There is a new sign in front of our church. It is the mandatory project sign that will be with us for the duration of Preservation Project Phase 1, i.e. approximately four or five years. The sign was a presupposition for our first quarterly report, due on January 15, 2010.
When Julius and I dug the holes for the signposts, I felt like a dream come true. After all, the biggest word on the sign is the word PRESERVED;. It implies that the worst part of the project is already behind us, when the sign is established — the application process for the state grant, and the creation of the preservation plan that preceded it.
Theologically, the word PRESERVED; is perhaps questionable. Ministry is never about preserving oneself, but about serving others. However, it doers not take much to realize that our very preservation project bears all the marks of service:
- It secures the brick-and-mortar shelter for all our ministries. Without a roof, they would all fall apart and have no place here in the inner city.
- It serves the identity development of our community. Without its historic heritage, much of our community would be exchangeable and meaningless you could have it anywhere in the world. Our old buildings contribute to the particularity of New Brunswick.
- It serves the legacy of our ancestors who would not have expected anything less from us but to do our utmost to keep this steeple in town.
If you look at it in this way, our project sign is a pretty special sign, wouldn’t you say?