Posted by: coolerbecky | June 7, 2009

The Church with the Roof

Three years ago, the church next to my house burned down to the ground as I slept in my bed. I was very sick with a fever that night. I remember being startled at the sound of sirens and opening my curtains to admire the view. The redness of the fire was so pretty against the night sky. The next morning, when I felt better, I looked over my balcony as I watered my plants and the church was gone.

Two years ago, I passed in front of that same church. At the time, I was sort of between churches. To be honest, I hadn’t been attending any church for about three years by then. I was having a few problems with faith. I was having a few problems with everything, really. But that’s not the point of this story. The thing was, I saw the sign they’d posted up and I decided to go to St Barnabas, just this once.

Two years later and I’m still a part of the St Barnabas community. The people at St Barnabas made me feel welcome, but more importantly, they made me feel like I was accepted, like I was part of a family.

Sometimes, a church burning down is one of the best things to happen. If St Barnabas had never burned down, I would probably never have come back to Christ. Tragedies like this help us remember that the church is not a building, but it’s the people that are a part of it that really count.

Still, it’s difficult to function without a building and St Barnabas is finally ready to rebuild – we’ve finally received development approval from the City of Sydney for construction of the new church building, one with a rather unique roof design.

Unfortunately, like any church, we don’t exactly have a lot of money lying around. Even after collecting the insurance from the burning of the previous building, we still need over $6 million to actually start construction. There’s a giving program that’s going on at the church, but we really could use all the help we can get!

I’m pretty excited about this new building, actually. We had a talk on it recently and I’m very pumped about it. The new building will have an auditorium big enough to seat up to 600 people and will also include a number of meeting rooms, catering facilities, underground parking and (always important) bike racks! Plans are underway for the church to become more of a part of the wider community. With the larger space, we can actually let out the hall to community initiatives and as a meeting space.

I’m really looking forward to this new church space and I hope someday to be able to see this building completed. In the meantime, you can still check St Barnabas out at their temporary home in Moore College and also at the official St Barnabas website – http://www.barneys.org.au

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