As I arrived this morning, one of our volunteers told me we had five new families today for our food pantry at the church. A trip downstairs revealed that chairs lining the hallway were full and children were quietly playing on the floor as their families waited their turn for food. We’ve been getting busier lately. From July of 2016 to December, we distributed over 6,000 pounds of food—that’s three tons in six months! In an average month, we are helping to feed about 100 people out of this little church. How happy we are to be able to provide this service. How sad that the service is needed.
In the early stages of my journey to pastoral ministry, I was an intern in a mid-sized country church in Ontario, Canada. I don’t remember how old it was exactly, but the church was at least 100 years old and had witnessed many of the cultural changes that came to our denomination over time. One of those changes was the introduction of musical instruments.
I first heard the story of the “organ battle” from Chris, an elderly member of the congregation who told the story with a heavy helping of gentleness and grace. It wasn’t until 1955 that the General Conference of the Brethren in Christ authorized the use of instruments in the church for those that desired them. When interest in having an organ installed at the Rosebank congregation developed, the church essentially divided into two factions, those who were for it and those who were against it.