It would be fair to say that the summer has been busier than ever. On top of all the usual active and ongoing mission, we’ve had the tumult and drama of the start of construction on our new educational facilities. The portables showed up first, and once they were licensed and ready for occupancy the real work could begin. That has now been under way for about two weeks, and the place looks like a mess!
The good news is that we will have our driveway back for Sunday, and for many Sundays to come! It’s not the final version, but I think you’ll find it’s still a lot nicer than the one it replaced. We moved and straightened it to make more room for our mission with children and families. When all is done we will have a more open and welcoming campus for everyone. A number of trees were removed as well. Some were in locations that will be under construction soon. Others had roots that would have been so damaged by the work that they would not have survived. I want to confirm that new trees are a part of the landscaping plan. They will appear when it is safe, after most of the construction has been completed.
As we move into September, we start with the celebration of Labor Day, recognizing the dignity of labor and all who work for a living. That’s pretty well everyone, at least for some portion of our lives. But not much more than a century ago the idea was more than a little contentious. We weren’t far removed from violent clashes – even riots – between workers and owners. These days, we’re more likely to light a barbecue than start a revolution. But it’s worth remembering where we came from, and being mindful of those who still struggle for enough to sustain their families.
On September 9, we will start the Fall off with a bang. It’s Rally Sunday, so the choir will be back in their rightful places. They provide such warmth and spirit to our worship each Sunday, and we are grateful for joy they share. Our children will be back to their usual Sunday School classes, and we’ll be giving Bibles to our new 4th graders during all three services. If you have a 4th grader this year please be sure to contact Debra DeLuca, our Children’s Ministries Director, so that we will be ready for you that morning!
We will also be holding a Groundbreaking Ceremony to mark the official start of our construction. The demolition and grading will be mostly finished, and we will have nice, clean dirt for our shovels. We will be joined by our Bishop, the Rev. Dr. Grant Hagiya. Grant oversees the roughly 400 churches of southern California and Hawaii, but he lives just around the corner in the Hollywood Riviera section of Torrance. We look forward to the celebration, which will take place at about 11:15, where Building B used to be. There will be refreshments and fun for everyone on the patio that morning. We hope you can join us!
Grace and peace,