New World Speed Record

Karen and I shot to the top of the world’s tallest broadcast/communication tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree (634 meters/2080 feet). The view from the Tembo Deck is spectacular. As you gaze out over the 360-degree vista of the world’s largest city, it seems like you can look down on all 35 million of those souls far below—urban sprawl as far as the eye can see. The super elevators that whisked us up and then back down the Sky Tree are clocked at 10 meters (almost 33 feet) per second! 

But the world elevator speed record holder now is in China. How fast does it travel? “The world’s fastest elevator, developed by Hitachi Building Systems [a Japanese company that has built the three fastest elevators on the planet], is installed in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, a 530-meter-high skyscraper built in Guangzhou, China. In order to carry guests to the hotel on the upper floors, the elevator climbs from the 1st floor to the 95th in around 42 seconds. Its recorded maximum speed of 1260 m/min has been recognized as a Guinness World Record” ( That is a stomach-sinking 21 meters or 68-plus feet per second.  

But to put it in perspective, compare these speeds going up with the speeds going down of an average roller coaster (which if you were foolhardy enough to ride, would drop you at a speed of 33 meters or 108 feet per second). On land that is almost 74 miles an hour. (And of course in a car, who bats an eye at that speed.)

How fast will the new elevator travel, the one our Renovate 2.0 construction project will begin to install on December 27? Good news! It will travel faster to the next floor than our stairs are capable of offering right now. I.e., our senior members or visitors, our physically disadvantaged worshipers, and our young families will be able to travel in quiet comfort without a single worry about negotiating the (obstacle course-like) stairway leading into the sanctuary from our main parking lot right now. We all listened to one of our senior members describe how she prays at the bottom of those stairs every Sabbath morning before negotiating them up to the top in order to reach the sanctuary. Prayers in church? Of course. But prayers before climbing stairs? Not good.

So thank you for the way you have embraced our new Renovate 2.0 project. No one is going to send you a pledge card—no one will call you up. The leaders of our church board believe the inarguable need for this new elevator (especially for our senior members, who have invested the most financially through their faithful years of giving at Pioneer) will be motivation enough to raise the $1 million we need. Already $230,000 has been given or promised toward this new elevator. And I am confident we as a church Family will rise up and provide the funds necessary to complete this essential project by the first half of 2023.

You may give directly through, or through your tithe envelope. Just mark the line “Renovate” with your offering. Naturally, this project will necessitate regular and sacrificial giving over the eight months ahead. But imagine our joy when the doors of our new elevator open to a new chapter in eldercare in the Pioneer Family. It is a Jesus cause and it is a Jesus care that He will bless us to provide: “‘Freely you have received; freely give’” (Matthew 10:8) is His personal appeal to us all. 

Thank you.