This past Sunday my husband held a service in a church that was once a mission to the Indians. This church, built in 1769 by Sir William Johnson (commissioner of Indian affairs), still stands tall.
The church has no heat and only minimal lighting, so it’s only open in the summer. It’s always chilly inside, even in August.
I write about so much on The Domestic Fringe. Sometimes I feel like you know me as well as I know myself, but then I realize how many other things I can’t write about.
Usually, I omit things in order not to offend someone else. You see, our lives are so tangled up with others, it’s difficult to tell a story and leave out all the good parts. I’ve learned that other people don’t really like to show up in my stories and they don’t like their church to be mentioned most of all. So, I keep silent.
This church is different though. It is a building without a congregation, a museum of sorts.
People come from all over New York to get married in this old church. It’s for the history more than it is for the beauty, because the inside is old and sparse.
The Indian Castle Church suffered a terrible fire in the 70’s and nearly burned all the way through, but it was saved and rebuilt. When you look up, you see the charred timbers, reminders of a horrible event in history. When the wind blows especially hard, blackend pieces of wood, thin as paper, float down to settle at your feet.
This church has stood the test of time and many protestant denominations through the years.
FringeMan holds a service here nearly every year. One year he held three days worth of special meetings and had to string temporary lights around the inside. It was dim, like stepping back in time into another world, into someone else’s story.
The fine people who work and fight to keep this building in usable order want to do so much with it. They dream of it being a place of constant life. The stones that make its meager foundation are in desperate need of repair, but unfortunately there’s no money.
There’s never enough, is there?
It’s hard to fund present projects, but these hopes for the past are nearly impossible.
If only there was heat.
If only the foundation were fortified to make the building safe.
If only there was a bathroom.
Maybe this old shell of a building could become a church once again.
We’re praying it will.
Will you pray with us?
Some history is worth remembering.