Ours was not Maberly’s first Methodist Church, It was actually its third. The story is told that two men were appointed to find a suitable location for the new church. They walked the village of Maberly, which contained 5 mills. They sat on a stone high on a hill overlooking the village, discussing the potential sites. As nighttime cast its darkness over the village one of them declared “upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16 verse 8. King James Version) The story continues that the rock upon which they sat is located under the church within spitting distance of the pulpit. I plan to spend some time this week under the church. Hopefully I will find a stone, large enough for 2 men to rest comfortably on. Maybe it is the one the main center beam sits on but I think that would be rather tight to share.
I received the report from All-Tech Consulting Group via email on Sunday as promised. A quick scan of the document revealed background information on the building style: a balloon frame construction with rubble stone foundation. Even though Cam, the trusted inspector, had patiently taken the time to explain what this meant I just smiled and nodded at the time. My mind was already filled to the brim with one single thought: “Honey, we bought a church!”. This single thought cascaded into many related thoughts. The stained glass is splendid but how do I keep it and have a functioning window? How can we keep the historic look of the church and make it a practical home? Is there a bell in the tower? Can I save the tower? How are we going to work with the sloped floor? Can we save the floorboards? I need to work on a floor plan. Who will help me do the work? What happens if my cottage sells before the church home is ready? Adding anything to my overworked brain did not seem like a smart thing to do. There at the end of the document, Cam affirmed that most of our budget would be allotted to foundation repair and stabilization. Our budget was reasonable. This thing is doable.
Cam invited us to see his church. Dreamgirl and I drove up one Sunday morning. To my church friends, this means we are skipping church yet again. To my friends who don’t attend church, this is a perfectly good day to visit someone. We met his wife Donna. Both Cam and Donna seemed proud to show us their church, happy that we drove up. They had that mutual respect for each other that makes things work. Cam got right down to business explaining the need for building rods to stabilize the aging structure before we add additional load to the frame. He advised about insulating and heating and recommended local trades people to work with. He showed me his church and the attached spa. Cam put a lot of effort into energy efficiency and boasts that for most of the year the common room of the attached spa, which was built to passive home standards, is heated with little more than the fireplace’s pilot light.
Dreamgirl and I also have a marriage I hope many envy. We have built it through the connections made through church. Attending those silly weekly small groups we learned to depend on God, keep our marriage pure, fight fairly, forgive and at all times Love. On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
I am new to blogging so I signed up for WordPress’s Blogging Fundamentals course. Today’s assignment was to write with 1 person in mind. I wrote with my friend Dave Porter in mind. I met Dave as a pastor of a church we attended. he is very knowledgable when it comes to construction and trades. We have prayed for each other and supported each other. He has helped me in my Christian walk when I could not walk alone. And he is a funny guy.