This Sunday is Virginia-Highland Church’s 92nd anniversary. Last year Ms. Blanche Reynolds preached for me on anniversary Sunday. The congregation adores Ms. Blanche, so it was a great day. This year she is singing on anniversary Sunday, and those who know her will want to be present. I’m sorry the rest of you can’t be with us. Of course, if you all came we would have to find much larger accommodations!
Ms. Blanche is an important part of Virginia-Highland Church. Although she doesn’t reveal her actual age, she acknowledged last year on our 91st anniversary that she had been a member almost since the beginning and joined when she was four years old. Ms. Blanche is our oldest active member, and she is very active. She attends small group studies and our periodic Sunday school, and is at worship more frequently than any other member, including the pastor.
I heard someone ask her a few weeks ago if she was going to be at church the next Sunday because they wanted to bring her something. Ms. Blanche looked just a little insulted and said, “Well, if I’m still here, of course I’ll be here.” Ah, if only more 96-year-olds were being born …
At lunch on Sunday we talked about the restaurant in which we were eating. We love the owners, but the place wasn’t very crowded. It is fairly new, so we wondered if it has found its niche. Bill observed that people seem to consume church today like they eat in restaurants. We go when it is convenient or we have a particular craving, but it would never occur to us to eat at the same place every week. That isn’t unreasonable, but the problem is church isn’t a restaurant. It is a community, a family. A church where different people gather every week can’t create a community. For community/family to happen, we have to be together, even when we don’t feel like it. I’m sure Ms. Blanche wakes up tired, or has other things to do, or is sometimes irritated or disappointed with the preacher or the preaching, but she still is there.
Of course she is. We are her family, and she is ours. I wish you could be here Sunday to love her and be loved by her, because that is what family/church does.
Rev. Michael Piazza