Monday, December 9, 2013

Stone Hill Church of Princeton

One other thing that's kept me busy this fall?  I've started a new part time job!

The legal recruiting gig that I started back in January has been great in terms of its flexibility, and I can see how it could be a wonderful work-from-home income generator.  But in this season of our family's life, with two very young children at home, I just haven't been able to carve out the hours that the job really would require.  I've had some promising opportunities (and one that may still work out this year), but after taking a hard look at our finances and our needs, we decided in late October that I should probably start looking for something that would be a better fit.

Just when we came to this conclusion, our senior pastor called and asked if I would consider taking an executive position at our church.  Totally out of the blue, perfect timing -- God saw our need and opened a door that I never would have considered a possibility.  And the job is such a wonderful fit for me, and for us!  Officially, I'm the Executive Associate to the Senior Pastor.  We're all still working out exactly what that means, but essentially, I'm here to provide logistical and executive support to Pastor Matt and, secondarily, the other pastoral staff.  I'm in charge of church public relations, I'm coordinating special events, I'm working out feasibility analyses for Pastor Matt and Pastor Tracy (both of whom are big idea guys, so my detail-oriented persnickettiness is actually of use!), and I'm taking basic executive functions of their plates so they can better focus on ministry work.  And I'm loving it all!

It's been a critical season of work for the church these last few months, too -- because after over 25 years of trying, planning, and praying, Westerly Road Church has finally built a new church building, and transitioned into being Stone Hill Church of Princeton this month!

"When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.  Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great things for them.'  The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad."  (Ps. 126)

I took some photos of the old Westerly Road Church building on our last Sunday in that space.  Small though it may have been (see the odd L-shaped sanctuary, where an office wing was repurposed to make more room for the congregation?), it was well-loved!

And then I had the pure joy of taking some photos at the first worship service at the new Stone Hill Church.  The name was chosen in part as a nod to the geographic location -- the building sits on a very rocky piece of land, on a bit of a ridge, near the township of Rocky Hill.  But there are also deeper theological shades of meaning to the name.  The "stone" could reference Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of the church, and all the members of the body as living stones out of which God builds His church.  And the "hill" evokes, among other things, the city on a hill, with the light of the gospel shining forth in the darkness.

After so many years of praying and hoping, it was such a JOY to worship together in such a beautiful space!

The Atrium is a truly lovely space, and for the first time, we now have the ability to stay and talk and actually see other members of the church, rather than being quickly forced outside due to space limitations!

Joshua and Sophia loved the Atrium, too.  :)

What a beautiful space, and what a joyous occasion!  As Pastor Matt preached and prayed on Sunday, may the gospel come in power in this place!