The Brookvale Church has been a much-loved fixture on the corner of Colesville and Canfield Roads for generations. Sadly, its communicants had been reduced to so few that they have now decided to close. On Sunday morning, October 6, 2019, a farewell service was held. There was beautiful music, great fellowship and generous outbreaks of hugs, laughter and tears. The poem that follows was part of the tribute to a grand ol’ place of worship…..
God Be with Us ‘til We Meet Again
Our little Brookvale family
Has been through hard times before:
This week will be the hardest, as we close and lock the door.
Generations three and four or more have gathered here,
Where life’s deep joys and sorrows have unfolded year by year.
It’s been a sweet phenomenon - a product of God’s essence –
That friends and random strangers sense the nearness of His presence.
You can almost see the Spirit of the Lord within these walls:
You can almost hear the Voice of God, whose invitation calls…
Both the faithful and the doubting to worship and to seek
The comfort of communion on the first day of the week.
The shadows of our little ones still linger everywhere,
Where first they learned that Jesus gently held them in His care.
In Sunday School and VBS, they sang their childhood songs,
Learning “Jesus Loves Me,” and will….my whole life long.
Their piping little voices echo soft in memory,
In the dusty sanctuary where our worship used to be.
And though we never wanted Brookvale’s days to suffer change,
Our paths can take surprising turns that sudden rearrange…
Established expectations that seemed engraved in stone,
Yet, in the twinkling of an eye, the future is unknown.
We think of all the Pastors who’ve led our tattered flock,
Especially those whose sermons never made us watch the clock!
We think of the musicians who have made a joyful sound
To lead the congregation and to make their praise resound.
Little babes were Baptized to encourage Christian life,
Weddings joined a happy man unto his chosen wife.
When earthly life must fail us, in Jesus’ word we trust,
For a soul that is eternal, though our bones return to dust.
This church became our safe cocoon from birth until our death,
That we never thought of leaving while there’s any life and breath.
Yet, here we are….departing like travelers in a storm,
Who found shelter for a moment in a place both safe and warm.
Our journey must continue to another time and place,
We must leave what is familiar and go seek the stranger’s face.
But, let us pause a moment and give thanks for what has been:
For Christ, our blessed Saviour, who has ransomed us from sin;
For wisdom and example, for the Bible’s Holy Word;
For every glorious chorus in every hymn we’ve heard;
For the fellowship and kindness of our sisters and our brothers;
For the priceless opportunity to share it all with others.
And though we may be stepping out on paths that are unknown,
We’ll take some of Brookvale with us and we’ll never be alone.
For the God that brought us here will go faithfully along
Wherever time may lead Brookvale’s scattered little throng.
In the love we carry forward, in the Gospel that each shares,
There will be sincere reminders that the heart of Brookvale cares.
To our tiny diaspora, a treasured memory gives
The gift of shared experience….and therefor, Brookvale lives!
What we’ve known here will rise again, though who knows where or when…
And so, may God be with us….
Until we meet again.
Written just for you
By Lida M. Bassler, Q.O.E,
October 6, 2019