When my son, Mitchell, was about 4 years old, he and I were driving home from attending our MOPS group at church, and I decided we would stop at Target to get a few items. Not long after I announced to Mitchell this change in plans, he started throwing items at me from his seat in the back. At first, I was being surprised by pieces of paper and small toys, but I really took notice when he hurled his shoes at me. Thankfully, they weren’t the size 12 1/2’s that he wears now! When Mitchell received his autism diagnosis (ASD) a couple of years later, this incident was one of those that I looked back on as one of those telling moments. Quite often those with ASD (and most of us really) do not handle unexpected changes well, and they benefit from being prepped ahead of time for anything that may be new or out of the normal routine. At our house, upcoming events may need to be prepped for weeks in advance, but usually if we review upcoming plans or items out of the ordinary the day before and then again on the day of, everyone can stay at a functioning level and keep their shoes on.
I understand that changes, even small ones like an unexpected stop at Target, can be difficult. I empathize with the emotions that stem from change. I know very well that change can lead to anxiety, fear and even meltdowns. It can also lead to sadness, grief, excitement or a combination of emotions.
So why am I sharing this? Well, this coming Sunday, you may notice the first visible changes resulting from our sharing space with Tapestry Church, and I wanted you to have some time to process and prepare before you arrive for worship. If the schedule I was recently given is followed, Tapestry’s grand piano and organ will be delivered and placed in the sanctuary this week. The grand piano in the sanctuary currently will be moved to the Fellowship Hall, and the piano in the Fellowship Hall will be removed from the building. Tapestry’s grand piano has been very important to them, and they have been keeping it in climate-controlled storage for a couple of years while anxiously awaiting a new home in which they could enjoy it in again. We will get to warm it up for them as it acclimates to its new environment.
Please be supportive of Jim Rowe as he gets acclimated to playing the new piano. Risen Lord’s piano is an excellent instrument, so this is one of those times when it is important to acknowledge change is hard. Jim has expressed that he is excited to be able to add some organ music to our worship experience, which I’m sure we will all enjoy and be enriched by.
Also, for years we have wanted to bring the sound equipment down from the loft area overlooking the sanctuary to make using that equipment a more safe and accessible experience. Thanks to Tapestry that will be happening in the relatively near future. To give you time to adjust to another upcoming change to the sanctuary, I wanted you to know that Tapestry will be installing a technologically sophisticated audio-visual system along the back wall in the sanctuary that is under the loft. I don’t know what this will look like yet or when it will be installed, but I will try to keep you informed as I get more information.
If you find yourself struggling with change related emotions, frustrations or concerns, please contact Pastor Wendy or me. We are happy to listen and help as we are able.