31 Maple Street
Bristol, Connecticut USA
September 10, 2017
Ribbon Cutting for Renovation
Luke 5:27-32, 18:15-17
Romans 12:1-2, 9-13
Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman
(1) Once upon a time,
(2) there was a church of people
(3) who loved God and who wanted to faithfully follow Jesus Christ
(4) So they searched out the future
(5) And listened to the Spirit and discerned that if they were going to be
(6) the best Christian community they could be;
(7) if they were going to answer God’s still speaking voice;
(8) they needed to welcome, nurture,
(9) and transform the world with Christ’s love.
(10) And as they set out to welcome, they made changes to their community life.
(11) They put up signs and banners.
(12) Lots of people volunteered to be greeters,
(13) helping people find their way to worship.
(14) They created a safe, welcoming, and fun space for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers,
(15) and hired two amazing women to play and care for these youngest in the community.
(16) But what they could not do was make the building more welcoming
(17) Or could they?
(18) Could they replace the one way stairs with a fire code staircase?
(19) Could they get those with walkers or in wheelchairs to every level of the Parish House, Sanctuary, and Chapel?
(20) Could their building be as welcoming as their community?
(21) Could the impossible be possible?
(23) With much prayer,
(24) a lot of hard work
(26) and of course, God’s grace, the church discovered
(27) that when they were united in ministry,
(28) it was possible to transform historic buildings
(29) into welcoming, hospitable spaces for all.
(30) Yes, it is possible to transform historic buildings
(31) Into welcoming, hospitable spaces for all.
(32) And the church was so excited to do just that,
(33) Excited and proud to welcome all in Christ’s love.
(34) And they also knew that this safety and accessibility renovation
(35) was only the beginning for how they would welcome, nurture, and transform the world.
(36) So how does the story end?
(37) Well, that’s up to all of you.
(38) How is God still speaking to you and to us?
(39) How is God still transforming your life and this Christian community?
(40) The renovation of our building is complete.
(41) The renovation of our hearts and our ministry has only just begun.
(42) So today, we celebrate
(43) And tomorrow, we dream;
(44) we wonder; we listen;
(45) we welcome, nurture, and serve;
(46) All so we can transform our world with God’s love.