Sunday, June 11, 2017
A Gold Mine
This morning, it being a Sunday morning, I made my way to a different spot than is my norm. Sunday mornings usually find me at the Parish Church for the 9:45, watching as the processional, the incense, and the Eucharist are offered. But while getting ready to go, I remembered a small but kindly congregation just down the lane from my new digs. Hmm, I thought. Maybe I should go there.
Are they Church of England? Baptist? Universalist? No, no, and no. They are none of these, worthy though these may be. This place of worship turns out to be something that St Ives knows a lot about, for they are just about everywhere here. They are Methodists!
We had visited them once, and enjoyed it first to last. Their organist had even invited me to play that magnificent instrument after the service was over, and I have never forgotten the experience. It made even little-old-me sound good.
So this morning I made my way there, found the door open, and was met by kindness, welcome, and a pew sheet. All of this besides being invited for coffee and tea afterward. My morning was looking up.
The service was led by a lovely Scottish woman who, when the sound system gave a bit of a screech, conducted the service wonderfully without it. She did not need a sound system in the first place, but it was nice of them to provide one just in case. She did the readings, led the hymns (terrific ones!), and preached the sermon - all with the most delightful and confident Scottish accent.
A true highlight of the morning was when two men were invited to the podium to sing the anthem. They were terrific, and it brought down the house. It must be something about Methodism, this forthrightness, this clarity, this Faith of our Fathers. The organist accompanied them, and still they did not need a sound system. Their voices blended perfectly, almost as if they had been doing this their whole lives. And it turns out that they had been doing it together their whole lives. I learned the reason for this afterwards: they are brothers. No wonder! (and their ages are 78 and 84). It is well known that brothers (and sisters, as we all know) blend almost magically.
I approached them as we held our cups of tea afterward.
"Your anthem was wonderful," I said shyly.
"Oh? Well, thank you, Miss," said the younger brother with a smile.
"What is the name of the song?" I asked. "I've never heard it."
They were shocked. "Where are you from?" the elder brother asked, and when I said, "California," he said, "Ah, of course. California.."
"The name of the song is The Savior With Me," his brother interjected. He paused, then said, "Would you like a copy of it?"
"Oh yes, I'd love one. Do you have an extra?" and he took it out of his Bible, and handed it over. To me, it looked just a little bit like a Gold Mine. I placed it carefully in my bag.
We finished our tea, the Scottish woman, the two brothers, and the organist, and then it was time to go. How was it that I was already reluctant to go? I had spent only an hour there, but it felt like longer. It felt like we blended almost magically.
Almost as if we were siblings.
See you along the Way!