[new church building thoughts]

[new church building thoughts]

Last night we agreed to go on a prayer walk around the district where our new church building is currently undergoing construction.

There were 9 of us – mostly young adults from the Tuesday group plus our pastor with his wife.

As we walked around the area where the Church is, I was the only one for whom the territory actually was known.

We walked, mostly in silence, each one praying for the people in this new area whom we will be able to serve.

It was dark outside and I looked in the already-lit windows, wondering who lives inside this or that apartment.

Perhaps I’ve seen these people in my daily travel to and from work.

Perhaps we’ve crossed each other’s path in a grocery store or McDonald’s on the corner.

I will be the first to admit I am torn between two feelings.

One – joy that our Church is getting a bigger place.

Another – sadness because I don’t know what will happen with our old Church building.

Yeah, I know it’s just a building… but I basically grew up there.

We bought it back in ’95 (I think) when I was mere 9 years old and I’ve spent countless hours playing in the backyard, cleaning it from the weeds that grew there (that were taller than me!), digging (well, helping to dig) the basement… When we got the building, it was just an apartment building built in 1911. Walls had to come down, new walls had to be erected, the whole place completely remodeled and restored… And I was there through it all.

My mom’s office was there all these years, so I have spent lunch times there between classes in university. We stayed there overnight so many times for youth group hangouts.

Too many memories.

The new Church building is actually in my neighborhood. It is 15 minutes walking from my apartment. It’s a completely new building that was designed to fulfill our needs. Yet it hasn’t gained my trust yet…

When we finally came to the actual construction site, we stood in circle to pray… and a verse came to my mind as I glanced at my faithful friends and the building next to us.

I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Philippians 3:13-14, AMP

That “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” felt like a right motto for me.

I am aware that memories of the previous Church meeting places will be forever in my memories. I can’t help that (unless I lose my memory completely). The very first theater Bravo, a school, a “culture house” at the motorcycle factory, our Studentska #3 building…

But now it’s time to move on.

It pains me to admit it but it is time.

Most of my introverted change-disliking self is screaming in protest.

The other part of me is looking forward to filling the new house of the Lord with new memories.

So who knows… perhaps in a few years, I will read this and wonder, “How silly I was. I didn’t know what was coming! This new place is so wonderful!”

For now… well. Like I said in the beginning, I am torn.

However, there’s nothing I can do about the move, so I guess it would be wiser just to come to grips with this idea.

…straining forward to what lies ahead. 

  • Jessica Hagelgans

    I’m with you there. Studencheskaya is my church home too, and has a lot of memories from my 3ish yrs there.

  • My personality is so different from yours lil sis. It is hard for me to “feel” your way, but I also understand. Does that make sense? We make memories that stick with us. Andy Stanley once talked about an old couch that needs replaced but has so many memories. I am glad God brought that Scripture to your mind. He will help you press forward. Memories, while in a building, are still in the mind. 🙂

    • You’re right, big brother. And I realize it’s extremely silly to feel that way towards a building… and the Church ain’t a building… but it’s just…

      I guess it also has to do with the fact that I have never moved – all my life I’ve lived in this apartment and I get used to places. Same with the current church building. It was the first real building we had as a church. Before this, we rented places, and although those have a special place in my heart, they were not fully “ours.”

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