DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

March 6, 2009

                                                           

Right above the Express Lane

“Oh! You mean THAT Washington Gladden is the same Gladden as in the name ‘Gladden Sanctuary’?!”

“Yes, it is”, said Dick Termeer, a member of church and unofficial historian of the church too.

We were speaking to the Confirmation Class the other day. Each year I have Dick come to speak to them about the 200-year history of Dublin Community Church. Each year we see a light dawn when the Confirmands connect some story or name with this church, which is their church home. Each year someone is amazed at the “Cyclone” story of how our church building survived a 1912 wind sheer which leveled the other two churches in tow. Each year someone from Sells Middle School connects the founding family of this town with this church with their school. Each year someone discovers that there are three (3!) pictures of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Each year someone realizes the complexity of the various building programs of the church, which enlarged the physical plant from just the 1877 chapel to a 1950’s building program to a couple 1960’s building programs to a 1990’s building program, which gave us the current sanctuary.

In the office are various pictures of the chapel from the outside. Our chapel and steeple are well known icons in Dublin. Many have painted and photographed the 1877 brick chapel with its white steeple. Even Kroger saw fit to put its likeness in a tableau above their express check out lanes. (We will analyze THAT at some other time. But, there is something strangely comforting about buying groceries, swiping your debit card in the computer to pay for them and then glancing upwards and seeing your church on the wall.)

One picture in the church office is a photo from the 1930’s, I suppose. It shows the Gladden Chapel. That was all we had back then. A few of our older members worshipped there at that time. But the photo is quite striking. We see light and shadows. The South wall has a painted border at the top and the stained glass windows are framed by designs with painted columns on the wall. The chair in which I sit when we have Gladden Chapel services is right there. But, back then it was not white in color. A piano and pulpit are up on the stage. Things look a bit different, but it is clearly the Gladden Chapel. It is clearly us, in the 1930’s.

Dick Termeer goes on to tell the Confirmation Class about that great “Cyclone” as the newspapers called it. He tells of the fire in the 1930’s or 40’s. He tells how the High School used to hold Graduation exercises in our sanctuary. Dick tells how Dublin Community Church worshipped in the high school for a year (the old 1919 Building) when our sanctuary caught fire and had to be re-done.

 

We are inextricably bound to Dublin and Dublin is inextricably bound to Dublin Community Church. Restaurants and businesses and coffee shops have located near us. But we and the cemetery next door remain the same. We both have our place in the community. Many of our members and friends are at rest next door. We, in Dublin Community Church continue to grow and the building expands. I trust that those who labored in this church and have now earned their reward are pleased that we remain and are a vital force in the community.

We build on their heritage; we build on their hopes and dreams. Many of their descendents are still with us and many more have joined and we have thrived, by the Grace of God.

We are in the home stretch of our Capital Campaign to pay down a portion of the mortgage and expand our ministries. It has been responsibly planned and prayerfully offered to you. Come this Sunday and hear church member Steve Earley tell why he and his family are proud to be a part of the “new” members and what this place means to them.

Think about your part in this Capital Campaign and be prepared to present your Commitment Card in worship on Sunday March 15. And carefully note, we will ask all to come forward with their cards. If you make a financial commitment, we thank you. If you cannot at this time (or previously mailed in your financial commitment), please write on that card, your prayer of gratitude for this church, and place it in the plate. We thank you for those; we recognize these unsettled financial times. Your prayers and your working with us are wonderful commitments in and of themselves. As with your weekly giving, your gifts to the Capital Campaign will be kept in strictest confidence. We will celebrate on Sunday April 5 when we have some totals.

This is an exciting time in the long life of Dublin Community Church. How could our founders ever have imagined their church and its future in the year 1811? I trust they still smile down upon us.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing