When speaking to my mom the other night on the phone, she told me that the Methodist Conference had finally decided to close the church where my family attended when I was little. It was full then, but a gathering of six is considered a good crowd these days. It’s getting to where the offering doesn’t cover the utilities, so the utilities will be turned off soon.
They’re letting members and former members take a memento from the place, like a hymnal or church pew. I’d love to have a piece of the altar (prayer rail, actually) on which one of the former pastors used to pace when wound up, jumping to the wooden floor flat-footed when he wished to make a point. The neighborhood has more people than ever, but you can’t interest folks in attending a church where the spirit died 50 years ago.
I guess the land is supposed to go back to the family that originally donated it. That must gall the church higher-ups. I assume that it will be sold eventually. It would be nice if they’d give it or lease it to some beginning church, but I doubt if that will happen.
I can’t say that I have a LOT of memories there, but I have a few. For instance, the older ladies didn’t jump on the pillbox hat fad, just because Jackie Kennedy did, so I remember having to look around some impressive-sized hats to see the preacher. I vaguely remember a pretty little dark-haired girl that taught my Sunday School class. AND, I remember seeing the only bobcat that I’ve ever seen in my life, as I came back from the outhouse one day during Vacation Bible School. And I remember the bell—even years after we started going elsewhere, we could hear it ringing before service, if we were running late or not going anywhere that Sunday.
I would like to toll the bell for the death of the church but, of course, folks would think me weird for doing such a thing. Besides, should I toll it for the number of years the building was used, or just until the spirit died all those decades ago? Either way, it’s sad. © 2015