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Free lecture series – History, Culture and Conflict in the Middle East

Every Friday morning at 10 a.m. for the next several weeks, Pastor Ross will present the lectures he gave as a World Religions expert on recent Windstar Cruises. His talks give a context to the history and religion of the Ancient Near East that continue to have an impact on our world today.

December 5— Faith and Culture in the Ancient Near East
December 12— Birthplace of Empires
December 19— Mysteries of the Nabateans
January 2— Alone in the Desert: Christian Monasticism
January 9— Moses and the Crossing of the Red Sea
January 16— Children of Abraham
January 23— Alexander the Great and Hellenism
January 30— The Crusades
February 6— Lawrence of Arabia and the Allied Victory
February 13— Introduction to Islam
February 20— History, Culture and Conflict in the Mid–East

Since this series is going so far out into the future, dates may change. We’ll keep you posted here.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

A new tower for our church.

The tower is up. And we’re getting wired for electricity. Exciting times! The first picture is the tower support — then, with the help of a crane — it got lifted on top of the building and now looks like a real church tower.

That big box is about to become our tower.

The box is welded first, then covered, then lifted to the roof via crane.

The tower is up, plastered and primed.

The tower is up, plastered and primed.

Electrical conduit is being put in place.

Electrical conduit is being put in place.

Plastering is happening, too -- almost simultaneously.

Plastering is happening, too — almost simultaneously.

Oddly, tracks are cut into the freshly plastered wall for the conduit. When that's in, new plaster goes over it.

Oddly, tracks are cut into the freshly plastered wall for the conduit. When that’s in, new plaster goes over it.

These electrical boxes are in the floor of the second floor -- for the room below.

These electrical boxes are in the floor of the second floor — for the room below.

The roof is on!

Thanks to everyone who made the contributions to get the roof on the church. It was installed a week ago. Once the money was in, everything went very quickly.

Did you notice the roof??? Yes, it's here and it's installed. It took only a couple of days, once we had the materials.

Did you notice the roof??? Yes, it’s here and it’s installed. It took only a couple of days, once we had the materials.

There's now another stairway to the "grand hall" upstairs. This is in the sanctuary. Note the storage underneath -- or perhaps the area for the soundboard. And the wall behind has been plastered.

There’s now another stairway to the “grand hall” upstairs. This is in the sanctuary. Note the storage underneath — or perhaps the area for the soundboard. And the wall behind has been plastered.

Yup. That's the new roof.

Yup. That’s the new roof.

This is what the roofing looks like up close. It's very sturdy. The installers actually jump on it to lock it into place.

This is what the roofing looks like up close. It’s very sturdy. The installers actually jump on it to lock it into place.

We're not sure we'll be painting any of this -- but it's possible the beams may eventually be painted.

We’re not sure we’ll be painting any of this — but it’s possible the beams may eventually be painted.

Roof details.

Roof details.

New roof over the narthex.

New roof over the narthex.

The new roof over the "grand hall."

The new roof over the “grand hall.”

The dark room in the back will be the classroom for the Instituto.

The dark room in the back will be the classroom for the Instituto.

Celador, our night watchman.

Celador, our night watchman.

A new face for our church building.

We’ve ordered the remainder of the roofing materials — thank you for your generous donations! — but they haven’t arrived quite yet. In the meantime, the workers have been plastering. They’ve also been working on the tower, creating a framework for its support.

Outside the new church building

The outside of the building has been plastered, giving it a very different look.

The north side of the new church building

More new plaster. It’s looking pretty elegant, don’t you think?

Tower support for the new church.

This big frame is going to be the support for the tower.

Work continues on the church construction.

We’ve shown you lots of building pictures lately, but not a lot of people. And, of course, the church is really the people, not the building! So we’ve put some people pictures from this past Sunday in this post, too.

We haven't shown our beautiful model of the building on this page yet. Right now most of the construction is what you see on the right side of this model.

We haven’t shown our beautiful model of the building on this page yet. Right now most of the construction is what you see on the right side of this model.

This is the part of the building that is going up right now.

This is the part of the building that is going up right now.

This week the outside facade has gone up. The roof itself will be angled, but the outside is built to make it look level. On the right-hand (northeast) corner, we'll have a tower.

This week the outside facade has gone up. The roof itself will be angled, but the outside is built to make it look level. On the right-hand (northeast) corner, we’ll have a tower.

The facade from the inside. Once the roof is in place, we won't see this anymore.

The facade from the inside. Once the roof is in place, we won’t see this anymore.

This gives some perspective of how tall the structure is.

This gives some perspective of how tall the structure is.

The facade from the inside, on the second level.

The facade from the inside, on the second level.

The tower will be built over the section directly across.

The tower will be built over the section directly across.

Rosie and Arnie.

Rosie and Arnie.

Grace!

Grace!

Ralph and Pat.

Ralph and Pat.

The younger crowd.

The younger crowd.

The MUCH younger crowd.

The MUCH younger crowd.

Gentlemen.

Gentlemen.

Ladies.

Ladies.

More progress on the church building

While we’re waiting for the rest of the roofing materials to be manufactured and delivered, other jobs are being worked on.

(Speaking of the roof . . . don’t forget that we have a deadline on our matching gift that will help us finish the roof and more. If you give before the end of July 2014, the amount will be doubled — up to $25,000 USD! More info here.)

Working on the new sidewalk.

Working on the new sidewalk.

New sidewalk on the north side of the church.

New sidewalk on the north side of the church.

Added support for the tower.

Added support for the tower.

The lake side of the church is growing, too.

The lake side of the church is growing, too.

Continuing to build walls on the lake side.

Continuing to build walls on the lake side.

A wonderful opportunity.

From Pastor Ross Arnold:

I reported to the church some weeks ago that gifts for the new building were sufficient to complete the most costly and challenging part of our church building project – installation of the roof over the sanctuary.

Unfortunately, this has proven not to be the case.  Costs to get the walls ready to receive the new roof have been far higher than expected.  This means we are now running at least $15,000 USD short of the funds needed to complete the roof.

The elders of our Session – the senior leaders in our church – have approved taking money from our contingency reserve as needed to pay construction costs – up to a point.  But with regular expenses to take care of, you can understand our reluctance to do so right now.

There is some very good news in the midst of this need!

One very generous couple in our church has offered to give up to $25,000 USD to finish the roof of the new church and to meet other expenses, if necessary.  Understandably, however, they want to encourage others in our congregation and community to also give.  For that reason, instead of an outright gift, they are offering to MATCH all gifts that come in for our new church building over the next two months, up to $25,000.

This means every $50 gift given now for the new church will be matched and will become $100; every $100 gift will become $200. 

This is a wonderful opportunity for us to push forward on our new church, and to ensure all our other needs are met – because it will mean no funds will need to be redirected from our church contingency fund to pay commitments we have made related to the new church roof.

We hope you will take advantage of this special opportunity and give generously now. Just click this Donate button to get started:

When you click, you’ll be taken to a secure site hosted by PayPal.com. You can use your credit card, debit card or checking account to donate in US dollars, Canadian dollars, Mexican pesos or any other currency.

When PayPal asks you to “Please review your donation,” under the name Presbyterian Lakeside Ministry, click “Add special instructions to the seller” and tell us this gift is for the Building Matching Fund.

Remember, every gift you give before the end of July will be doubled! 

If you give by check or in an offering envelope at church, please make sure you note that your gift is for the new church building so it will be clear which gifts are eligible for the match.

God has done and continues to do great things – miraculous things – in and through our church, and I believe our greatest days are still ahead.  But challenges will arise, and God expects us to step up and meet those challenges.  This is our opportunity to do just that.  Please give generously.

Crossbeams added to our new roof.

The work on the roof continues this week. We were hoping to beat the rainy season — but the rains have come early. No matter. We’re still making a lot of progress. And the area needs the extra rain!

At the entrance.

At the entrance.

This week new crossbeams were added to the roof.

This week new crossbeams were added to the roof.

From the corner of the sanctuary toward the main door.

From the corner of the sanctuary toward the main door.

Many crossbeams.

Many crossbeams.

Love this beautiful colonnade . . . adding more wall above.

Love this beautiful colonnade . . . adding more wall above.

It will have a very different look once the roof is done!

It will have a very different look once the roof is done!

Raising the roof.

The roof beams are already in place! That was fast. Here are a couple pictures from last week and yesterday.

The big roof beams arrived last week.

The big roof beams arrived last week.

Area for the pump-out tank.

Area for the pump-out tank.

Steel beams in place. Wish we'd been there while the crane was there -- but it went very fast!

Steel beams in place. Wish we’d been there while the crane was there — but it went very fast!

It's a roof! (Or at least the beginning of a roof.)

It’s a roof! (Or at least the beginning of a roof.)

DSC_0071 (1024x681)

Second floor roof is started.

Second floor roof is started.

Sanctuary.

Sanctuary.

Covered the holding tank this week.

Covered the holding tank this week.

Our faithful watchman.

Our faithful watchman.

More digging at the church building site

While we’re waiting for the roofing material to arrive, lots of progress is being made on the south side of the building: digging out for plumbing and sewage. Exciting!

Someone seems to have donated some art to our building project.

Someone seems to have donated some art to our building project.

The outside wall is finally filled in, now that truckloads of dirt and bricks don't need to come inside from that direction.

The north outside wall is finally filled in, now that truckloads of dirt and bricks don’t need to come inside from that direction.

The filled in wall, from the inside.

The filled in wall, from the inside.

The aljibe -- or cistern, I guess we'd say in English -- in the top middle of the photo. New excavation in front.

The aljibe — or cistern, I guess we’d say in English — in the top middle of the photo. New excavation in front.

Trenches on the south side of the lot.

Trenches on the south side of the lot.

Yes, that's deep.

Yes, that’s deep.

From the southeast corner.

From the southeast corner.