We spend six months in Boca Grande, and the other six months we live in northern Ontario, Canada, where I was born and raised. Since building our beloved Camp David on the shores of Lake Superior some 20 years ago, we have attended an Anglican (Episcopal) church, St. James, in Goulais River. Many of our friends have worshipped there when they come to visit us from Boca Grande.
This beautiful church is more than 100-years-old and sadly had to close its doors this past year for lack of a congregation. They could not afford to plow the driveways, nor heat the building and the church hall. Some of us, 10 at the most, tried very hard to keep it operating, but the old were dying and the young in the area were not interested in attending nor supporting a church.
In contrast I wish to cite the three churches on Gilchrist Avenue. When we turn the corner every Sunday to attend church we are in awe of all the cars (yes, even those parked in the median) and we say, “Yes! This is truly the day the Lord has made, and we rejoice and are glad in it!”
Those parked cars represent a host of believers on this island. What a statement is being made by all these believers attending church! We know, and the island knows, that the faith of our fathers is very much in evidence in Boca Grande.
These churches are, in part, made up of senior citizens. Why is there a need to limit the parking for them? Many of us can no longer parallel park, and having to park any distance from their churches makes it difficult for those with canes or walkers.
Somehow I picture parishioners fighting over parking spaces. How many per church will be allowed? What will be the boundaries for each church?
I am presently reading Jan Karon’s latest book about the life of an Episcopal priest who lives in the fictitious town of Medford, N.C. The town’s slogan is “Midford Takes Care of its Own.” The residents there live and abide by those very words.
In closing, I would like to draw your attention to a little-known fact. Harry Chapin Food Bank delivers food twice a week to the East Englewood Church of Christ. There is a great need to feed the hungry there. This town is in our backyard, and somehow putting our concerns in beautification and landscaping pales in comparison to taking care of our own.