Last month, the church which I attended for 24 years held its final service. It was always a small church in the Episcopal and then Anglican Church, but the small attendance and dwindling ministries offered finally caught up with it.
There is a lot of analysis that can be done as to why the church finally closed down. Frankly, I don’t have the patience to do so. Most of it would be pure speculation on my part anyway.
It was the church I grew up in. I had my wedding there, witnessed my brother’s wedding there, had my son baptized there. I was confirmed there.
But in the end, as with all things, the church just wasn’t able to support itself, even with a part-time pastor and minimal expenses.
The people who attended were not stingy. We were, by and large, a very generous group. It just wasn’t enough.
And we weren’t bringing people in. Maybe it had something to do with the building we moved to. Maybe we just weren’t going out and evangelizing enough.
Still, I’m not terribly sad over the whole ordeal. When I was on Vestry years ago, I pointed out that we can get people to come but not to stay and that if they decide to go to a different church and get saved, then the Body of Christ still wins.
Churches come and go. They have a finite lifespan just like everything else in this life. What matters is the lives that are touched and the souls saved in the process.
Right now my family and I are attending a new church. It takes me a while to get used to the people in new places as I do not trust new faces easily. But that is okay, it is all part of the process.