Today’s post is by guest author and CPLS Chief Administrator, Melody Congdon.
There are few words that many people dread to see more than “Some Assembly Required” as it stirs up images of frustrated parents struggling to assemble a bicycle on Christmas Eve using directions printed only in Swedish. The struggle was real last weekend at Cair Paravel, as we gathered to assemble a new playground structure for our elementary students.
Page after page of the complex instructions were laid out on the cafeteria table. The instructions weren’t in Swedish, but from my perspective, they might as well have been. Nearby were tables covered with thousands of bolts, clamps, screws, slides, stairs, poles, handles, and other aluminum parts which had all been carefully unpacked, counted, and cross checked against the inventory sheet.
As I stood in the cafeteria and stared into the abyss of miscellaneous pieces of hardware, I admit that I began to doubt our ability to complete the construction of the playground equipment in a single weekend. Honestly, I wondered if we could complete the daunting project before the snow melted this spring!
But then, like an old-time community barn-raising, the dads started arriving with work gloves on their hands and toolboxes under their arms. Everyone brought their individual expertise in surveying, construction, structural engineering, and other skilled labor. I watched in awe as those dads began to work as an efficient team, even though some of them had just met that morning. Sheer muscle assembled the pieces and put poles in place. Every piece, down to the tiniest screw, was important to the integrity of the whole structure. Men were digging holes, mixing concrete, tightening bolts, and rechecking the instructions. Meanwhile the women were hauling away trash, renting cement mixing equipment, running errands to the hardware store, serving hot chili to the workers, and encouraging them.
At one point on Saturday, a long-time CPLS mom walked outside to see the progress and said “I wish everyone in the school could witness this. It’s what our school is all about”. It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to write and tell you all that I am most thankful for this Body of Christ at CPLS. The world is a scary place right now, but Christ has given us each other.
I Corinthians 12: 4-6,11-12 “There are different kinds of service, but the same Spirit, there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and through all its parts are many, the form one body.”
As often happens around here, I was enormously thankful to stand among brothers and sisters in Christ, each with their own gifts and talents, who came ready to serve our students with willing hearts. They worked together until dark on Saturday and gathered again on Sunday to complete the project in a two-day construction blitz. We still have some small things to do like capping the poles and tightening everything. We also still need to till and level the ground before spreading a layer of mulch. These things will be finished in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.
Cair Paravel Latin School isn’t just a brick school building with a playground. What makes it special is that students, parents, and teachers combine as a body of believers, united in Christ, who work together. No matter the project, every effort matters and every contribution helps us reach our common goal. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I am reminded of how truly grateful I am for the CPLS moms and dads who aren’t afraid of the words “Some Assembly Required.”