Sunday, July 19, 2009

Funeral for a Friend

Today we held worship next to where the church building stood. I adapted part of the funeral liturgy from the Book of Worship, as well as part of the liturgy for taking leave of a building. In many ways today was a funeral for our building. The church is the people, but the building was a beloved family member.

Nearly 200 people came to worship with us today, including Dr. Ron Lowrey, our District Superintendent, and Rev. Roger Hobson, executive assistant to our Bishop.

As part of the service, we had taken bricks from one of the chimneys that had collapsed and used it to build a Wailing Wall, like the one in Jerusalem, and during our prayer time we wrote down prayers and put them in the cracks of the wall.

Our historical marker survived the fire, and will be kept as part of a memorial that will be in our new building.

We also celebrated Holy Communion in our worship. Today was a bittersweet yet beautiful time of mourning and celebration. Tomorrow we will begin the long work of rebuilding. Please keep our congregation in your prayers.

photos courtesy of the Leaf Chronicle and Jessica Kelley.

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