This weekend and the first preview service at the Perryville campus, marks another turning point for Restore Church. How many turning points can a body of believers sustain? How could it be? What are we thinking? Is it even possible? How rash! How sudden! Will we all just crash and burn?
Or, will God's hand touch this crazy vision, reach across the river and simply, make it so?
The truth is, there aren't enough reasons not to try it. If God leads, we will succeed. It may not feel like the most reasonable expansion of a church only six months old and yet there's something right and good about this leap of faith.
You see, our chairs are mostly full on the weekend. Even I, just a worker bee, can see our precious Ontario Street site is too small to meet the traffic. Initially, the Restore team had wanted a bigger venue in Havre de Grace. But just like Mary and Joseph walked from place to place in Bethlehem, looking for a suitable place, there was none. The buildings were full and occupied. And so, we landed in a humble "stable," our little country church that rocks with contemporary sound, edgy videos, tears and laughter as we walk through the scriptures and message with Jess Bousa each weekend on Saturday night at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 9, 10:15 & 11:30 a.m. at the Havre de Grace Campus, and now at 10:15 a.m. at the Perryville High School Campus!
It's a grand experiment.
I had a friend who used to teach fifth grade science and she would tell me how much she enjoyed setting up experiments for her kids and watching the wonder in their eyes as they interacted with chemicals and gravity and magnetism and so forth. I asked her, "you do a practice run-through of the experiment on your own, right? . . . to make sure it works?" And she laughed at me and said, "Absolutely not, we experience our successes and failures together. We learn!"
And so we do the same at Restore. We go, we work, we give, we volunteer, and we dream. We stumble and we fumble and we learn. We are just regular folks who follow the direction of our young leadership team and in exchange, they give their full energy to the work of God. Is it so much for us to throw in a little grace and prayer? Well, okay, a lot of prayer.
So, it's happening. It's another location and another opportunity to connect with people who want to meet God in their lives, to work out this thing called faith together, and to build meaningful relationships. Whether it's on the street or in a gym or in a country church, whether it's in Perryville or Havre de Grace or who knows where next, God can show up and manifest hope and joy.
This church, this irregular goofy House dedicated to Christ, this unfamiliar method of growing a collective is crossing a lot of rivers, not just the Susquehanna. We're crossing boundaries; we're crossing over the "shoulds" and the "shouldn'ts." Really, don't each of us need to make some of these crossings within our own souls: from despair to hope, from fear to trust, from betrayal to renewal? It's always a little dangerous to make such crossings. We might get wet.
Crossing the River,
Restore Church Volunteer