The spring storms of early April took a toll on a familiar landmark at St John the Apostle (Clinton Township, MI). Their bright blue and white sign, despite all the extra TLC and maintenance it received, was blown over during high winds. Not wanting to waste an opportunity for a much needed revamping of their physical church image, the Vestry and people of SJA joined together in the process to restore, freshen, and improve their public look.
Constructing a new sign took some time, due to design, building, permits, etc. During the wait, they began with new vinyl lettering for the window to display some pertinent information about the church. Then, an announcement board, with interchangeable lettering, built from the old parts of our fallen sign. At last, the new sign was completed in August, with a color scheme similar to our web presence and a Celtic cross reflecting who we are as Anglicans. All these improvements made the “old rusty cross” really seem dated and uninspiring. So the Vestry decided it was about time to paint it and begin to take proper care of it.
Though totally unrelated to the outside, yet practically providential, the church benefitted with an interior facelift as well. Through the generosity of another church, they were gifted with the use of some new items for our worship: a new tabernacle, Gospel cover, carved art for the walls (an Angus Dei and Chi Rho), as well as four chasubles and two stoles for our priest.
We know that buildings, things, or appearances do not define God’s presence or our worship of him. God is worshipped quite fully and reverently in hospital rooms, hospice bedsides, storefronts, old warehouses, living rooms and various house churches. God is found present whenever and wherever two or three of his people gather. This is promised and proven true time and again. Yet, we would be wrong not to be grateful for these physical and tangible “signs” (John 20:30-31) God has given us, reminding us of his never-ending care and provision for us.