Three years ago, a major construction project at First Presbyterian Church was coming to an end. As the architect put it, we were more than doubling “our footprint” on the property. Membership growth through the 1990s had made the building expansion necessary, and our members—bless ’em—had stepped up generously to support the cost, which was substantial—more, in fact, than I ever dreamed we could raise.
The little boy came running over at a church gathering. “Pastor Mary!” he said, with a finger in his mouth. “Look!” I saw a fresh gap where his tooth used to be. “Ryan!” I said. “You’ve lost your first tooth!” He grinned back. “And the one next to it is loose!”
About three blocks from our church is a little coffee shop called Bernice’s. It occupies the east half of the Knowles Building, which was designed by the prominent Missoula architect AJ Gibson in 1914. Gibson also designed the County Courthouse, Central High School, the Main Hall of the university, and First Presbyterian Church. Walking to Bernice’s from the church, you’ll pass apartment buildings, single family houses, a number of commercial establishments, and three other churches.
Most parishioners with hearing loss choose not to suffer the hassle and embarrassment of special receivers and headsets. Happily, there’s a better alternative—the broadcast of personalized sound directly through hearing aids.
"Their life's not natural!" a relative exclaimed when the subject of monks came up. Those few words made it clear that the monks' lifestyle had nothing to teach us.
Yet along the way, natural or not, I began visiting monasteries. After twenty years, I have seen many. They are wonderful places to experience hospitality, to go on retreat, and to find inspiration to pray. Gradually, 1 also grew to appreciate monastic worship.