Home Christian News For a Small Chicago Church, Closing Down Was an Act of Faith

For a Small Chicago Church, Closing Down Was an Act of Faith

For Olson and the congregation, the day was filled with joy and tears. There were video greetings from former pastors and seminarians who once called the church home and stories of the church ministries over the years. In conversations before and after the service, worshippers greeted old friends, like the Rev. Stuart McCoy and his wife, Holly, who had helped revitalize the church in the 1990s, and recalled departed congregants like Nina Larson, who in her 90s would tell younger church members of how she’d attended the church all her life —having started to come to church when she was a baby in the womb.

Larson, who had been the ninth of nine children, had often recalled the story of the church fire in the 1940s, saying it was the biggest event in the congregation’s history, as almost the whole neighborhood had turned out to see what was happening.

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During the service, Olson reminded worshippers of all they had to be grateful for — and told them God was not done with them.

“No one wants to close a church,” she said. But closing, even though it was hard, was the right thing. The death of a church is not the end of the story, she assured the congregation.

“The reality is that we cannot experience resurrection, friends, without first having the courage and the guts to face death,” she said.

And after the resurrection, she added, there would be work to do.

“Go with grace.”

This article originally appeared here.