Drawn to Fellowship

Last year I was on a church committee to help raise money for the replacement of our over fifty year old fellowship hall. Rising money is something I do naturally. I thought that would be the end of my job on this project. Then in a meeting to find people to be on the building committee I found myself volunteering to be part of that committee, “As long as I don’t have to chair it,” I gave as my caveat. After recruiting a fabulous team of construction professionals from the congregation it was clear that I was the least qualified to be on the committee so I was appointed to be the chair.

Our committee has spent the last six months working with the architects, designers, contractors and engineers to bring a plan to the congregation we loved and could afford. Yesterday, I went before our governing body, the session, to ask them to approve the going forward to build this building along with my partner, Dave Pottenger, who chairs the committee doing the financing. The session passed the plan. Now we have to inform the congregation about the details so next month they can vote to borrow the portion of the money we did already raise.

I spend a lot of time thinking about this building and one thing always comes back to me, it is called the fellowship hall for a reason, it is where we celebrate being friends. The building could be called the all-purpose room or the community center or the dining room, theatre, play room, gathering room, but no, it is the fellowship hall.

It will house our largest kitchen, which will be a huge improvement on our old one. We will share meals together there as well as prepare food to serve to others elsewhere. We will, for the first time, have a large covered outdoor area so we can gather outside and eat, something that you should do often if you live in North Carolina. There can be plays or musicals preformed here as well as lectures. Of course the building will be perfect for meetings of all types, from adult, to scouts to pre-school, but all of them involve friends or people who come as strangers and leave as friends. It is all about fellowship.

Perhaps I was called to do this project. From the start of raising the money to completing the building I will probably spend three years doing it, but I am drawn to fellowship so it will be time well spent.

I pray that in the next few weeks I can communicate everything the congregation needs to know to approve the financing. We already have two-thirds of what we need and a solid plan on how the money portion should work. I just want people to feel the love of friends whenever they enter the fellowship hall because that is what it will be for.

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