It is not every day that we see images like these: The main pulpit moved over rows of pews, and the Church Library with empty shelves. Yet there is a certain historical logic in all of this as it was a group of extremely motivated students from Rutgers University, who accomplished all this on February 22.
I say “historical logic” because it was our denomination that founded the university in the form of Queen’s College in 1766. Until 1873, our very sanctuary hosted commencements and other academic events. Now the students returned to usher in another chapter in our long history. We are blessed by their selflessness!
Our thanks go out especially to the two leaders of the student group, Ming Man Cheung, and undergraduate student from Hong Kong, and Tomas Vyskocil, a PhD student from the Czech Republic.
There will be several more moving dates: March 8 and 29, and April 5 and 12, each day starting at 12:00 noon. However, thanks to the students’ efforts, the move is progressing much faster than anticipated. This means that we may not need all of the planned dates.
And, of course, we will also have to move the books and furniture back once the construction of Dina’s Dwelling is complete. This will be in the second half of 2015 when the apartments and the new worship space in the church building will be ready.
As labor intensive as all these efforts may be, it is important to remember the three beneficiaries of the project:
- The women and children, victims of domestic violence who find a new home in our church building,
- Our congregation as it will receive a more appropriate sanctuary, combined with a modest income and cost savings,
- And the wider community whose historic identity and heritage is preserved in all of it.