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We who are present members of the Church of the Transfiguration stand a little in awe as we celebrate the 125th birthday of our church. The years stretch back and back: So many years of prayer and service! So many trusting hearts and helping hands! So much dedication and hard work! So much comfort and solace to weary and bereft people, so much fellowship and caring and joy.

All those who went before us, who planned and worked and contributed, have given us this heritage: Our lovely little church where we can worship in beauty and peace.

In the pressure of today's problems, I don't believe we think very much about the gifts we have been given by our predecessors. But their love for their church and their concern for future generations is all about us, in stained glass and carved wood, in marble and slate, and in the very atmosphere their handiwork has created.

Of course, they did it for God. Why else would they sacrifice time and money for a structure outside their own homes? They did it for God and for those following them — for us.

And so, it comes to us to carry their high-minded endeavors into the next century. We must cherish their handiwork, but even more we must cherish their dreams and ideals: We must continue to create a church of peace and solace for the suffering, and of fellowship and joy for the stranger; a church where the Spirit of God shines forth, in stone and wood and human faces.

This requires the same dedication and sacrifice as our predecessors showed in its founding; let us pray that we prove equal to it.

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