The DNA of This Community by Joan Dennehy

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground. (Rumi)

On December 11, 1960 there was a service of dedication for the new building on Findlay Street. Pastor Hawkins called that day a fulfillment of the dream of this congregation. “Several years have passed since this hope was first born,” he wrote, “but in spite of difficulties and hardships we, through faith, have built this monument of our faith in and love for God, the Builder and Creator of the world.” It was 53 years earlier that Findlay St. Christian Church first took root on that property. A heavy snowfall resulted in extensive damage to the structure. When it was repaired, a porch was added. Seventeen years later a west unit was built; five years later, the east unit was completed. Twenty years later came the dedication service aforementioned.

The Chairman of the Building Committee was Harold Burns, husband of Bernice Burns. Part of what he wrote in the bulletin that day follows: “Do you think we can manage the cost? was the question asked when we first looked into the idea of building. Well...five years later, here we are with a new Educational Unit and a new Sanctuary, and faith that we can do it. These have been an exciting five years leading to this day. There have been days of despair, days of hope, days of indecision, and days of vigorous advance. Faith plus work equals victory. With faith in God all things are possible. These are the two slogans to which we have held fast. As our vision has grown, so our faith has grown in measure, heaped full and running over.”

Do these words remind you of present times? It is in the DNA of this congregation to, with the help of God alive in people, produce something out of next-to-nothing. This is not the first time the people of God called Findlay/ Welcome Table have thrown themselves into the future half blind!

When I arrived as pastor in 1992 there were 25 members left in the church. Spirits were low. Bodies were tired. The operating budget groaned. Again, with next to nothing, the church found a way forward and grew 4 times its size. It also grew its spiritual depth in order to be the builders for the next generations. I’m just saying...it is in the DNA of this community...

The Elders came up with a great idea! Beginning in September we will give two minutes of worship time to a “Moment of History.” If you have a memory, reflection, story to share, let me know and we’ll get you scheduled. As sounds of construction ring like music to the ear, we will be helped by people upon whose shoulders we stand. The ancestors can barely contain themselves in that gourd we put out each Sunday!

Looking for patterns,
—Joan