And at long last, the good work of building our church has been completed.
We have a beautiful new temple!!
But for several weeks after the building was completed, it sat empty as we tried to work with the city's latest requirements. Because our property adjoins residential properties, the city wanted us to construct an 8 foot tall concrete wall all the way around. Not only would that wall be ugly, it would also be very expensive (did you know that a concrete fence costs upwards up $40K? yeah, it was news to us too!).
The building process has been infinitely more costly than expected, and although we'd passed all other inspections it most likely would be months before we could move into our new temple if we couldn't get approval for an alternate boundary. Thankfully our wonderful neighbors went to bat for us and the city agreed to a "living fence."
We planted the bushes the next day and we finally got our Certificate of Occupancy! So much blood, sweat and tears went into getting that little piece of paper...
Now it was time to transform this building into a church!
Last Saturday we said goodbye to the blank white walls and bare bamboo flooring. It was moving day!
No moving van...just many willing and able bodies and cars.
Bit by bit, it began to look like a real church.
Liturgical items found new homes.
The baptismal font arrived.
And, of course, we ladies set to work organizing the kitchen!
The next morning: our first Liturgy!
What a joy it was to see these moments performed with such majesty! The acoustics are absolutely incredible. Our little choir has never sounded better!
One drawback to a church with wonderful sound: you hear every. little. thing. Like little kid whispers and giggles and shuffling feet. Ooops!
The Liturgy continued, and it was time for Communion.
Our kids always line up for Communion in age order, and that perfect stair stepping height is a sweet sight! The kids all know their exact position in line.
After the dismissal, our first trapeza (coffee hour) was served up by Chef Dave. He makes a mean red lentil stew!
As for the hall, it's
Nadia wasn't able to be there for our first Liturgy, but as soon as I picked her up we went straight to the church so she could see it.
For this weekend, the church was looking much more "church-y" with icons and vigil lamps hung. But I forgot my camera yesterday, so no pictures of that.
The building process has been infinitely frustrating with complications at every turn. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. Apparently God thought we needed to learn a LOT of patience!! But our labors have born fruit now, and we have a beautiful temple to worship in. Glory be to God!