Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I ain't a believer and I ain't a churchgoer. I go when there's a funeral or wedding. Once or twice a year, the little band I play in does a stint at the the United Church where we play a few ol' timey gospel songs fer their Sunday mornin' service. If it weren't fer playin' in the band, I sure as hell wouldn't go to any Sunday mornin' services.
Okay, now that I got my atheist credentials in order, I'm gonna start in praising the local churches. Here in small town Ontariariario, the churches are still a big part of community life. Over the past few years, I been active with a bunch who restored our old town hall building fer a community centre. Most of the hardworkin' volunteers who helped out with the old town hall are also active volunteers at their church. A lot of 'em are from the United Church.
As far as churches and preachifyin' goes, I can live with these here Uniteds a lot easier than with some others. They gotta social conscience and they don't get all hellfire an' damnation on a few personal vices or recreational diversions. They're pretty liberal when it comes to stuff like selfsame sexy marryin' an' helpin' the pore bastards over in foreign hellholes.
Last night, the United Church burned down.
Yeah, the walls are still standin' but the insides are all gutted out. They'll probbly hafta knock down what's left. They had 15 trucks and 50 firefighters hosin' it down last night and they saved the attached church hall and kitchen but the main building's a write-off, I reckon. Too bad.
It's a sad day fer my little town. Last night, folks was cryin' in the streets -- even folks who don't go to that church. Even folks who don't go to any church. Lotsa my friends' an' neighbours' lives revolve around church stuff. The whole dang town is hurtin'.
Here's a pitcher of our little band last time we played at the church. That's ol' JB on the big squeezebox.
One o' my band mates remarked last night about how when a house burns down, it affects a family but when a church burns down, it affects dozens of families. I talked to a few church members this mornin'. They was lookin' a bit dazed and bewildered but they was also talkin' about rebuildin'. They will. I know it.