Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy 300!

Yesterday we had the opening celebration of our church's 300th year.  It was a fabulous service that started outside in our historic churchyard with some people all dressed up in period costumes from the 1700s, and a "town crier" who read proclamations by Queen Elizabeth, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and our governor, Niki Haley.  Following that brief ceremony, we all went inside for our normal worship service, but this time we had a special guest preacher -- The Lord Bishop of London, Richard J.C. Chartres, who preached the homily at Will and Kate's wedding (yes, the Will and Kate!).  His sermon was powerful as was the entire service; it really was a great opening to our tricentennial celebration.

I know that I have mentioned before how much I love our church.  I love it for the fact that the gospel is brought day in and day out in that place, but I also am a huge fan of history.  I love the fact that we have the second oldest church in South Carolina, and one of the oldest churches in continuous use in the United States.  I love the fact that the beautiful building that we sit in each Sunday was built in 1724 and that we often use communion silver from 1734.  I love the fact that my grandfather, his parents, and his grandparents are all buried in the churchyard, and that one day my parents, my children, and I will be, too.  That's a lot of generations and a lot of history!

But, it is just a building, and as beautiful and special as it is to me, it is the actual clergy and congregation who make St. Helena's such a special place.  As I said, the gospel is preached day in and day out there, and God is alive and moving in the church.  It can be felt when you walk in, and it can be felt the entire time you are at St. Helena's.  I am so thankful for my church, and I can only hope that it will last 300 more years.

If you care to read any articles on the tricentennial, you can read them here, here, and here.  


Ashley said...

What an amazing celebration! What a special church to be a member of and to have such history there, both that it dates back to 1712 and that your family has gone there for generations. I'm sure it felt surreal to be at the Tricentennial service. Thanks for writing about it- the articles are great as well!

Whitney said...

It sounds like a wonderful experience! And, um, I'm kind of jealous about the Lord Bishop of London. I LOVE Will & Kate!

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