The sign out front at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Cannon Falls said worship was at 9 a.m. along with “All are welcome.” I’d taken a picture of it when I was in town a couple days earlier so I would be sure to remember.
However, I could see the deadbolt was latched when I walked up to the bright red door a minute or two before 9 o’clock. A couple squirrels scurried off in various directions. All the better to take a moment to appreciate the bench under the tree off to the side and walk around the neat little building. I also got to greet a dog and his person on the sidewalk.
It looked like the rain was going to hold off long enough for me to walk around the block, which I did. A couple of women going into the church down the street waved to me invitingly from the atrium.
When I queued up my daily podcast it said —a couple times — “tarry here” and “hold the peace.” I listened to the rest of it while sitting in my vehicle admiring the river, and once the rain stopped while walking on the as yet uninhabited bike path.
When I went back past the church, lo and behold, the door was open. There was clearly a gentleman speaking up front, in a black polo shirt and khaki trousers, silhouetted against the splendid stained glass window.
Since the door was invitingly propped open, I slipped inside.
I appreciated the comment distinguishing between the phrases “there’s nothing to be afraid of” (which isn’t what Christ said) and “fear not” (which he did say) along with the suggestion to consider why you’re afraid.
There was a brief discussion about responding to a request for information about the church’s bells with some question as to whether the mysterious funeral bell still worked, and a suggestion to check with the museum across the street to see if they’d received a similar request since they too have a bell.
With a reminder that wherever two or three are gathered his name — there were all of twice that many in attendance — Christ is in the midst of us, we sang three verses of the last hymn. It was not familiar to me but I did catch myself cheerfully whistling the new tune as I walked back to my car.