First Service in New Church, December 2, 2012, 9:30AM

It has been a long journey toward December 2. The Parish House has served us well as a temporary meeting place, but who knew how long “temporary” would last?  We have yearned for our solitude and a sacred (set apart) space. And the Sunday school (Kids’ Church) has yearned to have its place in the Parish House back. Some have embraced the more intimate, family-style experience of Parish House worship. Some have found it noisy, crowded or confining.  Regardless of whether you have been taking a break or attending right along, we want ALL of us to be together on December 2. All of us helped to make this renaissance possible; all of us can fill the new space with thanksgiving and joyful noise; all of us can be part of what the new church will become. And “all of us” can include any new friends or any relatives or neighbors you would like to bring.

“I was glad when they said to me, let us go unto the house of God.”

That’s what we’re saying to you!

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Here are some details:

Service

Extra music, extra joy, extra Kleenex will be on hand. We will take a special offering for the Hilltown Food Pantry. We will NOT have Communion on the 2nd, due to the number of songs and throngs. You are invited to celebrate Communion on December 9th.

Parking / traffic

There have never been many parking spaces up at the church. Now, due to the construction of accessibility walkways and parking spots, there are fewer. So let’s plan to park on the North side of Main Street and walk up. If you are not able to do so or need to be dropped off any reason, no problem. Stand in front of the Parish House and you can get a ride from volunteers who will be driving a clockwise circuit from the Parish House to the church and back to West Main Street. Just wave and they’ll stop for you. When driving up to the church, please enter from the West (via Bush Road.) Church Lane will be one-way during Sunday services. If we enter from the West and leave from the east, we’ll be in position to turn right at the bottom of the hill and park legally on Main Street.

Children

An exciting children’s program will begin on December 9th, featuring a new curriculum for those 6 and up and childcare for younger children. (Details will follow) But on our first Sunday, we want the whole church community to be together at the new church. Bring your children. The church family is all ages!

Pews

The new pews are beautiful. Thank you, Keith and crew! They will have beautiful new cushions, but not on December 2, so you might want to bring a pillow to sit on.

Punctuality

Of course, I don’t need to say this in West Cummington (author collapses from overdose of irony) but you will miss a lot if you’re late. There will be a special gathering and special singing on the steps; the first ringing of the new bell and  a grand entrance. So plan to arrive on West Main Street at 9:15 and we’ll get you to the church on time!

Condition of the building

Stunningly beautiful, but not finished. The pews will be in. The ash floor (local and donated)  is finished. The radiant heat is up and running (no more cold feet.) The piano will be in place. The “pulpit” will be temporary. The lighting should be complete. And the bathrooms; yes, there are two. The landscaping will begin in the spring.

There is so much more. Come and see, hear, breathe it in and add your presence.

Steve Philbrick, minister

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