FOR SIX MONTHS NOW, since strong winds ripped half the roof from St. John’s Lutheran Church in my hometown of Vesta, the congregation has been without a permanent place to worship.
Ponder that for a moment. If you are a church-going person, how would you be impacted by the temporary closure of your church building?
Here’s how St. John’s members have dealt with the situation: They are worshipping at their sister congregation, Peace Lutheran in Echo, about 10 miles away. They are holding Sunday School classes in the Vesta Community Hall. They are rebuilding and expanding St. John’s.
Like the strong prairie people they are, St. John’s folks are adapting. They are helping one another, offering rides to those who can’t/don’t wish to drive to Echo, especially during the winter months.
Yet, this absence of their church within their community can’t always be easy. Imagine losing a loved one who attended St. John’s, whose death could not be mourned in the comfort of familiar surroundings. The same goes for celebrating baptisms and weddings.
In a small town like Vesta, population around 330, a church knits people and lives together into a community of care. That still exists. But, without a building, it takes extra effort to maintain that closeness.
For those who call St. John’s home and for those of us who grew up in this congregation, the reopening of these church doors cannot come soon enough.
Will “soon” be Easter?
© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling