Update on Boilers (3.6.14)

Dear First Baptist family,

I hope you are doing well and rejoicing in our great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the humble One, the gentle One, the patient One, the enduring One who laid down His life for us. All praise to Him!

I wanted to give you a brief update on our boiler situation. Much has transpired over the past three weeks, much more than can be recounted here, and no final decisions have been made. But I didn’t want too much time to pass without some update.

We’ve learned that the damage to our boiler system is pretty extensive and may prove to be beyond a simple repair. The House Committee (Winston J., Eric B., and Elsie G.) has put in countless hours trying to get a handle on the issue and to bring the right people in to assist us. They are still in the data-gathering phase, and when they are fully informed they will make a recommendation to the full trustee board, and as necessary to the entire congregation.

We have explored short-term solutions to heat the entire building, but all of them are cost-prohibitive. Therefore we will continue to meet for worship in Haldeman Chapel. The ladies’ Bible study will move into the library, and the men’s will go to the conference room. Elementary children’s classes will be combined in the Attic. When the temperature returns to a comfortable level, we will return to our normal rooms.

Unfortunately because of this turn of events, Gordon and I have decided to postpone our Easter concert until late May. It’s possible that the temperatures will rise by April 12, but we thought it wouldn’t be fair to our musicians to postpone at the last minute. By making the decision now, we are leaving enough time for them to pick up work with another house of worship during a very busy season for musicians. We’ll let you know the exact date of our concert as soon as we can. Furthermore Clarice T. is still working on a new date for the postponed Black History month concert.

We’ve been reminded all year that, since the Lord is the One shepherding us, we lack nothing. And if we don’t have it, we don’t need it. None of us could have foreseen this circumstance, but our Sovereign has changed our plans—and in the midst of it continues to prove that we lack nothing. What a great and gracious God He is! Without doubt His goodness and steadfast love continue to hunt us down every day. All praise to His name!

I know a lot of you are wondering what you can do. Here are a few things that come to mind:

1. Praise God that the boilers blew in February and not in December. His timing is impeccable, and He has shown His favor in this turn of events.

2. Praise God for the leaders Christ has given this flock. I stand in wonder at the skillfulness, intentionality, and humility of our trustees. Four of them are brand new, and they walked into a real mess. But all nine of them have stepped up to the plate, spent hours in meetings to pray and discuss, and continue to display the joy, the humility, the gentleness, and the grace that comes from the Spirit of God. Thank God for them.

3. Pray for wisdom, for direction, for clarity, for humility, for unity, for answers, for Christlikeness, for integrity, for joy, for togetherness, and most of all for the glory of Christ to be magnified in our eyes and in the eyes of the non-Christian vendors we work with.

4. Give to the Easter offering. At some point we’ll be able to report what the projected cost of this project is. But there is little doubt at this time that it will be staggering. Prayerfully consider what you can give to meet this need, and use your Easter offering envelope for any gifts you’d like to designate to this project.

In all of this, let’s remember what the Spirit reminded us this past Sunday. Given the choice between functioning heat or Christlike community (marked by humility, gentleness, patience, and endurance with one another), there’s no question. You are the church, the building isn’t. So let us watch as God uses building problems to sanctify us, and let us rejoice in the cross that guarantees someday we will be like Jesus.

Every blessing is yours!

Grace and peace to you,
Matthew

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