This past Wednesday, October 6th, marked the 53rd anniversary of the building where we gather together – Westmount Bible Chapel. You can read about that opening in our side foyer, where we have displayed the newspaper clippings from that fall back in 1968.
I thought about our building this week. I was reminded of its age, as we navigated around a drop bucket to catch roof leaks. And, I was reminded of its accessibility, as I saw a brother sealing up cracks to ensure little critters don’t find it too accessible. That is life in a building settling into its sixth decade.
Yet, wear and tear aside, I have also been reminded of our thankfulness for the building God has provided for us. A building, a shelter, a refuge, a place for the saints of our local church to gather each week – and through the week. God has protected our building this past year, and we have been blessed and built up in it.
And so, as Westmount Bible Chapel enjoys another birthday this year, and with Thanksgiving ahead of us this weekend, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share 53 memories of thankfulness, flowing out of the building that the Lord has granted us:
- October 6, 1968. The Lord’s provision of a building. Thanks to the stewardship of Westmount saints before us, we are debt-free.
- God’s mercy and faithfulness. No matter what the peak or valley, God sustained Westmount Bible Chapel every year following.
- Pew-wood bookshelves. Yes, hand-crafted by our own David Aldom, who took the chapel’s old church pews and turned them into my bookshelves – which line my office walls!
- Love. Westmount, I am thankful for this ‘raw material’ that was evident from the first day I set foot in the building. You love a genuine, enduring, generous love. Don’t ever stop.
- “The core.” That would be the 20 of you (you know who you are) that were here long before I arrived. You have been a blessing and a picture of faithfulness. Thank you!
- January 1, 2015. The day I started at Westmount. You took a chance on a revved-up and very green seminary grad. Was that only 6 years ago?
- Sunday Night @ the Chapel. Do you remember… that’s when we used to meet as a small group back in 2015?
- The “new” Westmount sign. And… how God used that providentially.
- Westmount luncheons. Gathering for extended fellowship after service each month. How are more churches NOT doing this?
- Westmount food. This goes hand and hand with luncheons. That’s because we have the best cooks, and bakers!
- Our missionaries. What a blessing to see them both in one year.
- Family Fun Days. Is John Scott still untangling that rope at the shed?
- Grace. First from our Lord, then from you.
- Eileen & Mary. Remembering their smiles amid the pain. Their stories amid the changes. Their encouragement, when we were the ones trying to encourage them. They are still missed.
- VBS. Those were memorable summers. Yes, we were dead tired after it all, but the kids heard the gospel – and the parents too!
- Farmington Baptist Church. In fact, we may not have even had the VBS memories if it wasn’t for Pastor Cody and their generous offer!
- Pie-Making. I remember the first time being introduced to this Westmount tradition with curiosity (men making pies?!), and now never imagining the season to go by without it. Yet another memory that is uniquely Westmount.
- Refreshes. I remember… the old foyer, the old platform, the old sound booth, the unfinished kitchen… Yes, so thankful for the skill and care that has gone into upkeeping our building.
- Packing Parties. Who knew Westmount was so competitive?
- Bagels & Bogeys. This is what makes a bad day on the golf course enjoyable. Hacking together.
- Studying God’s Word. Colossians, Ecclesiastes, 1 Timothy, Mark, Ruth, Jonah, Galatians & Exodus. And we are just getting started!
- Good Friday Testimonies. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us… raised us up with him (Ephesians 2:1-6).
- WBC Elders. It continues to be a privilege to serve with you. And oh, the blessing of unity (Ps 133)!
- Chili Cook-offs. Is there anything more ‘Westmount’ than this?
- Women of Westmount. To hear and see your love for the Word!
- Christmas Concert. I remember the ‘snow-storm’ year… and yet, the people showed!
- Baptisms. Always a highlight morning when we see obedience, hear testimony, and watch God glorified!
- Chapel Kids Servants. You labour during Sunday service to serve our little souls and it never goes unnoticed. Thank you for laying down your mornings for the sake of the children, and the gospel.
- Our Sound booth/tech team. You are faithful to serve us behind the scenes, and patient as you juggle two churches in one booth!
- Squirrels and bats. Yes, we can be thankful… when we catch them!
- Peter. I miss our Wednesday morning visits… And his smile, laugh, and suspenders.
- Westmount singing. Oh Westmount, how you sing! We gather Sunday mornings to worship the King, and yet the joy we derive from hearing every voice singing with passion to our Lord!
- Pastor Berris. Thank you, Lord, for bringing him to our shores by way of your providence.
- The Prayers. How much have we seen God work through the prayers of the saints at Westmount?
- WBC Deacons. You are a blessing to all of us at Westmount Bible Chapel. Thank you for your faithful, careful, and loving service.
- Chapel Men. Men, is there a better way to start our Saturdays?
- Rudy. He shared his heart, his resources, and his wisdom. He knew everyone in Peterborough, and one year later… we continue to miss him.
- Mother’s Day Breakfast. Because we are thankful for you, moms.
- Homeschool Coop & Concerts. Students brighten the halls here during the week, and brighten our hearts with their voices each spring!
- Chapel Kids. The sight (and sounds) of our kids now heading off to be taught God’s Word.
- Pig Roast. How many men does it take to cut up a pig?
- Christmas Eve. Church-in-the-round. Our kids singing praise to the newborn King!
- Fall Conferences. From the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, to Build & Contend this year!
- God’s protection and mercy in 2020-2021. Through all that – no tickets and no building loss.
- Hill City. They bring the energy, and a whole lot of encouragement, when we’re in the trenches.
- “Catacomb” gatherings. Indoors or outdoors, big group or small group – we gathered.
- PODS. You know it’s something good when you are still going after 10pm and could keep going.
- The Chair Lift. A multi-year epic that finally culminated with a solution last year.
- Foundations of the Faith. To see you come early and often for more of God’s Word.
- Blueprints. More than ping-pong and pizza. Thank you, Jerry, Atticus & Joshua.
- Sandy. What an example for us all. We love you.
- AGM Memories. Always a highlight to look back on God’s faithfulness each year.
- 1150 Clonsilla Ave. The gathering place. Thank you, Lord, for your preserving it. Thank you, Lord, for preserving us!
By God’s grace, and His grace alone, we have more years of memories ahead. For now, as we continue in this season, let us pause this weekend and give thanks to the One who is faithful – yesterday, today and forever.
“Oh give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”