The first Sunday back in our Sanctuary was, by all accounts, a glorious day! We had a full house and everyone was excited and thrilled by worshipping in the Sanctuary once again. So many people were involved and so many factors came together that I cannot begin to enumerate them all. Suffice it to say that God worked "all things together for good" (Rom. 8:28) on our first Sunday back.
It was an emotional day. I think we had grown so used to worship in the Social Hall that we had forgotten what it felt like in the Sanctuary. The ringing of the bell as we processed from the Social Hall to the Sanctuary, then the first notes of the organ and the singing of the opening hymn brought tears to many an eye (including mine!). The choir sounded twice as large as it did in the Social Hall (the acoustics in the Sanctuary are marvelous) and that new baby grand piano was wonderful. Like I said, it was a glorious day.
As we begin a new calendar year at Chino UMC, I am excited about what God is going to do in us and through us. The signs are there. People are hopeful. New ideas and enthusiasm are abundant. New leaders are stepping forward. The stage is set for God to move us into a new era, a "post fire" era. Starting of small groups, new outreach ministries, evangelism and mission, music programs and much, much more await us in 2009! There is no reason to rest on the "high" of that first Sunday back in the Sanctuary, because God has much more in store for us!
It is going to be a lot of fun as we walk forward under the guidance of the Lord. I hope you will fully enter in to the life of our church as, together, we discover what God has planned for us!
New Year Blessings!