Stained Glass Window Update
If you have worshiped with us in the last couple of weeks, you have surely noticed the missing stained glass windows that have been sent off for restoration. Since then, I have heard a few questions about the remaining work, so I want to take a minute to catch everyone up on where we stand on this work.
A couple of years ago, we found the window in bell tower - above the red front doors - was bending and breaking, so we had it repaired and restored. In addition, we had a new cover installed - a really great one. The new cover is made of safety glass so that it will not yellow or fade but also protecting the stained glass effectively. The window can also be seen more clearly from the outside. Check it out if you have not already! This was the first step of our work.
We have just begun work on the second step - to restore the largest window. It is original to the building and is about 100 years old. That is the typical lifetime on stained glass before it needs to be restored. This window and the small one above it will be taken apart, cleaned, out back together, and reinstalled in the coming weeks. A new cover will be installed to let more light in and protect it effectively.
The work that remains to be done consists of two different items that we hope to complete over the next five to ten years. First, the windows in the overflow and balcony areas need some repair work done and new covers installed. This work will cost $4,000-6,500 for each panel, for a total of around $27,000. Second, the picture windows, which are newer and were installed between 1944 and 1946, need new covers. This will both allow more light to shine in these windows and protect the vibrant colors from the sun's rays. These will cost about $1,500 per window.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us complete these first two steps so quickly! Your generosity and dedication mean that people who gather here at Port Church can enjoy these windows for generations to come. While we obviously have a lot of work yet to do, we know that God will continue to be faithful to us as God has been for the last 224 years!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon: Run for Your Life!
This past Sunday, we kicked off our new worship series "Words of Wisdom". Over the next few weeks, we are going to look at a few verses from the Book of Proverbs to see what wisdom they hold for how we can grow in our faith today.
This passage opens with a promise of a plan of what to do if we find that our words have gotten us into debt. While the particular situation it describes is one where we have secured a debt for another, the plan it outlines is one that can apply whenever we have dug ourselves a hole that we are caught in as a result of our poor decisions. Perhaps it is something as trivial as the overwhelming pile of laundry to be folded or maybe it's something far more important like our physical, emotional, or spiritual health that we have neglected for far too long. When we fail to take care of our bodies, when we succumb to addiction, when we ignore our spiritual needs because things are good, we dig ourselves a hole that is not easily overcome. But we have these words of wisdom from the Proverbs. First, we have to humble ourselves. If we are overly indebted to another person, we humble ourselves to them and plead our case for mercy. If we are indebted to a problem we have created in our lives, we have to humble ourselves by admitting to ourselves what we have done to create it. This is difficult because it involves a certain amount of shame over our decisions, and we might rather close our eyes, ignore the problem, and hope for the best. We have to get past the shame and the inertia by humbling ourselves. Only in admitting we created the problem can we embrace that we can also work to solve the problem. Second, Proverbs tells us not to rest and even sleep until we have gotten out of our hole. This means that you do not rest until you have humbled yourself and begun to climb your way out. In other words, start today. We cannot put off fixing our problems until tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes. It also means that you do not rest until you are finished. You cannot take a day off. It is not good enough to exercise today and then let up tomorrow. This takes dedication to getting out of the hole. The third step that Proverbs outlines is a curious one - to escape like a gazelle from the hunter. If we imagine a cheetah - the fastest animal on land - chasing down a gazelle, this image comes home. The only way to escape from our debts is to run for our very lives. Whatever we need to do to work ourselves out of the holes we have created for ourselves, we need to do it as if our lives depended on it - because they very well may! To get out of the debts of our bad decisions, we need humility, dedication, and intensity. If we tackle our problems with these three things, we can work with God to get out of the holes we have dug for ourselves.
Coming Up This Week
With Mother's Day coming up this week, we are going to reflect on our "Family Heirlooms". Think about what items from your family are the most precious to you, and come ready to share if you like.
Living in Community
Thanks to Dianna, Makayla, and Lauren for helping to serve communion this week!
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, May 9
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, May 11
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, May 14
9:30 am - Worship with Celebration of Mother's Day
"Words of Wisdom: Family Heirlooms"
11:00 am - Sunday School
June 4 - Graduation Sunday
June 24 - Maker Fun Fest VBS Kickoff Party
June 26-30 - Vacation Bible School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!
8525 Water Street
PO Box 116
Port Republic, VA 24471