Saturday, June 8, 2013

Memories of the 'Old Church'...

Recently the congregation I am a part of moved into a new building (Vineland FRC).  While moving into a new church building is exciting and all, the move from the old building for the sentimental types (aka me) brought up a lot of old memories.  I know it's "just a building" but I can't help but think about all that has happened in that building - funerals, weddings, confession of faith, baptisms, and life changing sermons.

At the dedication service for the new building a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak about the lighter side of the 'old building'.  I've had some requests to put it on the blog, so here it is.  Enjoy.

There has been a lot of anticipation over the last couple of weeks, months and maybe even years as the plans and the building of this church building progressed.  We have finally made it here and we can look forward to a new unfolding chapter in our church’s history.

Everything has turned out beautifully too – the building’s facade, the organ’s facade, the fellowship hall, and the steeple.  Before we get too engrossed in this building, perhaps it would be fitting to take one last nostalgic look at the old building – a building that is rich in memories.

For a kid, the former Vineland FRC building held many secrets and mysteries.  Many questions would besiege my young mind.  Here are some of the questions that a couple generations of kids sitting in the old building would have thought about:

What was behind the red curtain behind the pulpit?  Was there some sort of secret room?  Did anyone live behind there?  Needless to say, I was very disappointed to find that there was just a brick wall, though I held onto to hope that one of the bricks released a secret door...

Was the white wrought iron railing in the sanctuary super valuable?  Did it have real gold highlights?  Did the Dutch immigrants bring it over from Holland?

What was in the floor safe of the lower basement (aka the dungeon)?  Pirate gold?  Knitted toilet paper holder dolls that were left over from the bazaar?  A first edition 1912 Psalter? A Martin Mans autographed music book? 

Why did the kitchen have thousands of tea towels?  What did the kitchen people know that we didn’t?

Was the nursery room with all of the cribs lining the walls once used as a zoo?

Who invented candy time right before the sermon?

Were people hiding up in the organ loft?  

Was there anything stored behind the dedication stone by the front doors?  A secret map perhaps? The Dead Sea Scrolls?

Were my parents allowing me to read too many Hardy Boy Books?

Where did all of those loads of gravel on the driveway always disappear to?  Had any cars every vanished in the mud?

Do the adults really think we eat the oranges in the Christmas Sunday School goody bags?

If the lights fell down from the sanctuary ceiling, would I get hit?

Was the stretcher at the back of the church used in the Boer War?

What was the little side room in the library used for?  Is that where all the bad kids were sent until church was over?

Will Fruit Loop necklaces still be in style when I am an adult?

What became of Pastor Schoul’s first commodore computer?  Did it hold its value?

What will happen when they run out of colours for the church phonebooks?

Does the clock at the back of the sanctuary work or does it just run slow?

Am I the only one who has counted all of the organ pipes?

And lastly:

What will this place look like when I’m older?

Classic shot of a Christmas Sunday School program.  I can still hear the recorders...
The kitchen.  Notice that one of the round garbage covers was not inserted properly.  This should not shock anyone who has been in that kitchen.  Struggling with those lids with the bowling ball like holes in them will not soon be forgotten.
The church basement - such a quiet and peaceful place.

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