Monday, November 9, 2009

Help a child to hear
memorial mission concert

Emmanuel's new facilities were filled to capacity with people who came out for a musical evening of singing and playing in honor of Doris Frederick and in support of Dr. Lori Mercer.

Doris was a recent head of the church's Mission and Outreach Committee, a church elder who had served on session, and a woman through whom Christ's love and love of life shone minute-by-minute. Highly organized and deftly diplomatic, she got things done with warmth and humor and by her example showed others how.

Lori, a long-time member of Emmanuel, elder, session member, choir member, youth leader, is also an audiologist who has traveled to Guatemala with a Northwest medical team to provide children with hearing aids, each of which costs $250. Lori paid her own way to Guatemala, and Doris had encouraged the church to support her by helping fund the hearing aids.

All concert proceeds went to the purchase of hearing aids. Church treasurer Deb Melse reported on Sunday morning that the concert had raised nearly $2,500, enough for 10 hearing aids.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The view of the building
in the architect's drawing

This series of 38 photos takes about 76 seconds to track construction from the same point of view ... pretty much ... as the architect's sketch of the front of the building. It starts the day we moved the organ and piano out of the sanctuary and ends Sunday, Oct. 25.

Remember, if you can not see the photos on the blog, you may need to install a new version of Flash on your computer. This is fairly easy. Go to and follow the instructions. It should take less than half a dozen mouse clicks. Please let me know if this helps.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Party

The first big fellowship event in our new fellowship space involved lots of kids and parents and pumpkin pieces.

This starts with a few photos of the outside of the building in nearly its final form. Only the cross and the brickwork around the awning support remain unfinished outside, I think.

Then, there are a few shots of pumpkin carvers, and the treats they got. Each pumpkin carved received an award from youth group judges.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Come to the sanctuary,
which he has consecrated

On Consecration Sunday, the sanctuary was filled to overflowing with old friends and new families. The folding rear wall was opened so that all could be seated. Pastor Steve welcomed the congregation to the future of Emmanuel.

Deb and Liz reported on the highly successful open house the previous day. Corey Schlosser-Hall, executive presbyter of North Puget Sound Presbytery, gave an energetic welcome and invocation, presenting Emmanuel with a painting from a San Antonio artist that imbued Christian and Presbyterian symbols with color and vitality.

After the call to worship from Sally Hanson, we sang an original Dedication Hymn with words by member Lee S. to the tune of Danny Boy. Later, Florence sang a solo rendition of "Save Us, O Lord," as the congregation joined in on the refrain. Liz led the choir in "How Firm a Foundation." Christina joined Stephen on the piano accompaniment.

Steve M., who was head of both the Stewardship and Finance Committee and the Building Committee for the planning, financing and construction of the project, summarized the steps we had gone through. Then, Warren, construction supervisor, outlined how crucial Steve's leadership had been throughout the long, winding, sometimes frustrating process of design, permitting and financing.

Pastor Steve welcomed back several charter members of Emmanuel who had bought the property and gathered and constructed the three buildings that served the church for most of its history. He also recognized other long-time members. He especially welcomed the Rev. Floyd Cronkite, who as the church's founding pastor served some 30 years, starting in 1963, and his wife, Sherry, who was essential to the church's music ministry, among other things.

Sydney led the younger church in a stewardship lesson and helped them explain the "Welcoming the Future" posters they had drawn for this year's combined capital stewardship campaign. After Pastor Steve's message, "Unless the Lord Build the House," Liz led the Youth Choir in "God Is Building a House," self-accompanied with hand chimes.

Then, the youth brought forward baskets of items emblematic of the many ministries and missions of Emmanuel, which Pastor Steve proceeded to consecrate in dedicating our rebuilt structure to God's work.

As the ushers collected the offering, Dave, Pamm and Haley sang "The Blessing" as the offertory.

The fellowship area was soon filled with a roar of conversation as new, old and potential members made friends over coffee and cookies and wondered at what God hath wrought.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What He opens no one can shut

Visitors, neighbors, family, friends and church members surged through the brand-new doors of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church Saturday to be welcomed by friends and by loved ones, and then given informal tours of our new and rebuilt facilities.

The steady stream of visitors got a steady stream of cookies, cakes and breads, plus various refreshments. The kitchen pass-through featured a thank-you poster to St. Brendan Catholic Church for its gracious hospitality to us nearly every Sunday morning for the past year.

Bob J. played the piano in the sanctuary for several hours, providing a pleasant soundtrack to the buzz of conversation that filled the narthex, the hallway and the preschool rooms. Liz's display showed off Music Ministries. Another display reminded us of the upcoming "Help a Child to Hear" Mission Concert in memory of Doris Frederick. The concert will help gather contributions to support Dr. Lori Mercer's trip to provide hearing aids for children in Guatemala.

Mission and Outreach attracted attention to its many ministries with a display of coffee, tea and chocolate for sale.

Parents and children admired the four rooms in the new Matthews Education Wing. Signs on the doorways pointed out the multiple uses each room is supporting from preschool classrooms to church groups to community meeting places. Visitors could build a house for bats (more than a dozen) or fashion a set of custom-beaded earrings (dozens).

Sydney, Hank and Paul inflated, tied and strung dozens of colorful helium-filled balloons all day long. At one point, several youth decided that it would be awesome to hook up a string of them across the front lawn. Awesome, indeed. Until a string slipped somehow. Suddenly, one of Emmanuel's leafless trees was bearing yellow, green, red, purple and orange fruit. Sydney says visitors increased soon afterward.

Phyllis helped longtime members and former members find themselves or their children or buddies of yesteryear in several old photo albums.

Afternoon thunderstorms and cloudbursts, which strained the capabilities of the still unfinished front awning, didn't dampen a euphoric feeling that Emmanuel had finally moved in and taken possession of its new home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Its windows were placed high

Warren spent most of Friday afternoon up in the air on scaffolding washing the inside of the windows in the clerestory. He also suspended a cross from the east window of the clerestory. This is the cross that for the past year has hung every Sunday on a banner in front of the congregation. Then, he went even higher to replace a porcelain fixture holding a naked bulb. He installed a spotlight there aimed at the cross. His supporting crew moved the scaffolding around the narthex from window to window and, in the end, helped dismantle and store it.

About 4 p.m., crews of congregation members arrived to set up displays for Saturday's open house representing missions, music, preschool, children and youth, hospitality and others. Sue captured photos of the final product waiting in the shadows the night before the big day.

Some of you have indicated a difficulty seeing the photos that go with the blog. You may need to install a new Flash player on your computer. This is fairly easy. Go to and follow the instructions. It should take less than half a dozen mouse clicks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

They sat down to eat their meal

And then they got up and worked all day on building projects.

There were 13 diners, including the two cooks, Frank and Dave McC, at the first monthly Men's Fellowship Breakfast in the new building. Among those chowing down on pancakes, sausage patties, hash browns, scrambled eggs, coffee and orange juice in addition to the cooks were Warren, Bill, Bob, Earl, Jim, Erik, Lee, Dave S., Clair, Larry and Bram.

While few could stay all day, Warren and Bram worked all day on installing the awning panels. Only one panel remains to be put in place. Bob J. and Dave S. turned nearly a dozen 2x4s into thin furring strips that had to placed between the awning's stringers and the plastic panels that make up its roof. They also applied foam tape to the fittings that hold the awning panels in place. Mike couldn't make breakfast but helped out with the awning panels in the afternoon.

Clair and Earl sealed the seams of the vinyl flooring in several rooms. Paul, who also missed breakfast, made sure fire extinguishers were installed correctly, among other things. Dave McC. helped out in several places. Larry and Lee gathered and cut 2x2s, 2x4s and 1/2" plywood sheets left over from construction, or from the deconstruction of the mobile units. They'll be used for shelves in the preschool/Sunday school storage room. Dave McC. and Doug pitched in to move usable -- but surplus -- lumber from the northside lawn to protected storage near the garage.