Story of the Day for Tuesday June 19, 2012
Let’s Make the Church Together
“I have given them the glory you gave me, in order that they may be one just as we are one.”
The tiny town of Donald in British Columbia had only one employer in 1897: the Canadian Pacific Railway. When the CPR decided to move its divisional headquarters west to Revelstoke, the citizens of Donald knew their village was doomed.
The railroad company offered to move any building in Donald to Revelstoke – free of charge. When the citizens of Revelstoke asked to have St. Peter’s Anglican Church, the railroad company began to dismantle it to move it to its new home.
Many of the residents chose not to move to Revelstoke with the railroad, but instead stayed in their mountain valley, moving south to Windermere.
Rufus Kimpton, a leading citizen in Donald, was one of those who moved to Windermere. Rufus’ wife, Celina, dearly missed her beloved church in Donald.
So Rufus stole it.
He had the disassembled church shipped by wagon and barge to Windermere and rebuilt. To this day it is named “St. Peter’s Anglican Church – The Stolen Church.”
While the church was being stolen, however, someone stole the church bell and installed it in their church in the town of Golden – causing their church to be renamed: “St. Paul’s of the Stolen Bell.” The citizens of Golden were so delighted with their heist that they held a parade in honor of their achievement.
The citizens in Revelstoke were upset and demanded the return of their stolen church and stolen bell. The citizens of Windermere were furious and demanded the return of the stolen bell – based on the dubious claim that they had stolen it first.
For over sixty years, resentment smoldered between Windermere and Golden over the rightful owner of the stolen bell. Then, in 1960, a group from Windermere stole back the 600 pound stolen bell from the church in Golden.
Officials in Windermere, however, decided it wasn’t right to steal a stolen bell and, since they already owned a stolen church, they returned the bell to the church in Golden.
Jesus prayed that his followers would learn to live in unity, but sometimes it looks more like his church has divided up into competing teams.
During a Vacation Bible School, a new student was brought into a teacher’s preschool class. The boy had only one arm and the teacher had no time to prepare his class from making inappropriate remarks to the little boy.
The teacher had the kids do their usual closing. Interlocking their fingers they said: “This is the church, and this is the steeple. Open the doors . . .” The teacher, to her horror, realized she had done the very thing she feared her kids would do.
As she stood there, embarrassed, a little girl sitting next to the boy put her left hand up to the boy’s right hand and said, “Davey, let’s make the church together.”