Friday, August 15, 2008

Don't know what you got

First, some important news for writers: Lit agent Rachelle Gardner is hosting a mini-contest on her site. C'mon. Join the fun. Everybody's doing it!

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And now the really good stuff. Well...

I wrote an exceptionally sad story earlier this week for the newspaper where I work. I think it's a story that needs to be told, so I'm reprinting a piece of it here with a link to the rest.

Zion Lutheran Church closes its doors after 106 years
By Kathryn Harris
HOSKINS - The Rev. Lynn Riege will deliver a funeral sermon this Sunday.
But there won't be a casket.The mourning will come from congregation members who are sad over the loss of the 106-year-old Zion Lutheran Church in rural Hoskins as the decommissioning service takes place. "It is kind of like a death in the family," Riege said.

Riege said he believes in the importance of comforting those who are involved and offering a sense that life - and the church - will go on.
"Just as long as people have some comfort and some sense of that it's truly not the end of the church or the end of the congregation as it has been," he said.
After Sunday, he said, it's just that their former place of worship will be just a building. The decision to decommission the building and merge the congregation with St. John's Lutheran Church east of Pierce has been in discussion with members for the past three years, Riege said.
The main reason? Read the full story here.
I felt an incredible sadness doing the interview for this story. I'm a sentimental person anyway, but I can't imagine what it must be like for the older folks who are members of this congregation. Having been baptized, confirmed and married in the same building, many have expressed remorse over not having their funeral there too.
I'd imagine it's a little like letting go of your childhood in pieces, like seeing your grandmother's house sold to a stranger, like seeing your favorite childhood toy sold at a garage sale for a price well below its sentimental value.
There's nothing that can stop this migration from rural to urban areas -- the main reason these rural churches are closing.
I guess that illustrates the importance of living in the moment and appreciating the joys we now have in life.
We never know when they'll be a memory.

1 comment:

Sheri Boeyink said...

OH! How sad:-( After 106 years? Jeepers. I can see why they are treating it like a funeral.