Thursday evening,at our community meal,a friend came to me with great anxiety about the possible closing of her church,St. Hedwig in Southbridge.
The vote was coming that evening and she,like a child learning of her parents decision of possible disillusion,was very upset.
Sunday afternoon the answer was given to me,that their fate had been sealed and they were to be a discontinued church.
Now it is very easy when its not your parish to become flip about such judgements and see it as a much needed necessity,which unfortunately,it is.
The problem here is the people who now face the greatest sadness are the ones who put the most time and faith into their parish,not the ones who only came to service twice a year and almost needed a map or gps to find the building.
It is with great sadness that I have come to a point in my life were the need to close so many churches is a reality.
Lack of interest in what was,for some,a childhood religion,is a sad future.
We no longer have time,not even one morning a week,to walk into a church and make contact with God and neighbors,in worship.
The demise of a church,for some people,may also be the ending of their own faith as Satan helps increase their feelings of loss of trust in established religion.
Now I know all the reasons why a church needs to close and the biggest unfortunately is membership and financial loss.
Jesus said "when ever 2 or more are gathered in my name so am I" but I guess that idea doesn't work when your trying to pay the bills on a religious building.
This is the second church where I have had a personal knowledge of the good people,who are trying their hardest,to maintain and keep a dedicated relationship with God and man.
I guess all the good works of a single church can not save it when its on a life line.
The death of anyone or anything is always sad,but sometimes personal losses help us to move in new directions.
We at St. Micheal Orthodox Church,need to step up and be the good neighbor,by making ourselves ever ready to console and assist when needed.
The one thing St. Hedwig taught our church was,charity to neighborhood,by showing us how to set up and run our most successful community meals.
They were kind and patient with us and like an older sibling gave the encouragement we needed to assist and succeed in our new mission.
Now our time has come to pay back our neighbor during their time of loss.
Pope John Paul said something about the Catholic Faith and Orthodox Faith being like the right and left lung in a person body,working together we are strong and healthy.
When ever a Catholic or Orthodox Church is put in a position of having to close their doors,we as a united Christian Faith become just a little less strong and the world around us a little more sick.