For those of you who may not know me, I am Janie Piemonte, the new parish administrator, and a member of Emmanuel’s congregation.
Wow! These past few weeks you have seen some amazing videos highlighting our worship, our music, and adult spiritual formation. Today I am here to talk about Buildings and Grounds, a decidedly less inspirational topic.
For fear that a series of images may resemble an episode of “This Old House”, I have decided to just share some thoughts from inside this wondrous space.
As a parishioner, I have entered through the Narthex many Sundays over the past 6 years and sat here in my usual seat, 5th row, left hand side, on the aisle. For the next 60 minutes or so I would listen to the music and the words of God and the celebrant. I would pray alongside all of you and then make my way to the Parish Hall for coffee hour, never giving much thought to the building.
But today, I sit here on a Monday morning in this beautiful wooden pew and wonder at all these walls have withstood. Beginning in the year 1910, through the 1918 pandemic, 2 World Wars, 19 U.S. Presidents, and now the 2020 pandemic, “this old house” has welcomed all with open arms. It has enjoyed the laughter of children and voices raised in song, witnessed moments of spiritual celebration and sorrow, and provided a quiet space, a haven, a place to gather.
The dollars you pledge and give, especially to the capital campaign, allow us to ensure the future of this structure. Each day as I walk the grounds it seems there is at least one thing to note on the “fix-it” list, just like any old home. But as I sit here today, I know that Emmanuel on High will withstand this trial too. And with your continued generosity, support, and loving care, “this old house” will continue its welcome for generations to come. It may creak, and leak, and maybe even groan with age, but it stands ready to embrace you once again when it is safe. Together we pray for, and look ahead, to that day!
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog