Dedication Day

During the height of the pandemic I was quietly working on building Westminster’s new fellowship hall. Very few people were on campus other than the workmen and some staff once in a while. Next to the fellowship hall is the most sacred part of our church campus, the memorial garden.

The memorial garden had a brick wall with missing bricks in the center in the shape of a cross. The wall had small plaques attached to it with the names of the church members whose ashes are interned in the garden. The old wall was failing. There were cracks star stepping to the cross opening. The foundation of the wall was not built deeply enough to hold the wall. If you add a small boy or two who are sometimes drawn to climbing on the wall and bad things could happen.

While working on the fellowship hall I had structural engineers on campus so I asked them to look at the wall. Sure enough, it needed to be replaced. I asked our architects, DTW if they would design us a new wall in the flavor of our old one, but bigger and stronger. So Robert Sontolongo donated a plan for the new wall.

As I was basically working alone on the fellowship hall I was able to find some money and was able to get the wall rebuilt while we had masons on campus working on the building. It was all done quietly in consultation with our Pastor and some of the family members of loved ones interned in the garden. Everyone was in favor of the improvement.

All the name plaques were carefully removed before the replacement was done. The ground where ashes are interned was protected and the old wall was lovingly taken down and the new one went up. It took a while to have the plaques replaced, but now it is done. The wall has new lighting. Betsy Mangum is leading an effort to improve the landscaping and adding more benches. Anyone who is interested in helping her can contact the church.

Today, after the regular church service, we all went out and put our hands on the wall and prayed over it. It makes my heart so happy that this project has been turned over to the loving hands of the whole church. Someday I am certain my name will also be on that wall. A wall built to stand for hundreds of years.

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