Monday, April 23, 2007

Signs of Progress

Our church has been known for years as The Church of the Lighted Steeple, as it towered above the huge Live Oaks on St. Charles Avenue. That was, until August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and blew the steeple off into our beautiful sanctuary. Since then, we've met in our thankfully large fellowship hall, with most Sundays at SRO capacity now. It may be cramped, but it's home.

Last week, the new steel structure that will support the steeple was erected - and days later, the scaffolding inside the sanctuary was removed! It is almost impossible to keep from crying when you see what an extraordinary job's been done in there. It's only a room, but it's a very special one to me and many of my adopted family in New Orleans. The pews aren't back yet, but we're getting there.

Through these months of recovery and mettle-testing, we've been led by a dynamic pastor who's been so moved by the outpouring of support from our congregation that she's started referring to us as The Church of the Lighted People. And there hasn't been a week since we were allowed back into the city that we haven't had volunteers from around the country sleeping on the floors in our Youth Room or Choir Room (or any available space some weeks) - including 8 separate trips from the wonderful folks at St. Luke United Methodist in Lincoln, Nebraska. It's equally impossible to be unbouyed by their kindness and generosity.

One day - soon - we hope, we'll be back in the sanctuary and our steeple will be restored to its former glory. And until then, we will continue to shine...

4 comment(s):

jenn in holland

Fantastic! Excellent! Super! Wow!
I can only think of superlatives in response to the emotion behind this post. I am thrilled for you and your church community.
Your pastor sounds terrific and I wish you all the best of everything good as you continue to work on the restoration.
What a beacon of hope it is for all!

Gunfighter

I am glad for your congregation... sometimes a dynamic Pastor is the key!

We have a new pastor and he is really shaking the tree!

soccer mom in denial

It's funny how it takes me hours to think through how to respond. I read this soon after GF commented but needed time to compose my thoughts.

And words still fail me. We are lucky you are making this rebuilding your life's mission. One church symbolizes the city. And I hope you can get a link of this post to the different church groups who have sent volunteers. They would love to know about this tribute.

Hug.

Jenn

I'm so glad that there is progress to be seen and felt. It gives everyone a much needed boost.

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