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The View from Above

A conversation with a pastor whose realism and vision helped his local church come alive.

In a corner of Terry Fullam's office sits an architect's model of a large sanctuary, gathering dust. It is a silent reminder that visions do not always become reality.

"That's what we thought God wanted us to build five or six years ago, when our present building first filled up," the bespectacled rector recalls with a grin. "You know, the place was packed, we were having four morning services-time to build a bigger barn. It was going to go right out on the front lawn. The vestry and congregation were all unanimous.

"But when we went to the city fathers for approval, they were just as unanimous: NO. Our plans would be a massive overdevelopment of this wooded area, they ruled."

Only then, says Fullam, was the church ready to comprehend an alternate vision. It came as a message from the church's senior warden: "God wants us instead to build the living church, to give ourselves to strengthening his people, not only here in Darien, but across the nation and even the world."

That is what has happened. ...

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