Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a Christmas flashback (in which Katy gets to spend a thousand dollars at the craft store and sings a solo)

Some of you may have noted, if you've read my blurb "about me" in my profile, that I'm married to the pastor of one of the small country churches, here, in town. It's true! =] It sounds rather idyllic, doesn't it? but, there's been no sleepy or simple rural existence for us - especially, this year! (Actually, I think that 'the uneventful life' might just be a myth). This year, our church community has, literally, been through fire and water! The water I refer to is, of course, Hurricane Irene which really did cause some tremendous damage to our town and the outlying areas. The fire was set in our 'prayer closet' by some unknown individual on a rainy day, last spring. (Not the kind of fire you want to start in a prayer closet, I mean!) It was, of course, a frightening thing but we barely had time to register the reality of it all as we were standing out in the dark, drizzly night by the light of the parade of firetrucks up and down Main Street, before we were told that they had caught the fire just in time. A moment later (and I mean seconds!!!) and the flames would have been fully ignited in the walls and attic where they would have been beyond the firemens' reach. I am - we all are - so grateful! SO grateful! The 'church' isn't made up of brick and wood and plaster - it's made up of people. However! We tend and love our little sanctuary - a beautiful historic building. It holds so many memories and, I should, also, mention,....it's super set up to worship in!!! ;) =]

Well, the building was spared but there was tremendous water and smoke damage. Our burgeoning church huddled (crammed ourselves) together cheerfully, on Sunday mornings, downstairs in the vestry, through the very warm summer months. In the meantime, the main sanctuary was undergoing the most thorough renovation and spring cleaning it's ever, ever received. Perhaps, a hop, skip and a jump down the road, we'll call it a wonderful blessing in disguise but, up close, well....it hasn't been a walk in the park - not bad - not easy. Anyway, Vermonters just love how adversity gives them a chance to really show what tough stuff they're made up of. They really shine! So, no trouble! ;)

What was totally eaten by the flames, though, (besides those tremendously ugly, pea green, moth eaten, dusty, old choir robes - "Hallelujah Chorus", anyone?) were all of our 'decorations'. Particularly missed were years and, even, decades of accumulated Christmas festiveness (and, I think that 'accumulated' is a good word, here.) We'd spent years finding quality things at good deals that needed to be replaced come Christmas time. ....and, yes, I spent a thousand dollars at Michael's Craft Store (after really, really shopping around - and that's with 50-75% off pre-Christmas shopping, too!) ...and, it turned out so beautifully - more beautifully than we had planned, which was an appreciated piece of serendipity, since we were at the mercy of what was available. We bought our ribbons, we bought our greens, we bought our silk flowers and shiny berries and put it together - problem solving with our resources all the way - and stood back and gasped! We couldn't have planned it any better!

It turned out to be a huge but fun project and the sanctuary was decorated just in time for the community choir's Christmas Concert. The church was absolutely packed! I got to sing a solo that was sheer joy and....we've built more memories together, of course, that no flood or fire will take away!

(Just a note as you look through the pictures: we are undergoing an organ transplant. It's been removed and is being cleaned and restored, to boot, in the process; so, there are usually brass pipes that line the front of the sanctuary, between the two trees. It should be mostly back by Easter. We just stretched some deep sky blue felt across and put an appropriately glowing "Bethlehem star" there to hide the mess. ;) Also, around the time of the winter solstice, something very special happens. The sun is at such a slant that, in the afternoon, the rose window glows in a spectacularly golden way that it doesn't do through the rest of the year. Some of those images are dark because I couldn't expose for both the dark room and the bright window. It's always a breath catching sight - especially, because it's usually discovered silently - when no one else is there.)

but, the church is made up of people.....decorated in festive Christmas red! (teehee!) ;)


  1. How wonderful you were all able to come together after what could have been an even more dreadful outcome! I would have loved to accompany you when you went to Michaels! What a heartfelt Christmas story. It reminds me of the song my girls used to sing in bible camp..

    I am the Church, you are the Church,
    we are the Church together.
    All who follow Jesus all around the world,
    yes, we’re the Church together.”

    The church is not a building,
    the church is not a steeple,
    the church is not a resting place,
    the church is a people.

  2. Your church is beautiful. I love the large stained glass windows. You and your community have done wonders when faced with such adversity.

    Continued blessings

    Helen xx

  3. Wow your church looks wonderful...and your sweet daeughter too....love Ria...xxx..

  4. Dearest Katy Noelle,

    WOW, and again WOW!!! What a soprano you are. You ARE shy and way too bashful for just hiding this tremendous talent!
    Hats off to you for pulling through all together after all the disasters in your area. That is the true spirit of CHRISTMAS and it lasts 365 days.
    Love to you and your family,


  5. Your little country church is lovely. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt story. So grateful that your building was spared from the fire. Blessings to you.

  6. What a simply beautiful Vivaldi solo you've sung for us here.

  7. Good Morning, Dear-

    oh,Katy- you are such a jewel!!!

    With a heart of gold- such a loveley soul and a voice, like a present directly from God!

    It´s good to hear, that you could save your really pretty church and it was such a pleasure to hear you wonderful voice, like a little bird in spring- after a long wintertime...

    thank you so much for sharing!

    A big hug to you - Ines♥

    Oh- really a great decoration- it looks good and I love those colored windows!

  8. The stained glass windows are beautiful. There is a Tiffany look to them.

    Your church's story will no doubt be passed down through the generations. xx

  9. What a beautiful church Katy! I am thinking it brings so many people such comfort to be sitting inside surrounded by the warmth. Wonderful!
    xo Catherine

  10. It's such a beautiful church and I'm impressed by what you did. :) Lovely photo of your daughter too, she's so sweet! xo

  11. Hello Katy:
    We have been absolutely entranced listening to your most beautiful voice.The music is glorious and you have made it even more memorable with the wonderful interpretation you have given to it through your impressive singing. So talented!

    And, what trials the church and its community have been through over the past year but one can imagine the strength of spirit that has brought everyone together to bring about its resurrection into the most beautiful building which we can see here in these delightful images.

  12. Katy, it is lovely to be back in touch with you, though I am so sad to hear of the reckless damage caused to your beautiful church. I'm planning a catch up read through later with a cup of tea (how British!) xx

  13. Hi,
    I only just found your blog. I love it. You seem to be interested in the same kind of things than I. Lovely solo performance. I also share love for God. Thank you for your lovely fresh approach to life.
    Love from Lisbet from Finland

  14. Hello my darling,
    Thanks so much for your warm welcome, it is good to be back. I thank you my friend for not forgetting me and for all those lovely words you left for me while I was away. I popped in to wish you Happy Valentine's day and to let you know that you truly are a special friend.

    Love & Hugs


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