Whether big or small, plain or elaborate, rented or owned, there is something beautiful about churches. From their welcoming doors, the emblem with the cross reverently placed behind the altar, to the people getting together to worship God. In Gondegaon, Jalna District, Maharashtra, one such church was being dedicated and celebrated.
The Dedication Ceremony
The green and hilly Gondegaon village enjoys a population of 2,568 people and is known for its famous milk sweet Khawa. On 5th March 2017, more than 300 people gathered to celebrate their new church building. The congregation of this village church was overjoyed. Finally they had their own church to worship in and it was not any ordinary church but one that boasted a unique design and constructed with local materials. Apostle Egnati Jagtap was present on this memorable occasion and was invited to conduct the Divine Service and dedicate the new church.
The crowd was waiting outside the church. The Apostle invited two elderly ladies in front, the pioneers of the church, to step forward and join their hands in prayers as the dedication ceremony was about to start. The ribbon that glistened at the church entrance was cut amidst shouts of joy. Apostle Jagtap and the ministers entered the church and a dedication service was conducted. The congregation took their places and soon the church was filled with songs of praise and worship. The congregation was encouraged to be respectful and in reverence of the Lord’s presence at all times.
Basking in God’s Presence
Apostle Jagtap began the Divine Service. He read from John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The Apostle explained that Jesus was the Way, Truth, and Life for both the living and the dead, the Lord of the visible and invisible congregation of Christ. Salvation was attainable only through the name of Jesus Christ. Each one needed to be thankful to God for everything in their lives. They were all not just a church but a living church of Christ.
After an enriching message, two young ministers from the Satyam Nagar congregation were ordained. The congregation enjoyed every second of the evening when a scrumptious meal was laid out. The village of Gondegaon was filled with singing and rejoicing. The youth were applauded for all the preparation work for the church dedication. They recalled the Chief Apostle’s words, “To remain same change must take place”. The beauty of these words was truly felt and experienced on this special day in Gondegaon.