Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Sunday of Sweet Sorrows

This has been a Sunday full of joy and bittersweet sorrow. This morning, we had a beautiful Pentecost service, with readings from Genesis (Tower of Babel) and the Pentecost story from Acts. The sermon nicely tied together the introduction of different languages at Babel, and the bringing together of all nations at Pentecost. We also had another baptism, which is always so special.






The bittersweet came this afternoon. The second church my husband serves was decommissioned today. He has served this congregation for 7 years. As an aging parish, normal Sunday attendance was down to around 10 (including my husband and myself). The remaining members are all able-bodied, and need and desire to be a part of a larger congregation that they can be involved with activities other than an hour of church on Sundays. They voted in January to decommission the church. Although I have no doubt that this is the proper thing, that these lovely people will spiritually be better off in a more active congregation, it is still hard to say goodbye. Several will come to our congregation. My husband preached on today's Gospel lesson: John 14:23-31. He stressed that the Holy Spirit is with each of them - they take it with them to their new churches. The Holy Spirit isn't tied to a pastor, or to a church building, but to each of them. It was very touching and emotional. We had a lot of former members and family members present, and everyone hung around to eat and visit.

More storms have moved through tonight (another 2" so far.) A long day. Glad it's over.

7 comments:

Juloyes said...

That is sad..it seems like sometimes America is moving more toward western Europe, where there seem to be more church buildings closed (or converted in restaurants) than there are open...Will this lighten your husband's load, though?

Toni said...

I have never heard of a church being
decommissioned! Guess it makes sense though! Have a good Memorial Day!

Jennifer said...

It is hard to see a church shut down but God has a reason for everything. Hopefully these people will be a huge blessing to whatever church that become a part of.

Caroline said...

Juloyes,

This lightens his load tremendously - up until years ago he served 3 churches - about 200 miles every Sunday. I don't know how he's done it this long. Can you say 'Sunday afternoon nap?' Seems like I can remember things like that - lol

Juloyes said...

That's unreal. Why did he have to travel so much? Was it that each church couldn't afford to support a minister? How did you decide where to attend, or did you go, too? Why didn't they get a single guy to do that kind of work? Anyway, I'm glad this will help your hubby (and you!), even if it is sad.

Constance said...

My real father is a minister in the Assemblies of God churches and he does a lot of revivals and guest speaking. That's not every Sunday though. That would become wearisome before long!
Connie

Caroline said...

Juloyes,
The problem my beloved has is that he has the heart of a real pastor. When these churches dropped down to where they couldn't support a full-time pastor, and it was asked who would serve them, his was the hand that went up. He loves the people and the work. I always attended all services with him. We were blessed that our kids were old enough when this began (14 & 9) that they could stay home. (Actually, they usually were off at a friends house much of the day each weekk!) Had they been younger, there's no way we would have dragged them along.