Church Surch, Week 54
Owens Valley Church of Christ "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." ~Ephesians 4:1-3 I rode through Bishop, followed the simple directions, and found a church that had been converted to a school. Hmm. I searched a bit more and found OVCC in a little office strip, a five hundred square foot unit across the street. The place had mauve carpeting. The pews, a communion table and pulpit were the only items to distinguish it from an office. Fifteen people attended, two of them guests and five were kids. Dustin, Tom and Warren introduced themselves to me. They didn't really know what to do with me. Or Warren, the other visitor for that matter. More on him later. The flock was deep rooted, having been in the church since God made salvation, apparently. What do you do when a stranger joins your club? Because it was so tiny, there was no pastor. One member led the service and we sang half a dozen 19th and 20th century songs through the service. Not even a guitar. Dustin handled the communion and offering, and handed the control back. Okay, time for a Rant. I hate to see little tiny churches, but the one in I visited in Glenallen, Alaska with five people was memorable to me, as Doc shared about his life and struggles. In today's sermon the man basically quoted 'Twenty Top Hits' Bible verses. Do we really need another sermon about salvation? Since everyone knows everyone's business in a church this small, certainly there is something to preach about to call one another to maturity. Warren sat beside me, another visitor and traveler. He sported a huge beard and backpack. He rides a bicycle around the country "wherever The Lord leads" and passes out tracts. I thought our life on this adventure had been simple. He has been doing this for 35 years. You may judge him and his methods, but I respect his passion and commitment. Afterwards Donna and I talked a bit. She blocked the exit so the other women had to wait to leave. In the parking lot, two kids kept a running conversation with me as they studied Libby's map on the saddlebag. Funny, the eight and ten year olds were the best conversationalists. And I don't know what they learned at church today, but they got a good geography lesson. If you have a church in a city the size of Bishop (4,000) with seven other churches, why carry on with such a small group? Add fifteen to another church (hopefully, somewhere there is a vibrant one!) and bring some value to another congregation. It seems this church is dead and everyone pretends it isn't. Blessed or distressed? Definitely distressed.