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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, December 20, 2010


The bright red and blue neon sign flashes insistently in the front glass door. You know the sign I mean: “Open!” We see it everywhere—the bank, the corner store, the pharmacy, the restaurant.

“Open! Open!” It flashes beckoning passersby to come on in.

This morning, on my way across town I passed St. Mathias Anglican church and saw what I don’t see during the week. The bright red and blue neon sign was blinking “Open” in the front door. St. Mathias was calling me in!

I’ve never seen an Open sign on a church door before. Have you?

(To be honest, the very first thought was that Carman would surely appreciate this congregation’s “Welcoming/inviting ministry”!)

But I had several minutes on my way to my destination to consider it further. What else about St. Mathias is welcoming to me, the unknown bypasser? It’s right on the corner. If I were inclined to turn in, I could come in from two main thoroughfares. A couple of other things I’d noticed before in passing. There are three boxes in the parking lot for me to drop off my used clothing donations or my newspapers for recycling. I’ve often read the sign proclaiming “a progressive and inclusive community” and thought I might someday visit at one of their services, held at 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. Both those words are attractive to me.

I did visit once, on a Sunday afternoon for a very pleasant Taizé service which I enjoyed very much. Because of my job I’m often “at work” on Sundays, but may be coming home in the afternoon. A worship service in the fading daylight, marked by long periods of silence with just a little quality music and a minimum of talk is just the thing for this introvert who needs those very things to recharge after a weekend of talking and interacting with people.

There are several congregations just now who are giving some calculated attention to their buildings. How to guarantee their building best matches their mission, houses the programs and priorities they espouse. Is this the space to ensure a healthy congregation can thrive and grow? Are there easy changes to make? Or must we look for another space, another location, another mission? With regard to our church home, what matters most? Are we spending all this money in ways that hold up our enduring principles and values?

Let us wish them well in their search. It’s not an easy task and might take a long time and be very expensive. It takes piles of dedication and discussion and discernment. Every member of the community needs to join the process. Not an easy thing to do, but essential. They could probably use our prayers for them in their struggle.

Now, who knows where can we find a good “Open” sign?

Posted by Marion


  1. What a great idea! I am not sure where to find such a neon sign, but I can sure think of a few places I'd love to hang one!

  2. There are some Used Restaurant places around. They might have one.
    Some Church planners must like the opposite effect. They do things like put the parking and entrance in back so the place looks deserted all the time......


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