Little Can Become Much, When God Is In It

Post a Comment » Written on January 29th, 2007     
Filed under: News
HOPKINTON, MA (January 29, 2007) – Eight years ago, attendance at Community Covenant Church had declined so much that the congregation sold the parsonage to fund what would be a last-ditch effort to reach out to the community.

The church had been hampered, in part, by the small facility, that was “90 percent sanctuary,” says pastor Bruce Johnson. On Sunday, Community Covenant dedicated an addition that doubles the building’s size – from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet – and reflects a growth of renewed ministry.

ChurchAttendance had dropped to just a handful of attendees when the parsonage was sold. “The church very much was in survival mode,” Johnson recalls. “Then the church did an unusual thing; it gave up power.”

Three members of the congregation met with three members of other churches that were operating successful ministries, and they formed an executive board to guide Community Covenant.

As a result, attendance has reached around 100 in the past several years, Johnson says. New attendees include families who were willing to put up with cramped space even for their children’s Sunday school because they had a vision for the future, Johnson says.

The building now has room for their children and teenagers as well as other ministry. The addition includes new classrooms, office space and a fellowship hall. Previously, the church used a corner of the sanctuary for its fellowship needs, Johnson says.

Before entering the ministry, Johnson worked as a nutritionist, and he now hopes the building will enable the church to hold cooking and lifestyle classes that will integrate faith and health.

Cost for the $300,000 project was reduced by at least $100,000 because of contributions from congregation members. Architect Shawn McGuinness designed the building, which has drawn praise from civic leaders for the way it blends with the surroundings. “It’s very beautiful,” Johnson says. “She really gave herself to the project.”

Doug Raincourt owns an electrical contracting business, and Johnson says, “He refused to take a salary. He gave a lot of professional time.”

Church members were intent on the building being environmentally sound. Church member Peter Hubbe, who served as the project’s general contractor, consults with businesses on how they can be more environmentally friends and save money.

Hubbe and his wife, Mary, a real-estate agent, committed numerous hours to the project, says Johnson. “They were there before I arrived at the office and were there when I left,” he says with admiration.

“It is so obvious that God gave us the resources,” Johnson says.

East Coast Conference Supt. Howard Burgoyne spoke at the Sunday morning service and recalled how the church that once was on the verge of closing, used what limited resources it had to overcome an imposing future.

He referred to the story of David, who “became skilled with a slingshot and learned to pray, recite poetry and sing,” said Burgoyne. “He had faith in God.”

National Covenant Properties helped finance the addition. Accompanying photo shows Burgoyne (left) and Johnson.

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