Be thankful for the beauty that sur­rounds us

The Amherst News - - COMMUNITY - REV. DON MILLER

As I write this viewpoint, a bus­load of tourists from the south are ex­plor­ing the church.

Some love the ar­chi­tec­ture. Oth­ers are more in­ter­ested in our bath­rooms.

But they come in and roam around, of­ten point­ing out things that I haven’t no­ticed for years: the horse­shoe bal­cony, the bap­tistry, the Casa­van or­gan.

To­day a lovely woman from Ge­or­gia who talked like Scar­let O’Hara kept touch­ing the rounded pews. “ ey’re gor­geous! I can’t be­lieve they’re made of wood!” I gig­gled, think­ing to my­self, “what else would they be made from?”

I sup­pose the pews in her church are far more prac­ti­cal. Mod­ern. Up­hol­stered. Per­haps the orig­i­nals were re­placed years ago. It makes sense. Bet­ter use of space. Her seats can be moved about on a whim in any con gure­ment. Our’s haven’t moved for one hun­dred and twenty-two years. I’m glad we still have our wooden pews - warps, cracks and all.

I re­mem­ber when I vis­ited this church 30 years ago. It was for a fu­neral and long be­fore I ever dreamed of work­ing here. My home church in Bed­ford was built in the 1960’s and it was quite mod­ern even for it’s time. I love that church...the plain coloured glass and mod­ern ‘A’ frame struc­ture. But when I came to Amherst and sat in our sanc­tu­ary for the rst time, I felt I had en­tered into the very pres­ence of God.

I think oth­ers feel the same way too. It’s not un­usual for peo­ple to stop in and sit for a mo­ment of quiet. Maybe a prayer or two.

I know the church is not a build­ing, and I know some are ve­he­mently op­posed to the costs of keep­ing up an old build­ing like ours. A waste of money, I am told. It’s ex­pen­sive to heat. Lots of drafts. ere al­ways seems to be some­thing that needs a lit­tle work.

But when life is trou­bling... When I need to take a mo­ment...

To sim­ply be still...

...and know that God is still God....

...then I’m very thankful for the beauty that sur­rounds me, and the faith and love of count­less folk who have come be­fore me and pre­served this old House of Wor­ship.

We are blessed in this town to have some in­cred­i­ble sanc­tu­ar­ies.

Prob­a­bly wouldn’t hurt for you to visit them every once in a while.

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