This might seem like “old” news a week later, but it still causes me to shake my head in wonder, and to spontaneously pray and praise! I waited to send this in order to ensure that the worship services toward the end of Passion Week received their due attention by all of us.
Last Tuesday, April 11th will be a date seared in my memory. At 1pm, Steve Hoogerhyde and I sat in a title company’s office to sign papers that would finalize the purchase of 21 Harristown Road. GRC now owns property and a building for the first time in our 17-year history. Ken Lont joined us to savor the historic moment! Afterwards, we then drove to the Glen Rock Borough Hall to obtain paperwork related to our new ownership. I then left Ken to drive to the building. As I drove, I had to slow down and grab some tissues as tears streamed from my eyes – tears of joy! Tears of gratitude to the Lord, for HE had done this. Tears of appreciation at this opportunity before us as a congregation: to see how God would use this new resource/tool for the proclamation of the Gospel, for the saving of souls, for the benefit of the needy, and for the building up of His people.
Al Stangl, our new facilities manager, was finishing some clean-up work as I arrived. He handed me a master key, a security access card, and left me to wander the building.
As I walked slowly around the property, I continued praying and praising. I pictured a full parking and worshippers streaming into the building. The 83 degree early April day made it even more unique. I circled the building as I prayed, pleading that God would fill this place with the power of His Spirit and cause Resurrection Power to overflow from GRC!
I then headed back to the offices in continued prayer, sat down, put on some worshipful music, closed my eyes and sung from the heart. Hours later, my family arrived, and then GRCers – almost 100 people on a mid-week night (and on a week of Spring Break for many students). We came to pray and to marvel at this gift from God. In small groups, we circled the building, pausing to pray. At 7:30, we entered the building to assemble in what will become a sanctuary. And with some of the best singing I’ve heard, we opened our time by singing a cappella “Be Thou My Vision.” In keeping with the spirit of its text, this was our prayer:
“O God, may our eyes be set upon you alone. Guard us from making this place an idol. ‘Naught be all else to me save that thou art.’ You are Wisdom and Truth. You are true treasure. You are first. You are the high king of heaven!”
And then we prayed, one by one, with great passion. And then we toured, marveling again at what God had done, and wondering what God will do there.
Through this years-long process, GRC has learned to pray. We have so much more to learn! But we’ve taken some steps in understanding how helpless we are to accomplish anything of significance and how sovereign God is to accomplish anything! We’ve seen doors close and deadlines pass, and wondered WHY?!!! And now, God has granted us the grace to see so much of His plan in the amazing provision of 21 Harristown Road, in His perfect timing – yes, for us, for our children, for the next generation. But also, for Glen Rock, for Bergen and Passaic Counties, and for the world as we send, pray, give, go… to the ends of the world.
“To God be the glory, great things he has done!”
Grace to you,
P.S. – if you haven’t had a chance to see the building yet, we’ll be scheduling a couple more opportunities in the weeks to come. The first one is Sunday, May 7th, from 1pm – 2pm.