Dedication

This poem was written by Arthur Roberts in 1972 for the dedication of the North Valley Meetinghouse. These words continue to describe who we are and resonate with who we feel called to be.


NORTH VALLEY MEETINGHOUSE

This new building
is more than brick
and wood, concrete and
carpet, replacing
one that burned after
sixty-five years and
left fir trees lonesome
on a vacant site.
It is more.

This is a new meetinghouse
for the people of God:
for people searching after
God, hurt from sinning
or from being sinned against
or from the pains of living,
wanting to be healed,
to forgive as God in
Christ forgives them.

This is a new meetinghouse
for the people of God:
for all the little people
who come because their
parents come, or grandparents,
or relatives (or ancestors),
or friends, and who learn
a lot about how to live
like Jesus lived.

This is a new meetinghouse
for the people of God:
for people who know
who Christ was and
want him with them now;
and for people who feel
God’s love in their hearts

now but want to learn
what Jesus said then,
and what it meant.

This is a new meetinghouse
for the people of God:
for people who look for
better ways to show
God’s love and truth to
others, so they’ll understand
Christmas wasn’t a fairy
Story and that death doesn’t
Just finally wipe them out.

This is a new meetinghouse
for the people of God:
for people seeking courage
to be kind and honest and
loving to everyone;
really to do these things
at home, at work, as citizens
and not just to play games
in their minds

This is a new meetinghouse
for the people of God:
a place for people to pray
or sing, or preach, or read
the Bible, to witness or to
listen to the Lord in
shared silence, sometimes
breaking bread together
after worship.

This is the North Valley meetinghouse,
where God’s Spirit gathers
the Church, in power and in joy!


Arthur Roberts, November 19, 1972