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How God measures a church: reflections on the dissolution of Knox, Drayton, Ont.

HOW DO YOU WRITE the history of a church?

Do you note all the work done on the building? Do you note all the ministers who served the church, the dates they served, the clerks of session, who served on the board of managers? What about all the activities over all the years, including the ham and scalloped potato supper, strawberry social or the 30-Hour Famine?

I wonder how God measures the history of a church. We were as a church created to be "the bride of Christ." What does that mean or entail?

As I think back over my life at Knox, Drayton, Ont, it was the little things not written down on paper that I remember. It is the Holy Spirit-filled prayers that the ministers shared that touched my heart and convicted me of an area of my life that needed to be corrected; or a sermon or message that gave me comfort and seemed to be preached exactly for the thing I was struggling with or going through.

It was a feeling of peace and joy knowing that I was forgiven and loved by the Lord Almighty. Or when I heard the word of God preached when my heart was hard and I could not or did not listen or receive. And it was other times when I felt my mind and heart were connected and in tune with the things that matter the most to Jesus. It was sometimes going through the motions, but other times it was being actively engaged and touched to the core. It was talking about things that matter. It was also times when I felt disconnected and alone.

I recall the special moments of children with all their life and laughter sharing their week with you and greeting you with a hug at the door; the faith of a child that I wished I had, with all its innocence. It was hearing thejoyful sounds of our church family as we laughed together at ourselves and our ways and drawing together; or, supporting each other when a member had lost a child and needed to hear a message of hope.

It says in the book of John that Jesus did so many things it could not be contained in a book. As I reflect back, I have so many memories and things that are in me now as a result of attending and being a part of this church, I could not write them down or even articulate them. I am thankful for the life of this church (the people), for the preaching of God's word each and every week and for having the opportunity to continue to grow in God's love. As God is in our midst in the sanctuary, so too has He been with us as we go out of this building into a world that needs to see His love. We are and can be the heart, the hands and feet of Jesus wherever we go. God does not measure things like we do as humans, so I know that God sees and hears and knows all about the history of this church and in the end that is what matters.

By Liz Samis

Liz Samis was clerk of session at Knox, Drayton, Ont. After 133 years, the church closed its doors on Sept. 27, 2015. At the closing service interim moderator Rev. Kathy Morden told the congregation: "The church may be closing but you have made a difference, which will continue on throughout your life."

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Title Annotation:REFLECTION
Author:Samis, Liz
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Feb 1, 2016
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