Tradition and change…..they tend to contradict each other…..one is comfortable – a part of us…..the other upsets our lives, our emotions, and our sense of security. Everyone has some traditions they hold dear and everyone has some level of adversity to change….and, the older we get, the more we cling to traditions and the more adverse we are to change.
I am a fifth generation member of the Albion First United Methodist church! I attended services there as a child, my mother was a member from the time she was a little girl, my grandmother attended with her mother, who attended with her mother! When I retired and moved back to Albion, I also returned to the church of my roots. I quickly made many new friends that have become very dear to me. I joined committees and the choir and I looked for ways to be active in events and missions. I settled in nicely! So, it was very much to my dismay to discover that they had been dealing with some very heavy issues with the building. Apparently, about 100 years ago the congregation at the time wanted to reorient the sanctuary and, at the same time, created a vaulted ceiling and installed a magnificent stained glass window depicting the Good Shepherd that was gifted by their pastor. To do all this, they cut the cross beams that spanned across the sanctuary ceiling. Fast forward 100 years and we find ourselves in a precarious and extremely expensive situation of having approximately a million or so dollars worth of structural damage……$1,000,000 that we just don’t have and, despite the best efforts over several years, have been unable to secure any grants or other sources of funding to pay for it!
So, we’re moving…..that is a simple statement that fails to convey the years of agonizing over options and decisions and heartache, but it is the fact……we’re moving! We have worked out an agreement with another one of the seven historic churches sitting around the Courthouse Square – a district listed on the National Registry of Historic Places – to share their church. Beginning tomorrow morning – Easter Sunday – our congregation will move just one block away to the Christ Episcopal Church on Main St in Albion. We will hold our services at 9:30 am and they will hold theirs at 11:00 am…..and, together, the two congregations will serve the community as we always have….just from a shared space…..just one block away!
This hasn’t been easy on our congregation…….reread that first paragraph about tradition and change! It has been so very emotional for us all. But, we’re staying together as a congregation and as a church family of friends, so we’re OK!
Here is our new church home……the Christ Church……and what a lovely new home it is!!! (For a more detailed accounting of the events that compile the last of the last things we did in our church, click on over to the blog I write for the church)
Here’s to change, new beginnings, transferred traditions, and new traditions……