A storm ripped through Denver on Saturday night. The running joke among the church staff is that storms always hit on Saturday nights. Never on Monday when you have all week to get ready for the following Sunday. Nope, Saturday nights.
This storm did a surprising amount of damage in a fairly concentrated area. Several areas of roofing on the Education Building and the office were torn off. Water spouts were wrenched away from buildings. We had no internet or streaming capabilities. Even flowers in the pollinator garden were uprooted.
Yet all of these things can be fixed without too much trouble.
Two trees stood on the edge of campus for somewhere between 100 and 150 years. These trees feel like history. They are old and worn and weathered.
And they didn’t make it.
One of the trees toppled over completely, coming up by the roots. The other was severely damaged as well.
I arrived early to church this past Sunday just as the sun was beginning to rise. Usually I have a laundry list of items to do to get ready for the morning’s worship. But on this particular Sunday, I paused for a couple extra minutes at the foot of the fallen tree.
My mind was full of gratitude for all the tree represented.
Before the new Fellowship Hall was built in 2005, Unity members would hold their Homecoming lunch under the shade of these old branches. For a generation, the trees stood right outside of the primary sanctuary as a fixture on the horizon.
The trees remind me of all the faithful Christians who have gathered at Unity since its inception ins 1764. All of the disciples who have gone before. In many ways, we still stand on their shoulders.
The collapse of the trees is a reminder that time is always moving forward. Nothing will stay the same forever. And that’s ok.
We appreciate what we have for as long as we have it, but always with open hands, never closed fists.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. But everything else? Not so much. God is the only constant in a world that is continually churning forward.
We are currently gathering quotes to remove the fallen tree. I’ve asked that whatever company that ends up removing it commit to cutting up the base of the tree into smaller pieces.
The pieces of the tree will be available to any Unity member who would like one. Please email me at email@example.com if you would like a portion of the tree as a way to remember Unity’s history.
I look forward to gathering for worship this coming Sunday as Christians have on this site for well over 200 years. The landscape may be changed, but our mission and purpose remain the same. We gather as disciples of Christ who are seeking to be molded by him.
Wednesday night dinners continue! Join us tomorrow at 5:45 pm for dinner (or 4:45 pm for Bible study).
See you on Sunday!