“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! (This is the Day, Les Garrett, 1967)
I enter the month of October with this earworm stuck on repeat. I find myself humming and singing, “This is the Day” all the time. I sing, “Let us rejoice and be glad in it,” when I walk the dog, as I cook dinner, and when I prepare for the October 16th dedication and celebration of the Ascending Grace accessibility project. We are just around the corner from completing our massive renovation. As we approach the end of this project, we have many reasons to celebrate.
At the start of the calendar year, our worship space and our fellowship hall were inaccessible to many people due to a malfunctioning and aged elevator. For people in worship to use the restroom, they had to either go down many stairs or use and elevator that often got stuck between floors. Some people found one of the church entrances to be a tripping hazard due to the narrow step going up into the building.
Grace Lutheran Church’s mission statement says, “In light of who we are and where we are, we believe God wants Grace congregation to exist in order to worship and witness to the love of Christ.” We claim that as children of God, the Holy Spirit gathers us to worship and witness the love of Christ. For all people to gather for worship and witness to the love of Christ, we needed a safe elevator and an entryway that is accessible and hospitable.
Now we are about to celebrate the completion of an incredible renovation. We have a new elevator that has space enough for many people. We have converted the old cry room on the sanctuary level to an ADA-compliant restroom. The offices have been refurnished. The Narthex has been transformed to better invite people into fellowship. We have also improved the pavement near the entryways so that those who enter can do so without a tripping hazard. We have added automation to the door as well, making it accessible to all people. We have added extra accessible parking spaces near the north entrance.
With God’s help, we have transformed our entryway to better welcome all people into worship and fellowship. Now as we approach the final phases of this project, we can sing, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
Pastor Tyler Hoey, October 2022