In 2015 we began brainstorming new ways in which our church could reach out to our community. The premise of the discussion was that we wanted to do whatever we could to improve our missions and programs, while embracing our core Christian values. We prayed and thought about what people’s needs are and how we might be able to respond to those with God’s help. “Patio Discussions” were held in the summertime: small groups meeting in members’ homes. Task forces were formed to identify church renovations that would allow us to proceed with our goals. We generated some very good, wide-ranging ideas, namely,
- Feed the hungry,
- Reduce energy consumption,
- Improve youth programs and community small-group programs in health, counseling or support,
- Improve the parking lot, lighting, signs and sanctuary to make us more visible, welcoming and accessible to guests at our worship services,
- Support large gatherings for dinners, lectures, seminars, wedding receptions and other events,
- Make the sanctuary more welcoming, with a better sound system and new coat of paint.
We voted to feed the hungry by offering free pancake breakfasts each month. These have been happening since 2015. We refitted our “Rainbow House” to be the Ledyard Food Pantry! This has been open since 2016.
We installed a new, energy-efficient furnace. Solar panels are planned for installation in 2017.
The Lester Room, formerly set up as a nursery school room, was transformed with paint, carpet and easy chairs into a comfortable area for youth meetings, group discussions and other types of community gatherings.
The parking lot by the Social Hall door was also repaved and re-lined. Removal of the center island resulted in more parking places and safer maneuvering. It created additional parking close to the Ledyard Food Pantry.
The remodeling of Fellowship Hall was finished in 2016. This area now has a larger kitchen, new bathrooms and closets, handicapped-accessible bathrooms, a new ceiling and well-insulated, finished walls instead of cinderblock. A new floor is to be added when more pledges are received.
Our historic 1840’s sanctuary, home to worship every Sunday, received a wonderful new sound system. There are microphones for the choir and keyboard now! New paint is planned.
Beautiful work, thanks to all those who donated their time and money to this effort. Rise and Shine is not over yet! As pledges and extra donations come in, we will be able to continue with our work.
We now enjoy better serving the community in the many ways we felt called to go.