If These Walls Could Talk

Good Morning All!

On June 16th, 1914 the cornerstone was laid for First United Church in Truro, NS. This was no small feat at the beginning of the war with men and women in the community leaving to fight. However, with the previous building being destroyed by fire this community needed a place to gather, learn, grow and explore their spirituality. Fast forward 100+ years and once again the community is at a crossroads with what has become its home. This time it is not fire that threatens but 14 windows that have been deemed structurally unsound. If these windows are not replaced the building will be condemned and no longer open to the faith family that resides here or the community.

I find myself in a peculiar place as minister of this congregation. On the one hand I have always maintained that the building does not define us as community and we can, in fact, worship anywhere. On the other hand, here I am, defending the preservation of this building and justifying the money that it will take to restore it. I have spent a lot of time these past 4+ years discerning, talking, listening and imagining our community without this particular structure. The reality is, yes we will continue as a faith community regardless of the building. Our ministry and mission are grounded in the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth and we are committed to being the body of Christ in this place. However, if this structure were to disappear from the landscape of Truro it would indeed be a loss to the community.

Situated in the heart of the town this building with its 143ft steeple stands as witness to the story of this town and can be seen from almost anywhere. The green space surrounding the church provides an oasis in the midst of concrete and steel. The bench under the tree is a wonderful resting spot as you walk through the town and soak in its history. And that is just the outside!

There is a saying that goes “Imagine, if these walls could talk!” Well, I believe that they can. One only has to step inside the front doors of this church to be surrounded by the voices of the ancestors. The rich wood interior and the craftwork of the artists who designed it speak of warmth, beauty and wonder. If you stop and listen, you can hear the music from the great pipe organ fill the room with majesty. If you look to your left you can see the rocking chairs and hear the laughter of the children who have run through this great hall. The banners that hang from time to time tell the story of community, love, mission, care, welcome, hope, comfort, peace and grace. Then there are the songs that linger in the air produced by community choirs (young and old), orchestras, brass bands, local and international singers. Held within these walls are tears and laughter, doubt and belief, grief and comfort, possibility and opportunity, wonder and joy. There is a story that speaks of commitment , community, encouragement and empowerment.

With all of this in mind I believe that this building is worth preserving for the generations yet to come. There are more voices waiting to be added to this amazing story and the mosaic of art, music, storytelling, faith, acceptance and so much more grows with each passing day.

It is with great excitement that I share with you that we have been chosen for a competition through National Trust called “ This Place Matters”. The competition begins on June 15th. Please take a minute to go to www.thisplacematters.ca go to our project page “Windows into the Future” and vote for us.


Reminders of the Week:

This week at First we are hosting the Atlantic Seminar on Theological Education. If you are around and would like to join us for worship we meet at 9am each morning in the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday June 18th ~ Another exciting morning as we are joined by Clan MacRae, our graduates will be honoured and Elliott Williams will share Reflection time with us, and we are marking the end of Kaleigh’s ministry.

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