Shelbyville and Bedford County are filled with history; it is not surprising that our own church bears a deep and rich history of its own. From the first circuit riders who came to serve the community, to the many lay people who have been instrumental in our continuity, First United Methodist Church in Shelbyville has much to celebrate in our tradition and history. We have memories to share.
Two weeks ago, things began to move; or rather furniture began to move as “Heritage Hall” took shape. We hadn’t planned for everything to happen so quickly, but once things started, it was hard to stop.
The little “walk through sitting area” between the education wing and the narthex has been mostly a hallway lately, and so with some well placed period pieces, our altar-table from the 1880 church, the Shofner cross, and some other archives, it has become “Heritage Hall” (a living archives). In consultation with our resident artist, Mr. Jerry Ward, furniture was placed and pictures hung for the best use of space. Jerry is most pleased with the outcome and even more excited that on Sunday folks began to tell him about other pieces to add to our archives. Our history is such that we should celebrate all that we have been to give us courage and hope as we continue moving forward—it is part of our roots.
A few side notes to the creation of Heritage Hall: the Parlor has been reclaimed fully as a sitting area for meetings, our crochet and knitting groups, and dressing area for brides; the walk through area that once had been the toddler room is now a workroom with the copier, work table, and mailboxes for staff and ministry leaders; lastly, a new conversation corner has been created in the Fellowship Hall.
It is my hope that by simply moving a bit of furniture around, we have been able to create places for conversation, honoring our heritage and history, and ultimately for enabling others to feel at home and welcomed as we seek to offer hospitality in Christ’s name.