What are churches and what is a Church? One hundred and fifty years ago, when Georgeville was a real little village, with stores, hotels and a ferry to the other side of the Lake, the villagers must have been proud of their church newly christened to Saint George, the dragon slayer. Who doesn’t have anything to do with Lake Memphremagog’s legendary dragon monster, but who may have started it, one easily imagining a parent twisting St. George’s tale to their children with Georgeville and the Dragon. We keep the right to the title.
It was an Anglican Church, in the days when God’s word was less about what He said, but about what some had decided He had said. So Christ came in multiple flavours, all housed in a different building called a church. Obviously, faith in Christ has evolved over the years and now, while it comes in numerous ways of praising Him, the cost of the upkeep of the buildings has caught up with reality. Most of the protestant churches now share spaces and congregations with one another.
Notably absent on Sunday was a Catholic representative. It seems that the Argentinian message is not heard everywhere, but he is a Jesuit, he’ll find a way. It cannot be worse than the last centennial we attended when the poor Catholic priest present refused the offering of the Body of Christ! “Church policy,” he whispered. And we wonder why Islam is a mess! Faith, we were reminded last Sunday, is not about buildings. Faith is about accepting God. And to admit that he works in strange ways, that he gives us a lot of leeway in worshipping Him, that He presents Himself to us in numerous fashions. That we say Him, but that He is also Her.
What has led people for millenniums to spend resources on what is finally useless space, devoted mostly to a single function weekly? Because there is not a single instance of a community not building or reserving a space for worship. And we know that all civilisations have gone to great expense on these endeavours.
Like the community in Georgeville, who spared no expense in creating a house of worship to celebrate their faith 150 years ago.
Today, they are mostly tourist attractions and a part of the cultural and social makeup of the Townships. We should not forget that they were once a place of worship.