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Be thankful for the beauty that surrounds us

As I write this viewpoint, a busload of tourists from the south are exploring the church.  

Some love the architecture. Others are more interested in our bathrooms.
But they come in and roam around, often pointing out things that I haven’t noticed for years: the horseshoe balcony, the baptistry, the Casavan organ.
Today a lovely woman from Georgia who talked like Scarlet O’Hara kept touching the rounded pews. “They’re gorgeous! I can’t believe they’re made of wood!” I giggled, thinking to myself, “what else would they be made from?”
I suppose the pews in her church are far more practical. Modern. Upholstered. Perhaps the originals were replaced years ago. It makes sense. Better use of space. Her seats can be moved about on a whim in any configurement. Our’s haven’t moved for one hundred and twenty-two years. I’m glad we still have our wooden pews - warps, cracks and all.
I remember when I visited this church 30 years ago. It was for a funeral and long before I ever dreamed of working here. My home church in Bedford was built in the 1960's and it was quite modern even for it’s time. I love that church...the plain coloured glass and modern ‘A’ frame structure. But when I came to Amherst and sat in our sanctuary for the first time, I felt I had entered into the very presence of God.
I think others feel the same way too. It’s not unusual for people to stop in and sit for a moment of quiet. Maybe a prayer or two.
I know the church is not a building, and I know some are vehemently opposed to the costs of keeping up an old building like ours. A waste of money, I am told. It’s expensive to heat. Lots of drafts. There always seems to be something that needs a little work.
But when life is troubling...
When I need to take a moment...
To simply be still...
...and know that God is still God....
...then I’m very thankful for the beauty that surrounds me, and the faith and love of countless folk who have come before me and preserved this old House of Worship.
We are blessed in this town to have some incredible sanctuaries.
Probably wouldn’t hurt for you to visit them every once in a while.

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