Florence Congregational Church
Thursday, February 20, 2020
A Place to Connect

Pastor Irv’s Corner - March 2014

Life is at an odd place.  

As Brenda and walked out the parsonage back door on Valentine’s Day for our last time, I reflected back on our arrival back in September of 2005.  Back then, the parsonage was being cleaned and prepared for our arrival by several church members who desperately wanted to make our new home welcoming.  Other than the kitchen, the house was in tip top shape when we arrived.  As you may all remember, Don Dupes was demo’ing the kitchen so that when we arrived I could remodel the kitchen and create the kitchen we now have enjoyed over eight years.  I worked at the kitchen design plans with a small committee, assisted by Don at times, several subcontractors, and my brother who came from Maine to help install the new cabinets.  Because, I had my pastoral duties to attend to, this project took a while and was only completed one day before our first annual Christmas Open House in December of 2005.

Our stay at the Pine Street parsonage has been most delightful and yet at times, a little challenging.  Three years after completing the kitchen we discovered the dining room ceiling was collapsing.  There were signs well in advance of the ceiling tiles that began to loosen dropping debris onto our table.  Again, calling upon my brother in Maine, he and I repaired and reinforced the sagging/broken beam in the ceiling.  Brenda and I spent the next several months resurfacing, priming and painting the dining room walls and floor.

The last couple of years we have worked at other more generalized projects of dealing with the basement, yard work, some exterior painting and other issues that have arose.  Most recently, we had to repair/reinforce roof rafters that were cracked and split (These were discovered by the buyer’s building inspector.)

Backing up to the listing of the parsonage in September of 2013 - it is bitter sweet that eight years from the time of our arrival our home would go up for sale.  I think we somehow became quite attached to the parsonage, especially the delightful large rooms, renovated spaces and the fun times on the front porch with friends, family and neighbors.   We have enjoyed annual Open Houses with all of you sharing delicious treats, your time, stories and laughter.  And, we have been privileged to walk to work for over eight years.

So….. Thank you all for making this happen.  We have amazing memories of our time at 122 Pine Street.  We leave with many emotions stirring in our heart…. Many good feelings, warmth, joy, happiness and delight…. While at the same time, a sadness in leaving its beauty and blessing of comfort and safety.  We shall always remain appreciative of this time at the parsonage.

And now our journey takes a new path to 298 Ryan Road.  We moved to Ryan Road amid hundreds of boxes.  Very much like our move into the parsonage, our home on Ryan Road was without a kitchen.  It too needed upgrading and renovation.  So, as I write Brenda and I continue to settle in to our home amid the boxes - slowly unpacking, sorting and organizing.  It feels good to be there.  We feel blessed to have found a place less than a mile from church and look forward to serving you and Christ together as we begin another chapter. 

Lastly, I sense that there are mixed emotions regarding the sale of the parsonage… some feeling great relief from the constant financial strain of owning the parsonage while others saddened to lose the property.  This is natural.  As we turn the page and as a church begin to write the next chapter we need to focus on how our energy will best serve God.  Without the worry and constant maintenance of the parsonage to attend to, can we redirect our attention to envisioning who God calls us to be?  Can, will we direct our attention to God’s call of the Florence Congregational Church to engage in ministering to the Florence community and beyond? 

Where do you fit in?  What is God calling you to do?  In the upcoming months, beginning with Lenten worship, we will focus on God’s intention… or maybe better said, how we are interpreting God’s call upon us to be church… to be the people of God… to be Christ’ witness in this ever-changing 21st century world.  I invite you to consider participating in our Lenten journey of discernment… consider engaging in the conversation of the church’s future… listen to God… search your heart… pray, reflect, and consider what God is doing and what God is calling you (us) to do.

Lent is the time to examine… to evaluate… to discern God’s purpose for your life.  As we all intentionally look deep inside, may we respond boldly to God’s intent…. May God give us a clear vision of our future together, and may we respond with commitment, determination, zeal and courage.

In Christ, Pastor Irv

Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325


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