For the past several months, Covenant and CC Hancock United Methodist Churches have seemingly been in a holding pattern. As pastor, I sometimes become impatient and desperately want things to move forward in a hurry. I’m tired of waiting, and yet when God’s plans unfold before my eyes I see there was a grander design than I could have envisioned. Let me give you a few examples.
For years Bob Hick worked to add curbing along the Hillcrest Road side of our property. He and the Trustees thought it would improve our parking situation, improve the look of our property, and improve safety. Finally, it seemed the township engineer agreed to a plan, the contractor was ready, and the permit was applied for in time to start the project just after Memorial Day. However, rather than being granted the permit we were given a new set of conditions to meet. Ultimately, patience won out over impatience. New curbing not only graces the Hillcrest Road side of the Covenant property, it extends all the way from Orchard Road to Springfield Road. In the end, the whole streetscape is better looking, affords better parking, and is safer.
At both Covenant and Hancock there has been a desire to offer an alternative worship experience supplementing traditional services. Circumstances delayed the start of this “something new” as we waited for another piece of the puzzle to fall into place. After several years of exploration and planning, Pastor Kevin, with the backing of both churches, started “Campfire Church” on the grounds of CC Hancock. This new service offers both churches the opportunity to do something new to reach previously un-churched people and to do it more effectively than either church could have done it alone.
At Covenant we have been patiently impatiently (let’s be honest here!) waiting for ATT to begin building the cell tower because that will be a source of revenue to help pay for the long-planned building project designed to enhance the accessibility of the Covenant campus. While the delay has slowed down actual construction, it has not stopped the Building Committee. The Committee has used the opportunity to refine our plans, secure better estimates, and vet several contractors. You will soon have an opportunity to hear from and ask the Committee your questions. In the long run, the delays are a short-term problem, and over the course of the useful life of the project, they will fade into obscurity.
There is a lesson to be learned. God’s time is not the same as our time. And, while God did sa y, “See, I am making all things new,” (Revelation 21:15) God did not promise to do it now! I still believe we are on the right track. Our renovation plans are sound and will enhance ministry far into the future. Campfire Church has the potential to touch lives of unchurched people. The curbing speaks for itself.
I still hold on to the promise God made in Isaiah 43:17, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Yet, the questions remain: Do I have the patience to wait? Do you have the patience to wait? Let’s pray for patience!
Grace & Peace,