The sanctuary of the Orwell North Presbyterian Church, built in 1840, is now easily accessible to handicapped persons. A three-stop elevator was dedicated in a special ceremony before worship on Sunday, March 21st. The congregation gathered in their fellowship hall full of colorful balloons and lots of joy.
Rev. Sandy Seaton-Todd said a blessing over the elevator before the Chair of the Building and Grounds Committee, Jim Wann, cut the ribbon. Standing with him were the clerk of Session, Laura Pietras, and Acting Chair of the Deacons, Paula Liedtke.
Rev. Sandy thanked the congregation for their faithfulness in raising $105,000 of the $128,000 total project cost. A fundraising graph made by Ron Wann showed the $23,000 still needed. Seaton-Todd also thanked Builder Jeff Craven of Craven Construction.
The first ride was taken by honorees Ron Wann, Edwin Dixon, and George Law. Wann represented his late wife, Dorothy Wann, who worshiped here every Sunday for forty years in a wheelchair due to her multiple sclerosis. Dorothy's dream was for her beloved church to have an elevator so that wheelchair-bound persons would have an easier time coming to worship.
The rest of those gathered then cheered as lucky riders were chosen by Irene Klosinski and Sarah Seaton-Todd who were calling out winning ticket numbers.
The ceremony concluded on the front steps of the picturesque white steeple, stained-glass window church. The large front doors at the top of the steps were open, letting the world know that all are welcome here to experience God's grace. The word "Welcome," was clearly visible in the stained glass over the door, while in the doorway could be seen
While the pastor and congregation proclaimed, "God is good! All the time!" hundreds of balloons were released into the heavens above.
A special message was waiting for the pastor when she walked into her office on Monday morning: a blessing offered from Timothy Coney, a farmer who was loading sawdust into his truck in
Lot's of Pictures.