I'm in extreme ponder mode.
I went to church yesterday. The church I grew up in. It's closing. Yeah, it's just gotten too small and while it's financially solvent, they aren't attracting new members, blah blah blah, so it's closing.
that church is one of the biggest reasons I don't believe in organized religion, at least not for me. Assholes flourish too easily. But to a lot of folks, it was a good place, a place that helped them to grow.
I was seeing a lot of ghosts yesterday. Some good, some bad. I mean, I was married there, so that was a decent memory. But, some really crummy stuff too.
I won't go into details, because it doesn't matter. I surived. Battleworn, cynical, and I carry a few scars, but I've survived.
But I'm not sure how I feel about this. It is another peice of my childhood gone. And trust me, it was part of my childhood. Church was pretty much the end all and be all growing up. You went to Sunday School and Church. You went to youth group, Jr. Youth group, bible study, bible school. Since I wasn't a joiner at school, I was a participant, like it or not in Church activities. Like it or not, the place is a part of me. Even though I've never made an impact on the church to be honest.
I was a bit surprised we never said the apostles creed in this sermon. But, we did get our chance to do the Q&A goodbye.
We are here to celebrate the life of Hope Church, to give thanks to God for the gifts that have come to us and to others through this ministry, and to affirm our faith in Jesus Christ.
Let us be grateful for God's gifts, honest about our sorrow, open in our love, always trunsting in Jesus Christ, the only head of the Church.
The service today marks a passage for this congretation. A ministry is coming to a close; something new is about to be born. God is calling the members of this congregation to new ministries.
Congregations are formed and congregations are disbanded, but the Lord our God reigns forever
Do you, the members of Hope Church, now agree to disband as a worshipping community?
We do, with the help of God.
Do you offer your encouragement and prayers to fellow brothers and sisters as they seek to join other Christain communities?
We do, with the help of God
Let us give thanks to God.
How can we properly thank you, Lord God, for the ministry of this church over these past 45 years? For every person who has shown the love of Christ to another, for every quiet act of service which helped another, for every song of praise offered to you from the depths of grateful hearts, for every paray uttered here which gave you honor and glory, for each person nurtured by teaching and fellowship, for all the ways in which you have used Hope Church to guide and direct your people - for all these gifts of ministry we give you thanks and praise.
Go now surrounded by the love of Christain brothers and sisters, led by the promises of God the Father, the presence of Jesus Christ His Son and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Amen.May the peace of God go with you
May his blessed grace abound
And his temder mercies crown you
Sheltered by his love around
May His Holy Spirit guide you
And you're every need provide you
May his angels walk besides you
May you go in peace.
Rest in peace.