July 2019, An update on our Forever First Campaign
by Marc Ridenour
Do you know what is AWESOME?
Writing a newsletter article again after a 3-month hiatus! I have missed communicating with you all about what is going on around the House of the Lord.
In the early church it took 20 years after Christ’s death and resurrection before the first written texts started. Everyone who had been a part of the Jesus phenomenon lived within walking distance of Jerusalem and knew what had happened. It was thought that Jesus was coming back soon, so the brick and mortar buildings weren’t yet needed to house the people who were meeting under the name of “Christian”. Once the early churches started showing up in places like Thessalonica, Rome, and Corinth there needed to be communications written. It was the Apostle Paul who sat down and started writing to the young churches that had sprung up throughout the land.
Some of you who read this article do not have the opportunity to join us at the buildings on a weekly basis, but still call First Church your place of worship. This update on our brick (stone) and mortar buildings is for you. As a result of the Forever First capital campaign we have made our worship experience brighter, louder, clearer, and more impactful with a massive Audio and Visual upgrade for both locations. High definition TV screens, state of the art electronics, speakers, mixers, and software have brought our services into the 21st century of professional presentation. The upgrades that we set out to achieve are nearly complete. We will be addressing the most difficult and time consuming one of installing our new T-coil hearing loop in the downtown sanctuary in the near future.
Another portion of the capital campaign was to restore and preserve the oldest stone portion of the Historic church building. We have contracts signed for the replacement of the slate roofs on the two towers using a genuine Vermont slate that has a 100-year warranty. That work should start within 6 weeks, and take two weeks to finish. We will then move on to the stone restoration in late August.
I was able to secure a grant from the Douglas County Cultural and Heritage Council that is helping to pay for us to completely restore our beloved bell in the south tower. It will be ceremoniously craned out of the tower, crated up, and shipped to Cincinnati to be polished, tuned, and rebuilt with new support parts, sealed bearings, and ready to ring for another 130 years. The grant will also allow us to restore a tolling feature that was disabled over 50 years ago. We are planning a big media event with a party on the sidewalk when we close down the street to crane our restored bell back up into its perch.
Unlike Paul’s writings to the early church, I do not have words of wisdom of how to conduct your selves on moral issues of the day, fair business dealings, or peaceful charitable living. I doubt you all would appreciate that, for you can surely reference your closest Bible to fill that need.
Like Paul, however, I do write to you out of love for the church, for Christ, and encourage you all to continue to support one another and the church that we all call home.
Blessings to all,