On Saturday, September 20, we consecrated our new building. We welcomed Bishop John Guernsey, The Reverend John Yates who preached, clergy from our diocese who came to offer their support, Kenny Sieber who was our job superintendent, Charles Sinclair who was the former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, and David Hunter who works for Arlington County. I was so grateful that they would come and that we would have an opportunity to thank them for the significant roles that each of them played in the dream, design, and construction of our building.
My favorite part of the service was an intentional time to pray over each of the building ‘spaces’. We asked God to fill them with His Holy Spirit and to set them a part for the work that we have been dreaming He will do. It was significant for me to imagine kids growing up in our small group rooms, and people gathering for snacks, and our staff laboring to serve those in and outside our church, and people sitting in our pews worshiping and giving thanks to God.
So, I wanted to share that part with you. Matt Hoppe created a constellation of images for each space. I wrote a prayer that was prayed by the Bishop and then the congregation prayed a collect from the Book of Common Prayer. As you think about our church settling in to this building, I invite you to pray over each space. We need to be praying for our church. May these images and prayers be a place for you to start.
(If you click on the image, it will shift to full screen and you can see all of the fun detail!)
Receive the work of our hands in this place, now to be set apart for your worship, the building up of the living, and the remembrance of the dead, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Bishop: Everliving Father, watchful and caring, our source and our end: All that we are and all that we have is yours. Accept us now, as we dedicate this place to which we come to praise your Name, to ask your forgiveness, to know your healing power, to hear your Word, and to be nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son. Be present always to guide and to judge, to illumine and to bless your people.
Kids’ Small Group Rooms
Bishop: Father in heaven, thank you for a place to disciple children. Fill those rooms with the presence of your Holy Spirit and lead them into the knowledge and obedience of your Word, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Bishop: Praise the Lord, you children of the Lord:
People: Praise the Name of the Lord.
People: Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Bishop: Father in heaven, thank you for the fellowship hall and a hospitable place to welcome the stranger. Fill that room with the presence of your Holy Spirit and let conversation lead to conversion and friendship, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Bishop: Above everything, love one another earnestly:
People: For love covers many sins.
People: Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Office and Mezzanine
Bishop: Father in heaven, thank you for a place where staff and leaders can gather to work. Fill that space with the presence of your Holy Spirit and turn labor into love for your Gospel and your people, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Bishop: Prosper, O Lord, the work of our hands:
People: Prosper our handiwork.
People: Almighty and everlasting God, from whom comes every good and perfect gift: Send down upon our clergy, and staff, and upon our congregation committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of they grace; and, that they may truly please you, pour upon them the continual dew of your blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Chancel for Musical Worship
Bishop: Father in heaven, thank you for voices and instruments that help us express the wonder of your creation and the grace of your Gospel through the songs we sing. Be enthroned upon the praises of your people for the glory of your Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Bishop: Praise him with the sound of the trumpet;
People: Praise him with strings and pipe.
People: O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Chancel for Proclaiming the Gospel
Bishop: Father in heaven, thank you for your Holy Scriptures and this place to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. By the Holy Spirit, empower your Word and those who preach it. Give us ears to hear and hearts to follow through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Bishop: May the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our heart,
People: Be acceptable to you, O Lord our God.
People: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.