Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Start of a New Era with a New Building
When I was a about a year my parents bought a house and moved in. One of the reasons of why they chose that location was that a brand new meetinghouse was being built down the street. They liked the idea of living close enough to a meetinghouse to walk to church. I grew up going to services in this building and running in its halls. I didn't realize how attached I was to a building until November 19, 2007. At 2am we were awaken by neighbors telling us that the church was on fire. It was arson. I don't know anything about the current investigation or if anyone has even been arrested- but for some reason I don't think anyone has been.
The church in flames was a sight to see. It was almost nothing in such a short amount of time. Thank goodness no one was inside at the time, and no one was hurt. We all stood on the street watching the building burn while in our pajamas.
In the morning there was little left, but a shell and a standing steeple. There were so many worries that The Church wasn't going to rebuild. My parent's ward was sent to a building about 10 minutes away, and all the other wards in the building were sent to other buildings to hold their services. For months there was no answer to what was going to be done. In fact, it was almost a year before it was announced that the building was going to be rebuilt. Anytime I drove by the empty lot, I felt a hole in me. One of the factors that influenced the choice to rebuild in this spot was the outcry from the neighbors (not members of the Church) who express concerns and that they miss having the building there. That was special because so often in a ward you hear about how the ward around the building begrudges that fact that they have to do with the building, with the view blocked, with the traffic (more then just one day a week too), with all the little perky members. But to hear that they missed it and wanted it rebuilt was comforting.
The new building went up so quickly. It was dedicated a few weeks ago now. I attended church with my family while visiting them this last weekend, and it still smells strongly of paint and new things. Its a beautiful building, its not the same. I am grateful they rebuilt. I'm grateful that my parents could again walk to church. One thing that is comforting, is that building or no building, it doesn't change that the Church is True!