Old Church

Old Church

In New England where I grew up

Most churches seem to be

A hundred years old or more.

Frequently they have two or three additions

Added for Sunday School

Or offices

Or fellowship meetings

Rambling architectural Gerrymanders

Camouflaged by white

Holy oil based paint

Church architects ignore Jesus’ words –

Straight is the way

These buildings ramble

In some, you have to go down one flight

And up another

To get to a room on the same floor

Some times you hear grumbles

What idiot designed this?

I can’t believe we voted for it

What terrible planning

They don’t understand

God planned these buildings

For the children

If adults insist

On making church service boring

He wanted to make sure

Church buildings were interesting

He made each locked door a mystery

Each new passageway a delight

Here the walls are cinder block

Then drywall

Then brick

Then granite

This stairway is narrow and winds

That one is open and wide

But with a good banister for sliding

The basement has costumes

From Christmas pageants, going back thirty years

Musty choir robes

And old mahogany cabinets

Perfect for hiding

A stained glass window

Cut off from the sun when they added the library

Whispers its mysteries in darkness

Raising goose bumps on little arms

Behind the narrow door

Locked by a skeleton key

Is the stairway to the Holy of Holies

The steeple

Children, don’t go up there

It isn’t safe

Johnny or Ginny or Tammy or Tommy

There’s always one child who finds a key

That fits!

The stairs creek

Then get steep

There’s a padlock on the trap door

Someday, we’ll find that key too!

A child trips

And grabs the rope

A frozen moment



Let’s get out of here!

A wild scramble down

Hurry up!

Stop pushing!

Imaginations fizzle with danger

But there are no policemen

No guard dogs

Only old Mr. Bond

Kids, stay away from there!

Through halls and rooms they race

Past pastors staring

From their pictures on the wall

Hopping stairs two or three at a time

Out the door and safe

Spring flowers clamor for attention

Many in pots, some in flower beds

The wild violets are best

You can pick those

Don’t look for four leaf clovers though

They bring leprechauns

And leprechauns don’t belong here

Maybe they don’t get along with Jesus

There you are

Where have you been?


Did you have a good time at Sunday School?

I guess

What did you learn?

I dunno, something about God

Goodbye church

See ya next week

Goodbye little feet

I’ll be here