Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tropical Storm Hanna

The other week Tropical Storm Hanna hit the Carolinas but wasn't too bad---just a lot of sand, dirt, leaves and pinestraw everywhere. The other day I came across this old article from the New York Times about my church, when Hurricane Fran came through and knocked our steeple down.

Here is the relevant portion of the article:

Here in Wilmington, residents began to saw, rake and sweep up the mess. But many knew it would be days, if not weeks, before the machinery and manpower necessary to haul away the wreckage would become available.

At the First Baptist Church of Wilmington, the pastor, Michael Queen, spent the morning receiving the whispered prayers of passers-by mourning the destruction of the church's 197-foot-tall steeple, a city landmark.

"Rabbi Waxman was here, and Father Hadden from the Catholic church and one of the ministers from the Presbyterian church," Queen said.

The spire, built in the 1860's, lay in a three-foot heap of brick, wooden beams and copper sheets, leaving an open roof of jagged brick. Queen said the title of last Sunday's sermon, still advertised in a glass case, served as a perfect epitaph: "All in a Day's Work."

Queen said he was profoundly sad about the steeple, but was trying to keep it in perspective.

"A steeple in the street pales in comparison to the death of any one person," he said. "The church is not the steeple or the building and I keep trying to remind myself of that."

Yes, disaster relief is a big priority for Baptists. Hopefully, Hurricane Ike didn't do too much damage in Texas.

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