Yesterday morning was significant for our church here in town. Over a year ago a new cross was constructed to replace the old one on the little church spire on the roof. It is lovely; sizeable enough to be visible without looking out of proportion to the small spire, clad in clean, shiny white metal. It took a long time to have it installed as we awaited the availability of a proper lift and bucket that would carry people to the roof and give them enough room to manipulate the old one off the roof and get the new one attached while standing in the bucket, rather than attempting to stand on the new metal roof covering and risking their lives in the attempt.
The old cross up there has been up there for decades, the paint long ago peeled off, haven for assorted crows and ravens who could dig their talons into the soft wood and hang on even in the midst of the highest winds. Their presence up there made the whole building look spooky and abandoned, and as if no one cared about the most popular symbol of our faith: the crucifixion cross.
Well, the whole place looks rather swish now. Those poor old birds are going to have a heck of a time getting a grip on that new metal. They gave up trying to land on the roof any more shortly after that metal was installed. The whole building looks fresher, the new roof that was completed last year looks even nicer. There was a nice group of parishioners who came to install and watch the installation. My husband put on his alb and a bright red stole and prayed a blessing upon the cross before it ascended to the spire. Getting that project completed is another source of hope for our congregation about their future as a church. People in the neighbourhood are catching onto the fact that we are still active, still viable. A new couple has started coming to church and have been heartily welcomed into the family. They have all ready been a big help to us.
After a successful dinner (we weren't there, but the excitement about how well things went translated into several emails and phone calls today from happy parishioners), our group of guitarists got together in the sanctuary for a jam session and others stayed to enjoy it. That is part of the restoration of life here that we have been praying for over the past 4 years, believing against all hope some days, as have our congregants, that God is not finished with us yet.
New cross, new roof, new attendees, new musical life, new attitudes, new hope for the future. It is all good!