I don’t know about you, but one of the most dangerous things I did during this pandemic was to turn on Home and Garden Television (HGTV). I know, I live on the edge, but hear me out. HGTV is dangerous because it gave me ideas, and ideas led to trips to Harbor Freight, and trips to Harbor Freight led to purchasing 28-foot scaffolding, and scaffolding may have led to teenagers performing front-flips onto giant bean bags. See? Dangerous!
In spite of the dangers involved in watching home improvement shows . . . I still do it. I try to quit, but there is an allure to seeing a project take shape. In all the shows, I love the phrase, “This place has good bones.” Good bones means that you have something solid to work with. It means you know it is going to be incredible in the end.
About two years ago, the members of Carbon Valley Lutheran in Firestone, Colo., started our own rehabilitation ride. After years of searching, we found some “good bones” at a former plant nursery—an all-steel structure, 3.5 acres, commercial zoning, sewer, water, parking lot, streetlights, landscaping, and water tap all were there. We could work with this.
But there’s another reason HGTV is dangerous. It inspires you to take that leap of renovation faith without really showing all the time and work that goes into the final project. And yet that work is really what gets you to the big reveal. Don’t worry, we didn’t stop being a church. We continued worshiping in a local elementary school, strengthening the faith of our members. We reached out to our community through service projects and local festivals. We raised money through the generosity of our people. We asked the right questions and walked through the loan and town processes. We rolled with the twists and turns and ultimately stepped out in faith.
And when the pandemic took our public school location, the bones of our building became our impromptu worship location. We worshiped outdoors in the middle of our steel structure. We watched as the roof and walls were stripped. We saw the foundation piers being dug. We heard the concrete slabs being cut. The big reveal hasn’t happened yet, but it’s coming.
God does amazing things with bones, even more amazing than transforming an old plant nursery into a sanctuary. God brings bones to life through the perfect life of his son Jesus, and he builds up believers to make an impact on communities. He’s doing that very thing in us at Carbon Valley Lutheran and through our new building that will be used for generations to come.
We’ve had five new families visit us in the “bones” of our new building. What’s even more amazing is it seems our God isn’t content with our “bones” of a building, as one of those families has a woman whose profession is interior design and is helping us robe these “bones” with beauty.
WELS Church Extension Fund has helped make Carbon Valley Lutheran’s dream a reality by granting this home mission congregation more than $500,000 to support the purchase and construction of this worship space. CEF also financed a low-interest loan for this project.
Author: Timothy Spiegelberg
Volume 108, Number 2
Issue: February 2021