Can You Go Shopping For PCC?

We are so excited about having a facility from which we can do ministry in the community. The new Powhatan Campus of PCC is still a work in progress, but it’s been great to have a place to gather. We’ve already helped Powhatan High School host an event (a Winter Guard competition), had three Sunday services and one wedding. The offices are coming together and there’s lots of ministry work happening on a day to day basis.

This week we’ll celebrate our first Easter in this facility. It ought to be a great day!
There’s plenty that still needs to be done; one quick glance down the hallway makes that clear! Bit by bit, we are challenging one another – and YOU – to help pitch in to not only honor our commitments to the building fund (contact the office if you’re not participating in the REACH campaign – you need to be part of this!) but also help out in extra ways.
And here’s a great opportunity. We’re in the process of preparing the kitchen for events that require food. Who doesn’t love a chance to eat at church?
Please walk down the main hallway this week and grab a “gift tag” off the door. You can purchase the item on your tag on your next trip to Target, Walmart or Sam’s Club; bring it back to the church and know that you’ve played a part in stocking the kitchen for future fun!
And if you see Cathy Rusch, give her a high five. She’s organizing and stocking the kitchen so that she can continue to do amazing things like what she’s put together for the past three weeks. Cathy has provided breakfast – including juice, coffee, fresh fruit and hot breakfast food – for the early morning volunteers, many of whom arrive before 7:00 AM and stay until after 1:00. It’s a great way to honor the musicians, shuttle drivers, greeters, set up crew, tech team and others who work hard to make Sunday happen. Cathy is AWESOME in our book!
Cathy and her beautiful daughter Katie

Tangible Proof

I’m making some progress….it’s been a productive day.

I cleaned toilets – a lot of little tiny toilets, which get just as dirty as big toilets. I found myself wondering why toilets are designed with those swirly parts on the sides that make it so difficult to clean close to the floor.
And why is it that boys – it must be boys because I don’t know how a girl could manage it – always seem to leak down the side of the toilet?
I wiped down windows and window sills and watched the rain fall. Thought about how those brightly colored rooms would fill up on Sunday morning with laughter and smiles and happiness. I felt a tinge of grief that my days of mothering small children were gone. It must be really, really cool to bring kids to PCC and see the way the upstairs floor is completely dedicated to what will help them learn to love Jesus. I’m proud of our church and its commitment to kids.
I got to spend a bit of time in my office, doing work and organizing my junk. I have a HUGE pile of stuff for the trash, a box for Goodwill and a neatly organized small bookshelf.
Making sense out of this chaos helped me focus today. I’m grateful.
So here’s the top of my little shelf – for now. An Erwin McManus book (that I haven’t read), Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, which I read years ago (this copy belongs to Kevin). the Heart of the Artist, which I believe to be essential for any artist of any type who wants to know more about themselves and their place in the kingdom of God. Walk On – also Kevin’s. I’ve read part of it. The Unexpected Adventure, which was the basis for a pretty cool series we did recently. Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton. Want to get wrecked? Read that book. Take This Bread by Sara Miles – brilliant book. Loved it. Positioning, which belongs to Jeanette Brannan. Great book on branding and marketing. Less Clutter, Less Noise – Kem Meyer, and absolutely essential. Two worship devo books – Your Love Is Amazing and The Air I Breathe. An old copy of The Screwtape Letters. One of my favorite devo books, Mornings With Henri Nouwen.

To the right is a pirated copy of the Baptist Hymnal. I will not admit where it came from, because I am ashamed that I still have it. It got packed in a moving box and never returned.
And the rock? That’s from a fun video project I did for a women’s retreat a few years ago. That rock got around town a good bit…
Tangible proof that some order came into my life today.
NOTE: Obviously I have stuff on my shelf that belongs to others; this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’ve given me a cd or book recently, cruise by and pick it up. I have a lot of things with no traceable connection to the owner. And, by the way, if you’re from Chagrin Falls, you can have the hymnal back….
EDITED NOTE: I stand corrected. That is not a BAPTIST hymnal; it is THE hymnal. For Worship and Celebration. Just FYI.

Pianos And Prayers

We had rehearsal tonight in our new space – our first “regular” Wednesday night rehearsal. Last week was so frenetic and packed with energy that it didn’t seem normal.

Tonight was normal. It was really….weird…to be out of the the little trailer, where we all practically stood on top of one another to practice. Now we’re on this huge expanse of stage.
We’re rehearsing with the Avion in-ear monitors.
We can hear (for the most part).
We’re running video to set up songs.
We can leave our gear out.
I don’t have to perch the keyboard on the conference table.
The singers don’t have to stand in Lori’s office because there’s no room for them in the main room.
It’s “real”.
And it feels so funky.
I’m so, so grateful – there are so many things that we’ll be able to do in terms of our vision and the mission of our church. Having this building opens up so many possibilities. In the long run, it’s going to be terrific.
But these first few initial weeks of change feel a tad bit painful, honestly.
I realized tonight, as we went through “None Like Jesus” (yeah – if you love that song, don’t miss this Sunday…), that I was grieving something specific.
I miss the grand piano at the high school.
I’ve never played at a church that didn’t have an acoustic piano as an option. I am, first and foremost, a pianist. My preference is to play the real deal. I love the keyboards we use, and I’m grateful for them. But the sheer pleasure of sitting on the bench and making music on the instrument that I’ve played for over 30 years now; that’s unmatched by anything in my life.
In this building, that option is gone. There’s no baby grand hiding in the wings.
It makes me sad. I’m hoping that at some point in the future, we’ll be able to get one. Funds are tight right now; although it’s part of the big picture in terms of equipment, it’s sunk pretty low on the list of priorities. Actually, it’s probably not even ON the list any more. There are so many things more necessary right now. Like ceiling tiles and tables. Flooring for the youth room. Asphalt for the parking lot.
So I’m hoping that one day….
Shoot, let’s just be honest. I’m hoping that somebody in Powhatan will read this and remember that there’s a baby grand sitting at home – preferably a Yamaha – that they would love to donate.
I’ll be praying about that….

Our Building Is Good

What a great day today – the very first Sunday service at PCC’s first permanent facility on Anderson Highway.

I was overwhelmed, all day long. There were many, many moments – many firsts. From the opening prayer at 9:05 when the room filled with VOLUNTEERS who were serving all over the building – like 100 of them – it was an amazing day full of surprises and emotion.
At one point, at the end of “He Is Yawheh”, I glanced over at Elijah and Marc, who were making incredible rhythmic patterns on the percussion gear, and I thought to myself, “REMEMBER THIS. BE IN THIS MOMENT. THIS IS A MOMENT. BE PRESENT.”
After waiting for weeks/months/years and pressing toward this day, hoping to turn a corner and get past this part of our mission, I didn’t want to miss anything.
And I think I grasped most of the day. It flew by too quickly but I was there, I remember, and it was GOOD.
Help us out, if you will. If you were with us today, help us evaluate (like Brian mentioned in the message). Let us know two things – you can answer in the comments below:
1. What worked really well today?

2. What would you like to see improved before you invite your friends and neighbors to come?
We appreciate your perspective – we want to honor God with excellence, and that includes celebrating what worked and improving what did not!
Thanks, in advance, for your help!

Wicked Excited

I want to write a blog post; I have so much swirling inside of me right now that needs to be released!

But maybe that’s just the pizza I ate. (Time for a confession – the “new” Dominos is good. Too good. I ate four pieces. It is disturbing to realize that I ate, basically, half a pizza.)
Lord, help me. It’s nervous energy.
Anyway, I want to write all about Wicked, because we saw it today and oh my oh my oh my. What an incredible experience – what a story. I knew all of the music but I have never seen the show, and so all the blanks were filled in and I was stunned at how it unfolded. I found it an incredibly spiritual experience – there was this rich undercurrent of redemption and grace and temptation and greed and good gone bad and forgiveness….it was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The story stands on its own, but the sets and costumes and effects were unbelievable. I cried, more than once.
I would love to go see this show again, on this current run, just to soak it all up again. I just might do that, if $100 drops out of the sky.
I went with my mom and my girls – it was a Christmas gift – and we had a great lunch and enjoyed the show immensely.
And the rest of what is swirling around inside of me (with the pizza) is the undeniable fact that tomorrow morning our church will worship – for the first time – in our own space. We’ll be in a building in which we have invested blood, sweat, tears, prayers and financial resources. It is far from perfect but it it gloriously ready for us, and tomorrow we are going to fill it with people and give credit where it is due – “Not to us, but to YOUR name be the glory…”

I can’t wrap my brain around it yet. If services tomorrow are anything like rehearsal last night, I’m likely to fall over. Or stomp my foot through the platform. It was just amazing.
I love my church, the people in it, and the God who created us and loves us – oh, how he loves us.
PCC. 4480 Anderson Highway. 9:30 and 11:00 AM Sunday.
It’s going to be a great day.

Getting Things Done!

It sure was nice to pull up to the PCC property today and see things moving again! Dennis Green and Charlie Towler spent some time surveying the job site as the electricians ratcheted things up and the dump trucks moved dirt for a parking lot.
We’re so grateful for the leadership of Dennis, Chris Ashman, Chauncey Starkey and others who have managed this process so that we can move forward once again.

There is much going on in the life of our church as people grow and change and dig deeper into their relationship with God and with others. Seeing some tangible progress on the construction site is another exciting development.
We are grateful!

My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long. Psalm 35.28