Sunday, October 18, 2009
A trip to Grace Church
I murmured a soft goodnight to the man who was engrossed in a game of Free Cell.
He turned and said, "Will we go to church in Hedley in the morning?"
Hmmmm - will we go to church in Hedley in the morning? The service starts at 9 a.m.. I hesitate, but then rise early to get ready and be on time.
We breakfast to a beautiful sunrise and soon we are on the road.....
Grace Methodist Church in the old gold mining town of Hedley was built in 1902, which is a long time for a church to be around and functioning in the west.
I have posted pictures of the road to Hedley before, but not at this season of the year when the colours are glorious along the river.
Click on the mosaic to see the pictures more clearly.....
We followed the Similkameen up the valley; Charles, with one eye on the road and the other scanning for interesting photo ops. He pointed out Crater Mountain in the far distance, and the cleft in the mountains where the Ashnola river comes into the Similkameen. In the sunlight the trees seemed to have revived some of their clear, splendid colours after Jack Frost's disastrous visit.
As we approached Hedley to the left just off the road was a very tall pole with a platform on the top of it, cradling either an eagle's nest, or an osprey's. We concluded that it had been moved off a power pole for safety.
Down the hill and into the old town of Hedley, we circled around by ancient buildings and new improvements, pulling up to the church just before 9 a.m.
Only to find the service starts at 9.30. - but the pastor was there, - as I opened the door he was preparing for the service, and gave us such a hearty welcome we were happy to have the extra time to talk to him. An old friend, and lots of catching up to do. A wood fire burned cheerily in one corner of the church and a few of the pews held comfy looking pillows, which we were careful not to confiscate. One must be wary where one sits when visiting a church lest someone comes in and looks down their nose at you, because you are in 'their place'!
A different type of service from what we are used to, - lots of singing and good solid bible instruction. We did Colossians this morning. The pews were hard and upright, but the compassion and spirit in the church was comfortable, friendly and palpable.
They have an absolutely delicious organ, donated by a friend of the church, and the pastor's wife makes lovely music. My fingers itched to play it.....
We stayed for coffee, but not for an invitation to lunch, - keeping in mind the little dog at home and his needs for regular business trips.
I took a picture of the river from the same spot that Charles had photographed it in 1942 - it is in the collage. As we neared home we passed the covered red bridge, newly clad in bright red, but an ancient structure that has served the valley well for almost a hundred years.
Rolling down the main street we peered into a dozen fruit stands, - it is the time of the pumpkin. Look for them piled around the stands and lining the road.
A lovely Sunday morning. The service ended with the chorus of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Just perfect!