• St. Paul's

The Way God Chosen to Bring a New HVAC Unit

The way God chose

to bring a new HVAC unit

to the Retreat House at Hillsboro


In this hard time of pandemic, of political upset, of racial injustice, of economic hardship and fear, it’s not hard to lose sight of God’s presence on occasion. And God, in the beautiful, grace-filled way God moves in our midst, brought a precious reminder of that Presence over the last 2 weeks.


In June, we at the Retreat House discovered that the HVAC system that had been poised unused in the basement for 20 years and that had served us so consistently for the next 6 years was on its last legs. Repair people, conversations, bids and proposals were all part of June and July. We managed nicely through the summer: open windows, well-timed to the sun’s location—worked sufficiently, especially in a time of pandemic when foot traffic in the building was so low. There were plenty of folks on the grounds, but the building was not the destination. And then it started to get cold.


The need became more urgent, the cost was $13,000. The Diocese declined taking the lead to solve this diocesan property issue. What to do? Well, pray, of course, and we did, but not in the “Please God, deliver us a check” kind of way. We prayed in the ‘let-go-of-anxiety/fear-and-wait-to-see-how-God-will-be’ kind of way. And we asked: What is ours to do? Fund-raise? Take out a loan? And we listened and waited… and then this happened.


God moved in the hearts of the people of Holy Trinity Oxford who heard of the situation. They sent us a very generous check for a new HVAC system. Having heard how Holy Trinity had responded, a couple who are friends of the Retreat House matched Holy Trinity’s gift. The situation was brought up at Council, and within 2 days, Emmanuel Church in Chestertown’s rector and Vestry generously responded. Shortly after that, a friend of the Retreat House spoke with his friends at St. Paul’s Kent. Their hearts were open to the need also, and another generous donation arrived. Then another friend of the Retreat House spoke to a foundation he is connected to, and there it was… a total of $13,000 for a new HVAC system.

For us at the Retreat House, this unfolding situation lives in our hearts as God in our midst: God, living and breathing life through God’s beloved children whose hearts are connected to the Retreat House. We have been blown away by the generosity, the compassion and support of so many. And we are surprised… always we are surprised at the same time we hold deep confidence that things will work out. This is not the first time God has held and upheld us here in Hillsboro. We know we do not need to spend energy worrying about these kinds of things. And yet still, we worry a little, and we trust, and we pray and we wait…


How faithful God is, how loving and generous are God’s people. We are grateful, so deeply grateful. And we feel renewed inspiration to be good stewards of God’s gift to us—the gift of the invitation to be present in Hillsboro at this time. Nothing lasts forever, and we are just so grateful for what is, what has happened, and for God’s constant Presence in our lives as so lovingly manifested thorough God’s people.

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