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Minister's Corner: Al's turn

The great novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote,

“I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of scenery.

Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.”

I find great implications in Stevenson’s words that apply well to our church and congregation. I need to express this.

Without doubt, we do not meet in a cathedral; we meet in a historic country church like a lot of others, but, on those Sundays when I drive to Bernardston and see our building coming into view, I feel like rewriting Stevenson’s lines.

“I never weary of this great church. It is my favorite scenery.

What it stands for and the people who meet in it inspire me

to view it as a cathedral.”

What counts is that, when I open the door of my “cathedral” and think of the people I am about to greet again, I always feel good, right and proud -- they are the church. Those last four words are very significant. Originally, the word “church” was a reference to people, not to a building, small or large. For me, the people of our congregation are still “the church” -- indeed, a cathedral I have built within my mind and heart.

Once I served a congregation that met in a cathedral-like structure, in one of the largest cities in the world. A thousand people could be comfortably seated in that church. But, no matter how many people were seated there, I never felt anything remotely like what I feel in Bernardston, good to be there, right in spirit and proud I can be a part of it all. I hope everyone in the congregation feels as I do.

Al Ciarcia