Forward in Hope Blog


We’re In!

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Praise be to God, our staff members are out of our "tempoary housing" and fully moved into our new offices! Our food pantry, reaching so many community members in need, is up and running in its new quarters with a friendly waiting area and service desk. Guests will be welcomed to Shallowford during the week in our gorgeous and spacious new reception area, complete with some new faces as our receptionists. Choir members will love their brightened rehearsal room when we start singing again this fall.

Copiers, scanners, phone jacks, wireless network, computers, light bulbs, the perfect couch pillows, photo frames, alarm system, automatic lights, bathroom amenities, kitchen dishes, coffee maker, ice maker, choir robe hooks, sidewalks, door locks... IT'S ALL COMING TOGETHER! Come visit us in the office and see it all working together and we celebrate, work out final kinks and continue to do the good work the Lord is doing through this community of faith.

Thank you, Shallowford family and friends, for your endless support and prayers for this journey of faith through our capital campaign.

Our final step in renovations is the new pipe organ and chancel in our sanctuary, which is in progress right now!

Check out details on our organ blog

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Grand Opening

Shallowford5-15-124Shallowford5-15-132On Sunday, May 15, after a community open house the day before, Shallowford celebrated the grand opening of our newly renovated facilities, including the choir room, staff offices, food pantry and nursery (not forgetting the already completed kitchen and sanctuary and the new organ yet to come!).

We were thrilled to take tours of the new spaces, bright and shiny and full of potential. In the dedication after 11 worship, we remembered all those minds and hearts that came together during this 3-year process to plan, fund, execute, make-do and dream-up as we persevered throughout all the challenges and joys that a capital campaign brings.

We gave thanks to God for allowing and blessing our endeavors and we look forward to bright future God has for us in this holy place.

Our prayer together is this:

Shallowford5-15-114Lord God, maker of heaven and heart, we pray that what has been planted here will grow and flourish, watered by your gracious blessing. From this ground let there rise a new strength built upon the firm foundation laid by those who have come before.

May this place of such proud tradition be a place of renewed commitment to your saving word, your redeeming love, and your sustaining grace.

May this renovated space be not only a haven for the gathering of your people, but a place of nurture, mission, praise, and preparation, that we may go into the world as faithful followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.


ccGiveNowAs a community of faith we have generously funded this campaign and are now only about $300,000 short of reaching our goal of $3.3 million pledged.

You can still pledge or give an individual amount!


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Kitchen Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

IMG_3404The first major phase of our Capital Campaign is complete! A kitchen—the heart of every home, which brings rejuvenating food, rest, conversation and togetherness. Ever since 2012, when Shallowford approved the appointment of a Kitchen Task Force, our family has been working towards improving our kitchen’s functionality, safety, accessibility, and efficiency. After months of assessment, planning and finally construction, the journey is over!

IMG_3363 On Sunday, March 6, we officially gathered to celebrate the opening of a completely new kitchen and to rededicate this space to the glory of God and the furthering of Shallowford’s mission of inviting all people to a faithful way of life in Christ and in community.

Chris Henry said, “Radical hospitality stands at the very heart of who we are and who we are called to be as a community of faith. Acts Chapter 2 describes the life of the earliest church – they broke bread together and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number. We are thankful this beautiful new kitchen space allows us to make ever more room at the table of grace.”

Psalm 104:27-28 The eyes of all look to you to give them their food in due season; and when you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.  IMG_3440O God, with great hope and humble thanks, we rededicate this kitchen to your glory and to your purpose for it and for us. As we offer hospitality and welcome, we would remember that you often come disguised as the stranger in our midst. As we reach out to those in need of a kind word or a warm meal, we would commit to your mission of compassion and love for all your children.  As we celebrate joyful occasions and milestones together, we would grow ever more grateful for your grace and power in our midst. As we are filled, we would remember those whose bellies are empty. Your faithfulness to us knows no bounds, O God. We pray in the name of the one who is both host at every table and the bread of life. Amen.


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Steel + Epoxy = Progress

What’s going on around the mud hill / steel yard by the sanctuary building?


We’re erecting steel for the building addition that will be the new nursery and offices!  The steel parts are the posts that get bolted to the footings and the beams that connect the posts. After those are in place, we can put a roof on. Apparently this construction is rather complicated for its size, according to Maynard Staggs. In the renovated office space, the walls are all up and 50 percent are sheet-rocked and sanded, most of the ceiling grid is in place and all the lighting is installed and functional (or “burning” as they say). You can really get a good sense of how the space is going to look when it’s all finished!

What’s going on in the kitchen now-a-days?


We’re scheduled to accept all the kitchen equipment (appliances, furniture, shelving, etc.) on December 15. The epoxy floor is finished (and quite shiny)! We have the plumbing hooked up, the oven hood installed, the exhaust hood to go over the dishwasher, and a wider doorway entrance to the kitchen from the Great Hall to prevent a bottleneck. There are adjoining rooms for a washer/dryer, a pantry and extra storage. The fridge will be in the main space.


The glitches in the new sanctuary lights are all fixed!

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We are so thankful for the changes happening at Shallowford -- the developing construction and renovations in our buildings, and the growing congregation; new births, new ministry leaders and participants, new prayers and new ideas are springing forth! We are thankful for this rich community of faith and the hope Christ brings to us.

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The Season Ahead

Contributed by Jay York

jayblogAs I peer out the sanctuary window through the mist, a tree grabs my eye—a rainbow of leaves ranging from red to orange to green. The tree is in a time of transition, as she readies herself to shed the old and prepare for impending new life next spring.

These days I sense a greater appreciation for the ebb and flow of life as I prepare for my own transition. The sanctuary’s new windows offer a glimpse into a world reminding us that God is always moving and creating and seeking to guide us forward into new life. With this new life comes thanksgiving to a God who provides exciting times and new opportunities—chances to celebrate the old while looking ahead to the new and undiscovered.

Even as I leave this place that has meant so much to me and my family, I eagerly await the rebirth of Shallowford that has already begun—the mixing of old and new that will lead the congregation into a season it has never seen before. I am grateful to God for each of you who make this possible and for all God has in store for both of us in the future.

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Clean Air

Contributed by Margaret Landers

cc31Could we secretly be building a space machine? A rocket? Astronaut suit? Probably not… We’re in the middle of installing new air ducts for the soon-to-be-fully-renovated SPC kitchen – source of Wednesday evening dinners, lemonade brigade supplies, Pigs on Fire, Sunday churchwide lunches, wedding caterers, Heart to Heart luncheon, Alzheimer’s Support Group snacks, and so many other comforting and festive gatherings hosted at Shallowford.

cc32I don’t know much about pressure loss, galvanized steel, supply air or return air, but I do know these “space” tubes will keep us breathing clean air, give us heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, and help in allowing us to feast on much more together than plain potatoes [see/read: The Martian]. So let the construction continue! (And we won’t mind if it gets us a side trip to the moon or to mars in the meantime. Everyone needs to hear the Good News!)

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cc30Today we celebrate not only a successful 2016 Stewardship Campaign, which concluded Sunday with a delicious Pigs on Fire BBQ lunch, but we also rejoice (in song!) in welcoming back our Director of Music Ministries, Emily Floyd, from her sabbatical.

In her honor, we offer a little email she sent to the church staff a few months ago as we were in depths of cleaning out the old office spaces to prepare for the initial renovations. We remember those days, see how far we've come already, and let her hopeful words cheer us on as construction continues.

Early June, 2015:
Just a little note to say...tie a knot in your rope and hold on.
We can do it. Change is hard, but it will be worth it when the new spaces are ready.

Imagine unpacking into new offices...
Imagine windows in the sanctuary...
Imagine a shiny new kitchen....
Imagine Emily's office uncluttered....   ;)

Peace out....I am going to go chuck something in the dumpster.

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Interview with Maynard Staggs

Facilities Manager and Renovation Foreman Extraordinaire

If the Shallowford kitchen renovation were an animal, what would it be? A bear. That's the animal.

If you could apparate (like in Harry Potter) to your office (which is currently a construction zone) in any place or country in the world, where would you go? The old food pantry; Shallowford is my world right now. I'm very pragmatic about my little world.

If you were on a construction crew and could listen to only one band or musician on the radio all day, who would you listen to? Steely Dan ... Back to Annandale... [Did you know Maynard used to play the bass guitar in a blues band?]

What's the good news about the construction at Shallowford right now? It looks like we're on track to get the kitchen done on good time.

Anything you'd like to tell the SPC congregation? Jay Turney, [Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee,] is doing a good job. His heart is really in it to take care of this church and he's doing a hard thing.

Thanks for sharing with us, Maynard, and for all you do!

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We’re in the Sanctuary and God’s on the Move!

Contributed by Lindsey Thames

cc28Never have I felt more proud and more grateful to be part of the Shallowford Presbytrian Church community as I did yesterday morning. We worshiped in a space that was created from the faith and dreams of long time members years ago. My faith was shaped because of this sacred space. And now our children's faith will be molded in a whole "new light" because of faithful friends and the vision of extraordinary leaders at SPC. With the bagpipes, all age choirs, hymns sung by heart, powerful words spoken by Chris and in family testimonies, the service left nothing but ear to ear smiles, tears of joy, and full hearts on all those that surrounded me. God is on the move at Shallowford. Come be a part!

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