Saint Mary's Lompoc
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Episcopal Renewal 66

Reversal of Fortunes

US FlagI strutted across to St Mary's Church Lompoc, expecting to be greeted by the congregation. As I approached, however, it became increasingly clear that they were not interested in me at all. I headed instead toward a clergyman on one side of the group. "Our Lutheran congregation," he told me proudly, "use this building four nights a week and every Sunday, of course, for our services and Sunday School." Indignation swelled up inside and as courteously as I could manage, I probed further, "When do the Episcopalians meet then?" "Them," he replied, a smile spreading across his face, "there aren't many of those in town. They don't use this building much, except their service after ours have finished!"

A New Start

Lompoc St Mary ChurchThat first dull foggy Sunday at St Mary's, a group of us waited in the rain outside the Church. The inside was crowded with this Lutheran congregation who had nurtured a strong and growing fellowship in the same building in which our Church was dying. I was shocked that our people had agreed to rent the Church building for only forty dollars a month to help pay their own expenses. "I'll write to the Bishop about this in the morning!" I vowed quietly to myself. The Bishop agreed, the Lutherans moved, and we began repairs on the church and Parish house.✞

"Saint Mary's Lompoc"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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