Royal Oak Tribune

Holiday unites community after fire guts church

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NEWYORK » At Christmase­s past, parishione­rs at Middle Collegiate in New York City rejoiced over gospel hymns, carols and soul tunes played on a Stein way piano that is now only metal and ashes after the historic church was destroyed this month by fire.

“Our brass doors are warped, our glass is shattered, our beams have fallen down,” said the Rev. Jacqui Lewis, the church’s senior minister. “The sanctuary is gutted. We are gutted.”

It seemed a tragic coda to an already- difficult year in which the congregati­on has met only virtually for nine months due to the pandemic. But amid the grief, Lewis asked parishione­rs to “worship God with joy” when they observed the fourth Sunday of Advent last weekend.

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