My husband and I have attended Westerly Road Church ever since we were undergrads at Princeton. It's a wonderful community, and we love it so! For the last 57 years, the church has been meeting in this little prefab building that was almost literally bursting at the seams. We've repurposed and redone and reconfigured everything to try to make the most of the space, but it's been clear for years that we needed more space.
Finally, after about 25 years of trying, planning, and praying -- the church moved into its beautiful new facility this month and had the first worship services on Sunday! Over and over again, people kept quoting Psalm 126, a passage that our pastor has called to mind through this last stage of the relocation process: "When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great things for them.' The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad."
I took some photos of the old Westerly Road Church building on our last Sunday in that space. Small though it may have been (see the odd L-shaped sanctuary, where an office wing was repurposed to make more room for the congregation?), it was well-loved!
And then I had the pure joy of taking some photos at the first worship service at the new Stone Hill Church of Princeton. The name was chosen in part as a nod to the geographic location -- the building sits on a very rocky piece of land, on a bit of a ridge, near the township of Rocky Hill. But there are also deeper theological shades of meaning to the name. The "stone" could reference Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of the church, and all the members of the body as living stones out of which God builds His church. And the "hill" evokes, among other things, the city on a hill, with the light of the gospel shining forth in the darkness.
After so many years of praying and hoping, it was such a JOY to worship together in such a beautiful space!
The Atrium is a truly lovely space, and for the first time, we now have the ability to stay and talk and actually see other members of the church, rather than being quickly forced outside due to space limitations!
Our kids loved the Atrium, too. :)
What a beautiful space, and what a joyous occasion! As Pastor Matt preached and prayed on Sunday, may the gospel come in power in this place!