The Joshua Place Playground Update

The Joshua Place

Good Friday. A day of remembrance. The day death died because of the death of the Son of God. I look forward with anticipation to worship this Sunday and remembering the hope of the resurrection from the dead.

Ironic to me that this Good Friday marked the three-month anniversary of a death we continue to mourn – our beloved Joshua. It seems fitting that I would mark that occasion with an encouraging update about our progress on a playground in his memory. Thank you for your patience, family, friends and fans of Josh alike, as wheels in churches tend to turn slowly and we at OGC can be no exception.

I am so very thrilled to report that to date we have received into the fund a whopping $18,192 dollars! God is so good. The budget for the project, even with us doing the “sweat equity,” is $25,000. Yes, safe, durable playgrounds are that pricey!

Last Monday night, our elders agreed on the following in terms of how to proceed from here:

  1. Opportunity for anyone to contribute to the fund will remain open until June 1.
  2. Our deacons will continue to do the prep work involved in getting our ducks in a row for building the playground.
  3. Construction of the project will likely occur in November of this year, after the hot weather breaks. Adequate notice will be given as to the times and dates so anyone who would like to help with the construction will be able to do so.
  4. Construction will be followed by a dedication service as the playground opens for use.

Would you pray with me for the remaining funds to come in? If you have yet to make a gift, you can do so by writing your check to OGC and indicating on the memo line your designation for the playground. My thanks to you in advance.

One reason for the delay in building the playground, other than the funds, is that starting April 20, after the Easter service, Nancy and I will be on sabbatical for two months. There simply wasn’t enough time to try and pull this thing off in the cool of the Spring. So we pushed things back. Again, I thank you for your patience.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me when I return in June or check in with the church office.

My Son’s Obituary

No one should have to write such a thing. To every parent who has ever lost a child, my aching heart goes out to you.

For reasons of wise stewardship given the cost of newspaper obituary listings, Nancy and I have opted to publish this notice via my blog and the various social media connections to which it is linked:

Joshua James Heffelfinger, known to many affectionately as “Thee Heff,” age 35, of Orlando, Florida, passed away unexpectedly at home Saturday, January 18, 2014. Born January 28, 1978, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, he grew up and lived most of his life in the Central Florida area. His first spoken word, “ball,” turned into a love for sports, including Josh Weddingbaseball, football, basketball, and bowling. Early on he got hooked on everything Star Wars and never lost his enthusiasm for anything related to the film saga. He graduated from University High School and earned an A.A. Degree from Valencia Community College. A career in the restaurant business started at Disney’s Rainforest Cafe and then progressed to over ten years of serving at Emeril’s Orlando. He successfully completed two of four levels of sommelier certification to enhance his knowledge of wines and increase his and others’ dining pleasure. He was rich in friendships, many of which he cultivated by frequenting Sportstown Billiards. Known for his charm and wit, his favorite quotation was, “A wise man speaks when he has something to say; a stupid man speaks because he has to say something.” He is survived by Curt and Nancy Heffelfinger, his parents, and Joel Heffelfinger, his brother and best friend, along with many other members of the extended family as well as a host of dear friends and acquaintances. A memorial service for Josh is scheduled at Orlando Grace Church, 872 Maitland Ave., Altamonte Springs, Florida, at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 1, 2014. A light lunch will be served in the fellowship hall after the service. “The Joshua Place” playground for children fund has been established in his memory by Orlando Grace Church for construction on the church property. Tax deductible gifts can be made to the church in his name and sent to the church office or brought to the church on the day of the service. For more information call 407.660.1984.

Our deepest, sincere, and heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of support in the way of tears, cards, gifts, meals, calls, texts, emails, posts, and especially prayers. We feel rich beyond our wildest dreams in terms of that which, humanly speaking, matters most – the love and care of others.