Although it might sound like the title for a devotional thought (and it could be), the headline for this week comes straight out of our collective experience following the cancellation of last week’s services due to a prolonged power outage.
The saga that began on Friday around 7:15 p.m. ended almost 24 hours later, with BGE restoring our power just after 7:00 the following evening. BGE informed us that a large power surge tripped the breaker at the pole, but not before vaporizing a section of electrical line buried six feet underground between the powerline and the transformer in our parking lot. The BGE crew assigned to our incident had the unenviable task of hand-digging much of the hole in the direct sun on a day that featured 90-degree heat. Despite this fact, the linemen did so in good spirits, laughing and joking with each other while digging. There’s probably a spiritual lesson there as well.
Once power was restored, our electrical components were checked, including the HVAC systems, the sanctuary audio system, the video room, and the appliances in the kitchen. We’re pleased to share that the damage was minimal despite the massive power surge, at least some of which made it to the building. We did lose a surge protector in the electrical room. However, it did its job, protecting every piece of equipment connected to it. We also lost one of the microwave ovens in the kitchen. Still, the total of the damage is likely less than $300.
As Pastor Chad said in his recorded sermon last Sabbath, this series seemed to have particularly upset the enemy, as we experienced significant setbacks each of the past three weeks. Of course, this makes us want to share these messages even more.
Saying Thank You
I want to say thank you to several of our volunteers whose roles were instrumental in helping to navigate last weekend’s crisis:
- Tom Henkel, for his help at the church on Friday night when we still thought there was a chance we’d get the power back on in time to hold services. He stayed until the early morning hours on Sabbath, returning to the church multiple times over the next several days to check progress and report any necessary updates to Pastor Crystal, Pastor Chad, and myself.
- Lauron Henkel, for her help on Friday night, getting things in place for worship, even though the power was out, “just in case.” And additionally, for generously sharing Tom over the next 48 hours.
- Bob Borchers, our neighbor and mechanical services contractor, who was up late on Friday with Tom and I assessing the situation. After power was restored, Bob also spent a good portion of Sunday checking the HVAC and electrical systems to ensure everything was safe and in good repair.
- Dr. Jim Borchers, Bob’s father and a faithful Spencerville member, who also spent his Sunday working on the system checks.
- Silvio Pionatto, our deacon-on-duty, who got dressed up even when he didn’t have to in order to greet those at the church who may not have received the message of cancellation. Silvio stood in the sun for hours so that people would get the news in person and not from a sign taped to the door.
- Debora and Anthony Kent, for driving up to the church on Sabbath morning to see if they could help because they were scheduled for HIS Team duties that morning.
- And finally, thank you to many of you who sent messages via email, text, and social media, to let us know that you were praying for the situation and us personally. Your prayers were felt and, ultimately, I believe, answered!
I’d also like to apologize to those who traveled to the church because they didn’t receive the news that our services were canceled. We did our best in the short time available to get the word out. However, we know many of you don’t check email or social media during the Sabbath hours (a practice we support and encourage as the Sabbath should be an escape from the “always on” nature of mass communication). The pastoral team and I will be working to identify a solution for communication during unusual and extraordinary situations like the one that arose last Sabbath. We will keep you updated on this as more information is available.
Gratitude and Appreciation
Ultimately, we have much to be thankful for. What could have been significant damage, or an electrical fire, ended up as a minor inconvenience. As Pastor Chad mentioned in his note on Friday night, Spencerville Church continues to experience the grace of God—not because everything always goes right, but because even when it doesn’t, He faithfully shows us He’s still in control while gently guiding us, directing us, and sustaining us.
May we never take our church or the privilege of joining together in worship for granted.