Wednesday, February 5, 2014

God is Building Something Great

   What a week we've had. Epworth was blessed on Sunday to hear a report from Janet Cheraisi on her trip back to Kenya in December. While there visiting family, Janet presented her home church, the Sugatek African Inland Church, with Epworth's gift from our October Mission Focus for their construction efforts. Her report was that our gift would help purchase 16 windows for their sanctuary to be enclosed as well as build the first parsonage for their pastor. It was a powerful moment for me to think of what this partnership already means to God's Kingdom across the world. Let us pray for more opportunities to partner in what God is doing in Kenya.
   Then on Monday, our Church Conference voted unanimously to approve the two projects presented by the Building Committee. Fifty-nine persons were in attendance, and the Committee received good feedback and fielded good questions around these projects and others that are being considered for the future. Renovations on the interior hallways will begin in the next two weeks, with Rolling Construction serving as general contractor for this project. In regards to the parking expansion, French and Associates are preparing designs and plans for City approval with early May as the estimate for construction to begin with McMath-Turner doing the work. We will keep you updated about progress throughout using the weekly bulletin, weekly emails, and any means necessary to keep everyone on the same page about detours and the state of the building, including any issues that might affect persons (dust and air-quality, etc).
   The Church Conference also received word that as of Friday, January 31, all of the funds from the merger of the Hamp Stevens Memorial UMC with Epworth in the summer of 2006, previously held by the Columbus District, were transferred by Dr. Buddy Cooper into Epworth's Building Fund. This is truly a cause for celebration.
   Far beyond parking lots and great hallways, Epworth has always been about building up God's people. This work could be clearly seen on Tuesday night as Andy and I gathered with sixteen young people to begin the journey of Confirmation. With leadership from a small group who've been confirmed before, our young people are learning about God's love, God's history, and God's best desires for our futures. Be in prayer for these young people from now through Confirmation Sunday, April 27, and beyond.
   We are committed to building up people beyond the walls of our church. This happens through our efforts in our community. Please consider our Mission Focus for February. We will be collecting the following items in February for those homeless persons in Columbus that are served by Rose Hill UMC. You can help by donating 1) socks & underwear for women and men, 2)  deodorant, and 3) hair products for African-Americans. Then, mark your calendars for the Open Door Classic on March 8, at the Synovus Center Courtyard along the Uptown Columbus Riverwalk. I want to be joined by 40 Epworth folks this year for this fun event: either a walk or 5K Run.
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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