“Things Seen and Unseen” is the title of a spiritual memoir by Nora Gallagher. That title has lingered with me for many years. Faith is about things seen and unseen. A man kneels on one knee and gives his beloved a gold ring. The ring is seen but what is unseen is the depth of their passion and commitment to each other as they begin married life. A woman serves a taco salad to a homeless mother and her three kids. What is seen is lettuce and ground beef on Tostitos but what is unseen is a holy compassion and grace for the least of these.

A church building can be seen but what cannot be seen is that God so loved the world. In an ideal paradise, churches of stone and glass would not be needed because God’s love would easily flow among us and folks would know that God is everywhere. But we live in a broken world that hungers for hope and signs of some greater meaning.

Our gothic building is gorgeous but after 100 years it needs some sprucing. Some of what we are doing will not be seen. We are replacing old electrical lines that are not only inadequate and unreliable but also a fire hazard. We are adding new water lines that prevent leaks and waste. Up in the ceiling, we are hiding cables for live streams and ducts for efficient and clean airflow. Other parts of our Next 100 Building renovations can be seen: a welcoming new east entry and remodeled gathering spaces.

This Sunday at noon you will be able to see red shovels with blue ribbons sinking into the ground to begin The Next 100 building project. What you can’t fully see is that my heart brims with gratitude for all of you who have made this moment possible and especially for our church leaders who poured hearts, minds and souls into translating this dream into reality. As our founding pastor said:

“What we begin, others who come after will complete. The good is like the building of cathedrals. Only by faith can those who lay foundation stones hear bells ringing in unraised steeples”.

I hope to see you on Sunday.