Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Now we are 30

Today we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the founding of St. Bartholomew's. On this St. Bartholomew's Day in 1978 the parish of St. Bartholomew's celebrated their (our) first Order for Holy Communion. For those of us who were not there (almost but not quite all of us) it's hard to imagine and I am a bit awed. Founded by a group of people who wanted a church continuing on in the faith theirs always had without the innovations they had seen creeping into their old churches, this was a big leap of faith. They were few, and lacking the funds to put up a building, they were committed to years of meeting and worshiping in homes, rented rooms and halls, and whatever else was necessary to provide a safe place for their faith, then and for future generations.

When we joined St. Bartholomew's 25 years ago they still met in a hall but were beginning to draft plans for a building on the land they now owned. Only 3-1/2 years later, on Christmas Eve, we held our first service -- no heat, no electricity, on folding chairs amidst plasterboard dust and in the afternoon because the fire marshal wouldn't let us use candles.

It's not all been easy times since and for a period there was the question of succession because we had so few children: Would we be one of those churches that would disappear when the founding generation had passed on? Perhaps that's a constant question for many churches that seem to just soldier on, and it seems to me we may have reached beyond that realm. The first children born into this church are coming of age. Our numbers are slowly growing and there's talk not only of church planting, but how on earth do we reach out to the huge unchurched population around us -- those whom it seems have been, well, not exactly "poisoned against Christianity" but who have been taught a worldly ethos with a strong defense against the Word.

Nevertheless, the current state of St. Bartholomew's is to me as bright as I've ever seen it, and I am encouraged for our future.

Glory be to God.

3 Comments:

  • At 5:17 AM, Blogger D. Straw said…

    Your post gives me hope...And...Often, that is what faith is all about. Our own parish just turned "one" in July.

     
  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger Anglican Parish Priest said…

    "Happy 30th Anniversary, Saint Bartholomew's Parish!" from rector and family. Many Thanks to everyone who made the celebrations of the past week so joyous!

     
  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger Continuing Home said…

    Well then, congratulations! You're on your way, Fr. Straw, with my prayers.

     

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