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By Marni Walsh
In a time of shrinking congregations and aging buildings, common sense and financial necessity are literally, bringing churches together in one ‘house' all over North America. On Sunday, November 5th at 9 am, St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church of Melancthon held its first service at Trinity United Church in Shelburne. The approximately 40 member congregation had made the tough, but practical, decision to move.
Father Paul Mathew Vellimoozhayil pastor for St. Patrick's says, “The age-old structure of the Melancthon Church is not that strong, it was decided to move out.” He says the move was also initiated by the request of a number of Catholic families in and around Shelburne who wanted a church nearer to them.
Considering the condition of the Melancthon building and the growth in Melancthon, Father Paul said, “We believe God is inviting us to make this move.”
Around 1858, a large log-hewed church, later known as St. Patrick's, was built in Melancthon and used as both church and school, serving the community well for about 20 years. In 1879, the wooden church was replaced with a new brick structure.
In 1892, St. John the Evangelist Church Dundalk was built and established as a parish in 1894 with missions including St. Patrick Proton and St. Patrick Melancthon. Now, the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton will decide what will happen to the building.
“Trinity United Church was very generous and welcoming when we were searching for a suitable place for our worship,” said Father Paul. The Seventh Day Adventist community also makes use of the Trinity sanctuary for their worship on Saturdays.
Reverend Candice Bist interim minister at Trinity says that sharing the space “is to be part of the true Christian spirit,” and that the Church Council supported it unanimously. “Father Paul is a pure delight, with his ever cheerful presence and joyous heart,” said Rev. Bist, “St. Patrick's has a strong leader who clearly understands that the way forward is through ecumenical unity. I hope and pray that we, at Trinity United, continue to hold a welcoming heart and inquiring mind - and that practice of worship unites rather than divides us.”
“The United Church has welcomed us whole heartedly,” said Father Paul. “We look forward to closer collaboration in the coming days. As we thank them sincerely, we look forward to a future where all of us march ahead hand in hand to create a co-operative community, a harmonious society and a better humanity.”
Post date: 2017-11-10 14:35:48
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