|Letters from the week of 14 - 20 March 2016
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This week's letters are in response to our front page of 13 March 2016.
An Ode to Church
When God has moved out
This sonnet (doggerel) was provoked by those who keep on saying the church is not the building but the people. Many beautiful buildings drive me closer to God; some church people drive me up the wall.
"The church is not the building but the folk
who come to sing and pray and gossip and
on Sunday mornings in the Bible soak
awhile their minds, and all about the land
remember, at their best, what Jesus told
at heart is really true, not tommy rot,
and care, at least a little, some a lot,
for neighbours who are outside in the cold."
And largely this is so, but I record
"the church" is also wood or brick or stone,
the "house of God", the "temple of the Lord", **
God’s property, God’s place, briefly on loan
to us, where in the silence we may sense
within, the Holy One. To church go hence !
** These terms are used in the Homily which encourages reverence in church. The word "church" is used in various different ways in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer itself – for the universal church, the national church, the local church, the local congregation – but also for the building, "church" coming from the Greek word for "the Lord" – think of "kyrie" and “kirk"!
Lenten blessings and Easter joys. JB
(But I have had more than my share of letters.)
S.John's O.of E., Canberra; S.Stephen's Uniting, Sydney; King's Chapel
Campbelltown, NSW., Australia 2560
14 March 2016
The closing of churches and moving out of the people shows itself to be an erasing of the structures as your 2016 May 13 editorial discusses. I also found a link which seems to illustrate this point.
It is sometime quite difficult for we transplanted people and refugees to find an anchor with a church when "God has moved out," the people have left, and the buildings are abandoned.
Seeking for a church, Newly Canadian
19 March 2016
launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003.
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