Millersport Covenant Church celebrated our 26th anniversary back on July 5th and I have the gray hairs to prove it. Interestingly enough, we have never owned our own building anytime during our 26 year history–until last week that is.
Back in early May, I heard a knock on my door at around 10 a.m. When I opened the door it was Rick Hoskinson (Director for all the Hoskinson-Schoedinger Funeral Homes surrounding the Buckeye Lake area). Rick got straight to the point and said that he and Randy and Mike Schoedinger wanted to GIFT their Millersport Chapel on Summerland Beach Road to our church. The proposal essentially left me speechless.
I contacted our leaders and we met. We called our congregation together and we committed ourselves to prayer. (Some would have considered this a no brainer decision, but not for vagabonds like us.) We prayed, we discussed, we explored every reason why we shouldn’t do this and all the obvious reasons why we should. Then we met again and took a vote and the decision was unanimous by all those present to accept the Chapel Gift.
Long story short, we closed on the property this past Thursday.
Our gratitude to Randy & Mike Schoedinger and Rick Hoskinson is both deep and sincere. Rick Hoskinson and I have done some pretty tough funerals together since he first came to Kirkersville, even before he became more broadly involved with the Schoedingers in Thornville, Hebron, and Millersport. As most of you know, the reputation these gentlemen have for providing extraordinary care is well earned. They are quality people and it shows. And the Gift of this Chapel to us is just another example of the character and generosity that undergirds the exceptional services they provide.
Those of us at Millersport Covenant Church are enormously grateful to God for His orchestration of this whole amazing thing. Rick Hoskinson prayed and had peace about the matter long before the rest of us, yet he waited until all the lights turned green for those of us at MCC. Our Lord has been faithful to us and blessed us through the years wherever we have met: our living room, the basement of the old Methodist Church, Millersport Elementary, Hometown Hotdog, Dupler’s woods, Keller’s barn, around campfires and even on Buckeye Lake. We are sincerely appreciative to all those who have been so hospitable, not to mention patient.
We have been humbled to the core by this Gift and likewise by the outpouring of support from the community. Many have made generous contributions to our church to help with replacing the roof and other facility-related needs. Others have volunteered to help us with projects. Saying THANK YOU sounds anemic, just way too inadequate for expressing our hearts to all who have given to us the past couple months. Our prayer is that we steward your gifts wisely, faithfully, and fruitfully .
I shared this past Sunday as we met in our new church home that this Chapel Gift in many ways is a metaphor for the Gospel. This building was freely offered though we certainly did not deserve it, could never afford it, and we sure could not have earned it. Despite our sin and rebellion against God the Father, He offered us His Son-Jesus, to die on a Cross in our place to win us back and make us His own. What Jesus accomplished by dying in our place we certainly did not deserve, couldn’t afford, and in no way could have ever earned. May the Lord enable us to do His will and accomplish His work, in this place and beyond, for the glory of His name!
“But every good endowment that we possess and every complete gift that we have received must come from above, from the Father of all lights, with whom there is never the slightest variation or shadow of inconsistency.” – James 1:17 (Phillips)
Grateful beyond measure,
Pastor Steve Bush