Originally a plastics factory, the former Alcoa Corporation facility has been transformed into a beautiful worship space after two years of planning and construction. The two-story building totals 97,000 square feet and sits on six acres of land in downtown Wheaton. It not only meets current space needs for the thriving congregation but also provides significant room for growth.
Church of the Resurrection set aside the week before the dedication service as a time for members to pray, consistent with the Advent focus on preparation.
In a message to the parish Fr. Stewart Ruch, rector wrote, “Advent begins with John the Baptist’s call in the desert; ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ (Mark 1:3) This year at Resurrection, in God’s providence, Advent also marks the beginning of a new season in our ministry as we transition into our new building for Sunday morning worship. As we prepare the way for the Lord in our hearts, we are led by Joshua’s words to the people of Israel, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5)
“At the beginning of the service to consecrate a new church, the Bishop proclaims, ‘Let the doors be opened! These ancient liturgical words capture for us what God is doing spiritually in our midst. As we consecrate ourselves as a people, we will open the doors wide and celebrate the Lord’s presence among us.”
Anglican Church in North America leaders Bishop Frank Lyons, Canon Jack Lumanog and Fr. Jack Gabig participated in the joyful service.
“This is a story of obedience, patience and faithfulness over many, many years,” notes Bishop Frank Lyons.
In his sermon during the dedication service, Fr. Ruch called Resurrection to be a “house of prayer” and a “temple of God’s presence.” He focused particularly on three components of prayer consistent with Resurrection’s ethos: dwelling in the Lord’s presence; demonstrating compassion for the least and the last—those who are “scattered and like sheep without a shepherd” and “linking arms with the nations;” as well as seeking to be a house of healing, “with men and women of faith and faithfulness who are full of the Holy Spirit.”
In closing, Fr. Ruch reminded the congregation, “A church filled with God’s people is a sacrament of glory.”
“As we are awash in joy, we are also to preach and proclaim that God’s fullness and glory is still to come,” he said. “We await a new Jerusalem.”
Images by Kim Johnson Photography, copyright 2012 Church of the Resurrection.