedicated there. I went to Sunday School and children's church there every Sunday, and CLC, which later turned to KBC, every Wednesday night. I remember going up onstage and receiving a Bible from the church in second grade. I remember performing concerts and Christmas musicals with the children's choir. I attended youth group there all through junior high and high school. I made some of the best friends and shared some of the most bonding experiences with these people. After high school, I started helping out with the youth group, and that is where I got to know and fell in love with Luke, and it's where we said our vows on our wedding day four years later. It's where our young adult worship service is held on Sunday mornings which started out with a few dozen people, and is now too big for all the young adults and families who attend to fit.

Tonight I took a walk through the old section of the church, and took some pictures before the construction begins.

Here is what you see upon entering the old section. It is the children's wing, and it has a "reignforest" theme.
"The Hut," or welcome area for the children's department and our supply closet, used to be the church library before the add-on in 2002. I checked out books and movies here probably just about every Sunday (still do, in the new library!)
They've already started cleaning out, so it's a little messy

Here is the 2&3 year old's classroom. It wasn't bright green back in 1986 when I was in there, though ;-) It is also the room where my mom taught her little preschool class on Wednesday nights called Joy Bells during KBC. And I taught in that room a few years ago, too!I wonder how many little people have sat in those chairs and were taught the foundations of faith.
This is now a hallway with classrooms on either side, but when I was little it was one big room with four little open Sunday School classrooms surrounding it. It's where k-3 grade had children's church and Sunday School. Karen would tell us stories and lead us in singing fun songs, and then we'd go into our little classrooms for Sunday school where we'd listen to more stories, played games, ane made crafts. And if we were lucky, we had a snack and some punch ;-)
This is the chapel, and it's the room where the 4-6 graders had children's church when I was little. I remember our teacher, Marsine, bringing Bible stories to life, and teaching us what it really meant to be Christians and have faith. This room is now a preschool classroom.
This room, which is now a classroom, was once our youth room. I can't believe we all fit in there! When I was a freshman, we repainted the room. Our youth leader, who just happened to be my aunt, let us paint it however we wanted! We decided to paint it like the sky: one half of the room was painted with a sun and puffy clouds, and the other side was painted with the moon and stars. A bunch of us girls got together during Christmas break that year to paint it. I wish I still had a picture of it!!
This room was at one time our social room. There is a small kitchen off to the side, so this is where we would have dinners and parties. I remember playing games in this room at KBC in gradeschool. I remember serving spaghetti dinners in here to raise money for my mission trip to Belize in 2000. It later turned into the youth room when we outgrew our old one. And that's what it is now.
Here is the old nursery. Although I don't remember back then, I'm sure I spent lots of time in here as a baby! I've also worked in the nursery watching lots and lots of babies, some of whom I'm sure are just about old enough to work in the nursery themselves now! I feel old :-P
And that brings me to my final stop of my picture-walk: the sanctuary (which is a mess because the band was setting up for 30 Hour Famine this weekend...the very last event that will be held in there).
In seventh grade I graduated from children's church, and was allowed to sit up here with all the adults in REAL church! I remember feeling so grown up my first Sunday up there :-) I've heard countless sermons in this room, which have no doubt shaped me into the person I am today. I've worshiped and sang my heart out in this room. I've laughed and I've cried. I've knelt at the alter and had some amazing experiences and conversations with God here. I became a wife right there on the stage. Once the regular congregation outgrew this sanctuary, they moved downstairs to the gym, and it became the place for the one80 service, our young adult worship service. I've watched Luke play his drums onstage every Sunday for the past couple of years. This is the place that I will miss the most.

I will miss the building. But I'm glad we're getting ready for something so much better! The building itself is not what has made my memories here so special. Instead, it is the presence of God. It is the people and the fellowship. It's the experience I've had worshipping and growing closer with my Father. It's the teachers who have taught me about Jesus, and what it means to be a real Christian. It's the people who I've prayed with, prayed for, and who have prayed for me. It's the things I smiled at, and the things that have made me cry. It's the feeling of community that I've always felt there, and the fact that my faith has been cultivated and grown a little every time I've walked through the doors. These things will still be present in the new building. they would be present if we met in a shack or on a hillside. And because of that, I can't wait to see what amazing things God will do at DFC!

What memories will I make there? Will my own children be dedicated there? Is it where they will become saved? Maybe they will meet their future spouses there, just like Luke and I did, and my parents did ;-) Where will we be "called to serve" there in the next 50 or so years? What new lessons will I learn, and what new experiences with God will I have? I can't wait to find out!

Although I may have shed a tear or two today as I walked through the old section of the church, I couldn't be more happy about the new addition, and I pray that God will use us in it to bring more people to Him!

If you go or have ever gone to DFC, feel free to leave a comment sharing your favorite DFC memory! :-)


  1. I'm so glad your memories of the church are as special as mine! Enjoyed your pictures.
    Love you.... mom

  2. Looks like you have a lot of your mom in you! Never grow stagnant and always look forward to the future with a positive attitude! I am sure many will enjoy your blog and pictures, I know I did. Jeannette (yes, Gary's wife - the man in charge of this awesome project)

  3. Awesome photos you have taken! I love your new MARCH boarder! so nice!! You create them on your own, right?

  4. Very cool pictures. Love the one of the organ pipes!

    Hey, did you get my email about the tshirt?

  5. Awww I love the Rainforest theme and the tiki hut.

    How wonderful to have this "problem!" Thank God for a growing church!

  6. I really enjoyed this walk through the church. I am glad you shared. I know I am not a DFCer but wish I was one. I am proud to be married to one.

  7. I really enjoyed this walk through the church. I am glad you shared. I know I am not a DFCer but wish I was one. I am proud to be married to one.


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