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Sacred Space

Hello Friends!

Recently I was sharing with a friend my memories and love of the church that sponsored me for ordination – Ascension Episcopal in Dallas, TX. I told her I loved sitting in the sanctuary so I could marvel at the marks on the floor tiles from the faithful people who gathered there – year after year after year. I loved how I could sit and pray and watch the sun shine in through the windows and think about how many children and youth would count the lights in the ceiling and look to discover which abstract stained glass looked like a “Power Puff Girl”; and how wonderful it is that the youth and their wanderings would always come back to some experience of God in the space. I loved that space. It was a true sanctuary for me. The place where I could find God and know, that no matter what I did or didn’t do, I was valued, loved, and cherished by my community and by Jesus my savior.

I shared with my friend, how our new space fills me with the same emotions. I find it to be a space full of warmth, love, charm, grace, and forgiveness. Imagine my horror and surprise when a few weeks after sharing these thoughts, I found out that my beloved Ascension in Dallas was ripping out their tile floor and making way for a new floor and improvements. I’m pretty sure I screamed “nooooooooooo” in my head and considered asking them for one of the tiles. Why so bummed, I thought. They are doing the same thing we are doing with the new St. Nick’s. Making improvements and changing the space to fit the current needs. I am sure they are simply trying to exercise healthy and holy stewardship for their beautiful church space.

Such a “churchy” word…stewardship. Stewardship is our personal response to God. We often see stewardship as the sharing of our time, talent, or money in response to God’s generosity and blessing in our lives. It is often dismissed as a season of the church year where budgets are created, and pledges are garnered. I think healthy and holy stewardship is when we make God’s love known through all that we have and all that we are. When we make meals for friends or give offerings of money to churches or food banks, we are being good stewards. When we care for the world around us and pick up trash, or recycle, or walk instead of drive, we are being good stewards. When we invest our time, energy, and resources in our communities and in one another, we are being good stewards.

We are being called to be healthy and holy stewards for our new space. And already, I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence and am filled with hopefulness for our future. You see, the gift Ascension in Dallas gave me and my family was not the gift of a holy space. They gave us the gift of hope in a God who is full of love, grace, and forgiveness. And it wasn’t the space that gifted us with those attributes – it was the people. The space simply holds the body of Christ, the church, together so God can be made known in our midst.

Our new church space will be our sacred space where we will be fed, loved, nurtured, and challenged. It will be the space where we know, without a doubt, that we are loved beyond measure. Well, what am I even saying… it already is a sacred space! So much love and care has been poured out over the last month. Our new church is the space where you can come and know you are loved. The walls are newly painted but there are prayers behind the paint for you. We are surrounded and upheld by prayers and bible verses underneath our newly improved painted space. Prayers of thankfulness for our church St. Nicholas Hill Country Episcopal Church. Prayers for God to sustain and bless St. Nick’s. Prayers for St. Nick’s to believe that anything can happen. Prayers for St. Nick’s to be a long-term blessing for the communities of Bulverde and Spring Branch. All of those prayers are being held by the space, but they are for you – the body of Christ, the church, St. Nick’s.

God bless you and your loving, grace-filled, forgiving selves.