I really am enjoying our newly renovated 1029 East Baltimore Street building – the first building Helping Up Mission purchased on this block in 1955. I love my new classroom and office, the new library and chapel.
One of the other things that I really appreciate is the effort to keep connected to the old building – a continuous reminder from whence we have come. Most of those reminders come from the old chapel, which was originally added as a gymnasium as part of the renovation of building as the German Branch of the YMCA from 1889 to 1897. The original gym floor became our chapel floor and around here, it has become a badge of honor to have spent the night sleeping on the old chapel floor.
As part of our renovation, the old chapel floor was taken up and reused in a number of different locations in our new building – my favorite being the large Cross on the east wall of the new 1029 lobby. I can’t remember whose idea originally, but Mike (then in the Program and now on staff) designed it. Mike, Danny (also graduate staff) and Richard (in the Program) cut and fit pieces of the old floor into the 13 x 8 foot Cross.
Our architect loved the idea and their project manager, Kevin, got inspired and wrote something which he thought was fitting to accompany the Cross on the wall. We found his words so appropriate that we used them exactly as he wrote and envisioned it on the wall around the Cross.
As this golden wood has borne the bodies and souls of your brother before you – so, too, shall the Lord carry you forward on the road to recovery and salvation”
While the Cross has been up for a while (see my blog 3/1/10), the lettering was put up around it last week. It looks great and really expresses what those of us who have been around here really feel.
Thanks to you all for your continued support of what we do here. We pray for you often, especially those with health and financial difficulties. I do hope you can come down here soon and tour the new building and see the Cross.
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director
PS We will have the official dedication of renovated 1029 this fall. I will keep you posted about planned activities.