Monday, February 22
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Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky
Renovated Church Provides Home for Future Generations of Faithful
Mission-Driven Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church Ready for Decade of Service
More than 100 people showed up to celebrate something very old along with something very new at Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church near Louisville, Kentucky. As part of their 150th anniversary celebration last summer, parishioners got their first look at the historic sanctuary that had been completely remodeled.
“What a joy,” said the church’s property committee chair, John Bott. “Seeing people walk in for the first time. They’re the same floors as they were when they opened the doors in 1866.”Not only did the 180-member church refinish the sanctuary floor to its original condition—patching the bad spots and sanding it—they also took out an old water boiler heater that occupied the inside walls across the back of the sanctuary.
“More than 1,600 pounds of scrap metal went to the recycler,” said Bott. “We put in forced air furnaces, spray foam installation, repainted the entire inside, and when the floors were done, we put in new pews.”
All in the span of one month.
The sanctuary renovation was the culmination of a three-year, $150,000 improvement campaign that included substantial improvements to the church’s kitchen and Family Life Center.
“When you start a project like this, you don’t really know what it’s going to look like,” says Bott. “But you have hopes. When Pastor Joel Weible and I saw the finished product, we looked at each other and said, ‘this exceeds everything we were hoping for.’”
“So much of the headline news is about church doors closing and worship services diminishing,” said Weible. “But we have been holding steady, bucking trends, little by little growing from generation to generation.”
In his sermon that Sunday, Weible pointed to the cushions on the seats of the new pews, asking, “Are you comfortable?” to great laughter.
His point: Now is the time to turn outward again to live into the gospel by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing shelter to strangers and visiting prisoners.
“We’ve done something good for years ahead,” said Weible. “But it wasn’t just for ourselves. For those arriving now, and those who will be coming, we’ve prepared a stage to provide needs for the next couple of generations. That’s the joy of it for me.”
“Your faith means a lot to you,” said Bott. “A number of kids who have gone to college have moved back and returned to church. There’s a big-time satisfaction knowing we’ve made a commitment to their future. We’re here, we’re strong, and we hope to be for a long time.”
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of heaven and earth, we remember before you the work of those whose earthly mission is accomplished. Send us into the world, as you sent them, to extend the loving rule of the one you sent, Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.