A Church

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

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.

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