The Building is Gone, but the Church is Still Here

Kindred in Christ,

The building is gone, but the church is still here.

This past week, the large tower of our historic building came down, thus completing the major aspects of the demolition. And even as we wait with anticipation for our reimagined space to be built, which will empower us to be a community hub and connect with our neighbors in new ways, the present liminal space we find ourselves in insists to us that the church was never just a building. Even as we mourn the loss of a beloved sanctuary, we can discover delight and meaning in the stark reminder that we ourselves are the church. Or more precisely, the church is when we embody the relationships that continue to connect us to one another and to the world through the dynamic love of God. As the church, we are called to evolve and to seek to love and connect with our neighbors in new ways.

The building is gone, but the church is still here.

This past week, after months of dreaming and making new connections around the University District, our church hosted its first ever Printmaking Pop-up booth on the campus of University Heights during the farmers market. Along with having three new volunteers helping us run the booth, we connected and created art with approximately 30 of our neighbors. There was much joy as we facilitated a space for our neighbors to express themselves and make their own custom prints on cardstock paper or tote bags. Many shared with us why the particular art piece they chose was meaningful to them. We listened and told stories to one another as we connected over art making. And I got a chance to talk about the exciting things our church is doing in the neighborhood. We handed out flyers and had several people sign up for more information on upcoming events.

I hope you will consider joining us for our next Printmaking Pop-up on Aug 14, again on the campus of University Heights (more info coming soon). And I hope you will continue to connect through online worship and the many other ways our church continues to show up in the world. And most of all, my prayer for you is that you will rely ever more on the reality that our building may be gone, but the church (you and I) are still here.

Alongside you,

Rev. Paul Ortiz