Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Altar at Rindal Church

If this doesn't stir some sort of spirituality in you, nothing will. There is something about these old churches that just say there is something bigger in the universe than oneself.

Every time I visit this place, I am intrigued with all the sermons, baptisms, funerals, and weddings that have taken place here. Open the little side door and walk in. No matter what the season or the weather, the air seems inviting.

Walk to the front. If you play the piano or pretend to, it doesn't matter. It is willing to have you sit and play and listen to that old ring of an upright. My son, Bud, played it years ago, and I play it whenever I am there.

My grandparents were long standing members. My grandparent's good bye was said at this church. Daddy and I sat in the front row under the pulpit, holding hands and listening to a hell fire and brimstone sermon when Grandma was buried. We agreed that sort of sermon was not in order for her but we had asked an "old time preacher' to do the service; what can you expect? When Grandpa was buried eleven years later, the minister was more loving.

While standing at the altar looking toward the front door, look up. Yes, there is a choir loft. The walls are a soft sea foam green, the pews are natural wood, and the altar, as you can see, is white.

The basement has memories. They used to have fancy work auctions there. It was so fun to listen to Selmer Haugen auction items. He was a big man with a pendulous abdomen and a jolly laugh. One year, I got a hand made clown stuffed with cat tail fuzz. I was so proud to have something from that auction!

Each spring, ancestors, gather to clean the church and cemetery. The day is complete with a pot luck in the basement. A cemetery committee was formed several years ago. Trees were planted and a well was dug to water the trees. Someone was hired out of the funds to mow. Daddy sent out letters to all the ancestors and the money came to cover the costs. My dad was humble, he did the work and gave the credit for the project to his dad and the generations which came to help.

I don't know where the church was moved from. I do know the original cemetery was somewhere else because Siri Ranum, my great grandmother, was moved to Rindal in 1902. She is one of the many people buried under the massive tree right inside the cemetery.

If you have family buried in some little cemetery with a high steeple church, may I encourage you to go there? Step inside, walk on the talking floors, play the piano, and get the feel for what it must have been like for folks to come together to pray and sing. What was religion like then? Is it like the recent email I got from cousin Patrick?

Patrick wrote:

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.

Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!

Maybe that is what envelopes me at Rindal.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Such a touching post!