Our Children’s Church – The Peace Chapel
The Opal House Peace Chapel is our gift back to the Lord for calling Diane and I here so clearly and consistently. We obeyed like sheep and wanted to consecrate this Mission always as a place “founded by the Lord”. On Monday Nov 8th 2009 the ground was broken for the chapel and all four workers(two Evangelical and two Catholic) prayed over the site with Diane, Glen and Dr William Boegel. This is symbolic because we want Peace within the body of Christ and Peace in this country.
Jose Blakeley had chosen the site to build on, with the best commanding view of the lake and his contribution was enough to get the chapel started. Glen Barde also shared some key building tips twice that year. Our daily devotional readings that day had all 3 readings on one subject-Building the Temple of the Lord! Over that Thanksgiving I was asking the Lord exactly how deep should the Foundation be and I heard while sitting in the pews of church-“Go exactly 10 feet deep!” And so we did and exactly to the mm at 10 feet deep we hit bedrock – our chapel is built on bedrock and the Holy Spirit is the architect.
Other than some crude plans and some software that showed a possible version of the chapel on our website, the entire building was built without blueprints and was an on the fly project, kind of like the rest of our “God sized Faith Project” that Diane calls our Journey here.
We rough cut all of our cypress beams right in the forest and dried them in our bodega. The chapel ceiling is all of our white pine, the windows are all oak and oak wrapped and the outer doors are made of cedar-all resources right from the farm. The white sand excavated became our permanent white stucco exterior and column covering and 15 tons of volcanic rock was hand chipped to form the main wall coverings of the chapel.
A Peaceful and Tranquil Space
I was so pleased with the site and it’s progress that I added on a side retreat room, this clearly being a peaceful and tranquil special space. Our marriage theme of bearing good fruit and abiding in the vine(John 15) created our “grape theme” and embellishments on the beams above. This place will serve the Lord long after Diane and I are buried here, and we pray for “fruit that remains” here.
On Easter Monday, April 25th, 2011 the chapel was dedicated and officially opened to our community by Monsignor Gregorio of the San Lucas Parroquia, with 5 priests presiding and 80 attending. It was a perfect day for a perfect sacred space. This is our First Fruits to the Opal House mission, a place where our children learn about the Word of God. This is also a very tranquil place for retreats and overnight stays for visitors. We call it our children’s church.
Our St Jude’s faith community in Redmond Washington has just funded a two story chapel expansion for an enlarged apartment adjacent to the retreat room and we are very grateful that this sacred space will be larger and more versatile than ever! Thanks to all of you.