Saturday, March 12, 2016

Deep Amazement

A phenomenon of life in gentrified, rural towns is the confusion that many new residents have about the nature of that quaint, white building on the town green.  While an old, country church looks charming, the un-churched are ignorant of the reality that it is, in essence, a non-commercial business.

So, from time to time, we get complaints about, well, our existence, I guess.  Joining the Whinge List are complaints about:

1. There is sound from the construction of an accessibility ramp. [It took three days to build using mostly power drills.  Three.]

2. The appearance of the accessibility ramp is...unfortunate.  [A member of a "historic" commission complained that such items were ugly.  Personally, I find discrimination against the otherwise-abled to be ugly.  The ramp is rather attractive.]

3. There was too much traffic on Saturday morning.  [We were holding the funeral of the town historian/library board chairman that day.]

4. There is visible storm damage to the rectory.  [This complaint came 48 hours after a storm that knocked out power and telephones for four days.]

5.  There was too much traffic the other evening.  [The evening in question was December 24th, so....]

6.  The church bells ring too early. [7:55 a.m. on Sundays for five minutes.  Tough it out.]

7.  The church bells are too loud. [It's a hunk of 100-year-old metal on a rope; it doesn't have a volume control.]

8.  9 a.m. is too early to clear three truck-loads of storm debris from the parish cemetery.  In fact, is it even necessary?  [The fact that it was cleared an hour before a burial lends a certain splendor to this complaint.]

9.  There are lights on in the parking lot at night.  [Yes, when there's a night meeting, adult class, or AA.  After which, the lights are turned off.]

And the winner that came in this week:
10.  There are Hispanic men hanging out in the churchyard.  [The landscapers were waiting for the truck to return to load more debris.  The tip-off should have been that they were carrying rakes.]

Folks, you chose to move into a neighborhood with a church that's been in its location for 175 years, and in town since before the Revolutionary War.  Our presence should not be a surprise to you and you should never expect a working parish to be the equivalent of a movie prop.