I feel excited and something else indescribable as I think about our church’s 75th anniversary celebration on Sunday. People from across the country are coming back to participate in worship and join in the festivities. With the return of members and pastors who have been a large part of my faith growing up in this place, it is bringing back memories I hadn’t expected.
I grew up in this faith community, so I know many people who have come and gone over the years. My father was on various committees and sang in the choir, and my mother played the piano frequently. The day before she died, I was in worship and remember being surrounded by the love of our members who knew how ill she was. Her spirit is continually with me as I share music in this special place. Walking around the church, I occasionally think of how much this building has changed, yet it retains similarities to what I remember as a child. The constant is God. I may not have known this in third grade, but looking back I now see more clearly the times God gave me a gentle nudge. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be a part of the history echoing all around this church with vibrations of all who have crossed the thresholds.
As we worship together on Sunday, I know I will feel the love that has been infused into the walls; living walls holding and retelling our stories of faith.
How many voices have sung in this place? How many hymns have rung out in this place? How many tears have fallen in the place? How many feet have stepped in this place? How many Lord’s Prayers have echoed in this place? These walls resonate; these walls vibrate with the wonder of generations; These walls echo with the heartbeats of ancestors and friends; Nothing disappears without a trace in this creation. Love and high aspiration; Grief and adoration; Live in these walls; The heartbeat of generations live in these walls. Their yearning toward God lives in these walls. Whispering to us; Encouraging us; Echoing in us. Singing with us. ~ Susan Palo Cherwien