We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A brand new Congregational Church in CT, consecrated last night. and celebrating the congregation's first Sunday worship in the new home today. A joyful day. And for once, everyone fit.
It looks 200 years old, but built 2005-2006. Steel beams, and no pillars supporting the balcony. A church is just a building, but a congregation needs a home in which to worship, learn, and to pray together. Despite the fine building, the church is people - not steel and wood. This one is as plain as plain can be, but the spirit within is not plain.
Interesting facts: The original church of this congregation burned down in 1920. They have been holing up in a tiny, abandoned, rickety but beloved Methodist meeting house since then, from which a generation has worshipped, been married, and been buried. This congregation of about 300 broke off from the politically-activist UCC last year, by unanimous vote, showing that the Yankee independent spirit continues. Evangelical? Yes, a bit. Part of the Congregational movement was/remains that each congregation determines its own path by prayerfully seeking the will of God - each as one small component of the body of Christ.
I'm envious of the steel beams, and (I'm guessing) siding that looks like old wood but is really new plastic, good insulation and wiring, efficient heating and plumbing, etc...
I'm a member of a Presbyterian church in NJ. Very old building, very expensive to maintain. Made more expensive by the busy bodies from the Historical Society who hamstring our efforts to maintain the church on a budget. The home owners in the neighborhood (supposedly a "Historical District") simply ignore the society when it comes to home upgrades such as siding, satellite dishes, etc... Our church, on the other hand, obeyed the Society and decided not to install authentic looking vinyl siding over our peeling lead paint (next to two daycare centers). Instead we painted over it once again – the paint on the old wood might last 5 years, then it will be another $30,000 painting bill.
My parents still attend a UCC church in Mass. I can understand why churches are pulling out. The Presbyterian hierarchy is only slightly less liberal so I refuse to give to the fundraisers outside our own church.