Lakewood Community Church
At the KOA Campground
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
After locating a few churches via traditional scientific methods (drive by and the web), someone posted a church service at the community center, literally twenty steps away.
I chose the closest one.
It's a 'come as you are' church, shorts and sandals standard fare, and casual dress made for relaxed relationships. This bunch is tightly knit, as they live pretty darn close to one another, and most of them are snowbirds, hailing from Chicago, Toronto, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. Bud and Rita met me and we chatted a bit before the service. The 'Where are you from?' question always raises eyebrows as we're so far from home, but rather than describe our setup, today I could point out the window and say, "That's us." These people, expert travelers, thought the trip sounded pretty cool.
The metal folding chairs had names stenciled on the back-that's a first. I asked if they were reserved, but was told they were the original people, and it's like a 'donate a brick' deal, and they're probably all dead by now. Weird.
LCC looks like a church; bulletin, hymnals, lectern and altar, albeit all temporary. But when you think about it, everything is temporary, right? Susan, the pastor (is she elected, ordained, or just took the initiative?) greeted us and we got started, singing the old songs, 'Standing on the Promises,' 'Onward Christian Soldiers,' and the Doxology. Well, no one looked younger than sixty, but I still can't remember saying "Doth" or "Thou" outside of this room this week. These same songs could be heard in churches during the Civil War.
The order of service was printed in the bulletin and I was struck by the investment of time someone took for this group. Then Susan preached, and my opinion solidified. She preached on the Beatitudes and it was clear she worked hard on it. I respect that. And no problem with their tenets of faith. Oops. 'Tenet' is a really old word (1590-1600). Now I feel like a hypocrite.
I know this was a low budget church. They use the rec center I assume for free, the hymnals are twenty years old, and people volunteer to bring snacks. But Susan announced the offering, stating that the money would be used for support for local humanitarian organizations. But people threw in ones and fives. Really? A dollar?Hopefully they support their local churches back home.
Afterwards, people stayed for snacks so I mingled and people were friendly and personable. I realize we were in a retirement strong group, but still I worry about the second and third generations while we cling to our traditions.
Today sometime I've got to visit Bud and check out his '40 Ford pickup (flathead powered) and '62 Cushman scooter (500 cc) with a suicide clutch. And one thing leads to another, so the Ice Cream Social sounds like fun and tonight is Music Night too.
We may stay in Florida for quite some time.
Once again, the iPad has failed me, and so I'm unable to post photos. Grr! Working on it...