About six weeks ago, I asked the elders to climb the hill behind the church and look out at the fields and neighborhoods around the church. It was a warm evening with a beautiful sunset, and the leaves were just starting to turn. As we looked out, I reminded them of a few key facts:
- this place is beautiful and a blessing
- but God has always pointed us toward the urban-suburban border
- the move to Walnut Hill was intended to be temporary, a time of rest and rebuilding
- and we have met all of the goals we wanted to meet before moving on
- so far, we have not heard God release us from the “border” vision
- and we know of potential buyers for our building
And then I said, “I think the time has come for us to ask whether to move.”
We chatted for a while, then walked thoughtfully back down the hill. And as the meeting continued back at the church, we discerned God saying, “go and see what’s waiting for you.” What was waiting for us was 9,500 square-feet of space on the 5th floor of the Auditorium Center.
For the last few weeks, almost every conversation I’ve had with Mosaic people has been dominated by that building. It has a lot of things we want, and it lacks other things we want. It has the potential to facilitate growth that we probably can’t achieve in Pittsford. It also has the potential to undermine or limit growth in other ways. Will it work, won’t it? What does it have, what doesn’t it have? Is it safe? Is it big? Is it accessible? Is it right? We’ve gone over square footage, lighting and sound, office space, dance floors, classrooms, painting, electricity, even plumbing. We’ve wondered about proximity to Grace Road, access to the arts community, serving the poor, and potential partnerships with nearby organizations. We’ve looked at income, expenses, budgets, projections, and estimates. And after all that?
I don’t know.
No one knows. There are plenty of hunches. A fair amount of excitement and nerves. But none of it adds up–yet–to clear direction. But what has become clear is that we are entering a brief but important period of listening and decision-making. Amid all the details and possibilities, we must quiet ourselves and ask God to speak.
This Sunday I’m going to ask you to join me in a week of prayer and fasting, unifying ourselves in humility, worship, and dependence on God, and asking for his guidance and provision at this important time. To declare (and remind ourselves) that this decision has little to do with our preferences and everything to do with God’s preferences for us.
Next week, everyone will have the opportunity to visit the space, and I hope everyone takes advantage of it. But so much more, I hope for a church community that’s unified in love and worship, regardless of where we happen to meet–whether it’s the Auditorium, some other building, or in a future that unfolds right where we are.