Monday, November 10, 2008

All in a Day

Yesterday I croaked my way through worship due to a cold and then headed off to a couple of other pastoral activities.

First of all I went to the funeral home to support a couple who had lost a father and father-in-law. The deceased, whom I had never met, was 92 and often these visitations for older folk are small because they outlive their peers. Well, the line extended through the room, across the entranceway and out the door. The St. Paul's pair in front of me noted that the big family had a strong rural connection, which was certainly evident. We chatted about how the changing nature of Bowmanville means that this "rural route" culture is coming to an end. It took 40 minutes in line before I could express my condolences.

On then to a community hall where a St. Paul's couple was celebrating their sixty fifth wedding anniversary. Although I was somewhat late they were still on their feet greeting guests and obviously enjoying themselves. I realized tht while I had attended some sixtieth anniversaries, this sixty fifth was a first. Some couples make it to sixty five but often one is in a nursing home and perhaps fragile in body or mind. It is a gift for a couple to be in relatively good health and to have shared so many years.

These events are a reminder of the importance of Christian community. There were St. Paul's people in both places, expressing their support in grief and joy. During worship our treasurer did a pie chart presentation of how staff time is spent. It was well done and helpful but it can only take us so far to the "why" of being Christ's gathered people.


Anonymous said...

When I enter a church my first thought is "We are not alone." It means to me that God is with us, but really what it means is more obvious. God is with us through each other. I read somewhere a story about a hermit who lived alone with his piety, and though I can't remember the whole of it, the ending pointed towards the revelation that piety without others isn't possible. We really can't enter into a relationship with God without entering into relationship with those who He created. To attempt this is to attempt to live AS God, as opposed to FOR God. That to me is the "why" we gather as God's people. Because not to would be to pass Him by. It may be possible to gather in places other than a church, if this is where you are in life, but gather we must.

Deborah Laforet said...

I find that the one time our church draws a crowd is for a funeral. Maybe that is because of our rural setting. No matter the age of the one who has died, our church is full. It's the only time I know that I will need to print extra bulletins.

It's also one of those rare times when churched and unchurched come together. We live in a community in which there is no funeral home, so most of the funerals happen within the church. I find it to be an opportunity for the church to be supportive of those in their community who are hurting.

David Mundy said...

In life, in death,
in life beyond death,
God is with us,
we are not alone.