As Raymond and I were walking back down the hill to the Manse after church just now, I was thinking how different the village would have been on a Sunday morning 50 or 60 years ago, when three churches – United, Anglican and Roman Catholic – were open and holding services. Or a few decades before that, when what is now St. Andrew’s United was the Presbyterian church and there was also a Methodist church. Queensborough must have been absolutely bustling with people coming and going to and from services and Sunday School.
It’s a lot quieter these days, with St. Andrew’s the only church still open. Our congregation is small, but the members are dedicated and attend very faithfully. It is a warm little church community.
And how fortunate our little community is in its minister! So many small churches these days do not even have an ordained minister to lead them in worship and care for the congregation. But a year or so ago St. Andrew’s reached an arrangement with St. John’s United in Tweed and White Lake United south of Madoc whereby The Rev. Caroline Giesbrecht of St. John’s ministers to all three churches. (She does services at two of the three each Sunday – we take turns – and at the third a member of the congregation leads the service using the order of service, sermon, etc. that Caroline provides.)
Caroline is a warm person and a splendid preacher; her sermons are well-constructed, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. They are of a quality that, sadly, one finds all too rarely these days.
At St. Andrew’s we are very fortunate not just in our minister, but in our minister’s spouse. He is The Rev. John Young, a distinguished United Church minister and a professor at Queen’s University’s theological college. And he plays the piano for us for the hymns! If you have ever been in a small rural church that does not have a pianist (with the congregation relying on recorded musical accompaniment, or perhaps bravely trying to sing the hymns a cappella) you will know how much it means to have someone who can and will play the piano or organ.
Today, Palm Sunday, was our turn to be without Caroline in the pulpit, but since there was communion and an ordained minister is needed for that, John very ably conducted the service. And not only that, he played for the hymns too. Wonderful. Our little congregation is truly blessed.
Hey, people, if you’re in the area, come join us of a Sunday morning and see! Next week is Easter Sunday; The Rev. Caroline Giesbrecht will be conducting the service. It’s at 9:30 a.m. You will be warmly welcomed!