Found in the Fire
On December 5, 2020 a six-alarm fire spread from the building next door and burned our beautiful sanctuary to the ground. Like any devastating loss, grief isn’t neatly contained within ensuing weeks and healing isn’t linear. Pain crests in waves; innocuous details can ignite fresh sorrow. And as we approach the one-year anniversary of the fire, we know that this trauma rises nearer to the surface.
This congregation knows deeply, however, that grief isn’t the only story from the previous year: We’ve also witnessed incredible resilience, potent testament to the power of fierce love to overcome death. We’ve organized teach-ins, coordinated pop-up vaccination sites, distributed food to folks who need it, and danced in the street beneath the shadow of our burned-out steeple. We may find ourselves in wilderness, but we are not alone. And we are living resurrection.
Join Our Worship Pilgrimage
On Sunday, December 5, 11:45 a.m. ET, we invite you to join a special worship celebration where we will walk from Calvary Church to the Middle building site on 2nd Avenue. Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis will preach fuel for our journey and, when we arrive, we will celebrate communion together—honoring the brokenness of Jesus’ body beside our own. Together, we will proclaim new life. Buses will be available for those who cannot or do not wish to walk, and congregants joining us online will be guided through a beautiful virtual pilgrimage.
At any point during the day, we invite members of the congregation and our wider community to bring an offering to leave by the construction fence. It could be flowers, ribbon, or a favorite photograph in the sanctuary. But lay down something beautiful, so we can make an ofrenda that speaks to all the love shared within those walls.
After worship, we will provide hot chocolate, tea and cookies so we can process our anniversary grief together, and Rev. Natalie Renee Perkins will hold virtual processing space on Zoom. This is your opportunity to talk about your untouched grief, to share the pain we still carry and know it will be held in love. Don’t shoulder that weight alone.
As we continue to recover from the fire, we need your help! Make a donation now to our general fund, so we can rise with the same fierce love that filled our sanctuary.
Participate in our #FoundInTheFire Campaign
Between the December 5 and December 31, we want to tell the world the beautiful story of our community’s resilience. Particularly amid an ongoing pandemic and unending violence, our church is a living reminder: we cannot control tragedy but we but true strength lies in how we react to it. So tell us: What have you learned while processing your grief? Click the flyer below to send us your reflection, and post on social with the hashtag #FoundInTheFire.