To get moving on our renovation of the old church property, we need to get the rest of the things that were left in the building OUT (though we are saving as much as we can). Lee decided that yesterday was the day to get started, since we have that dumpster just waiting for stuff.
Seth (son of Mandi) and I joined him in a festival of removals. Each of us had a focus:
- Lee went through the HUGE ministerial library in the main office.
- Seth went through all the music books upstairs.
- I went through the little offices and cleaned the floors so we can store things we want to keep in enclosed spaces.
It was a bittersweet time for us, seeing all this congregation had left behind. There was a collection of classic books from the 1800s, a lot of beautiful old hymnals, and a very, very large library of books about leading a congregation. There were pre-written sermons, books on growing your church, books on dealing with congregation members, and on and on.
Lee kept remarking that it was obvious the minister or ministers in the past had put a LOT of effort into the church. It had to be hard to see attendance falling off so much. It made us think of how this is happening all over the US with the more traditional denominations. I’ve always admired the Disciples of Christ, so I was sad to see our town lose our congregation. Their last order of service said they were visiting nearby churches together in the next few weeks.
This just makes us want to make the building a productive and active part of the community even more.
What was our mistake?
Wondering what the mistake we refer to above might have been? Well, look at the photos. Lee and Seth are happily dealing with moldy old books, shelves with debris from the ceiling all over them, and lots of dust from me sweeping and vacuuming. It did not occur to us to wear masks or gloves.
Now Lee and I are coughing and having runny noses. We were having so much trouble that we had to stay home rather than attend an event we’d been looking forward to.
Next time, we will be sure to prepare properly, especially if we are bringing in young folks to help us. There are mouse droppings, bits of bugs, and who knows what else there. And it will only get worse when we go to remodel!
On the other hand, it sure looks better with a good deal of the mess gone. We still have a lot more to do, though.
Evidence of our progress