The church where I work is next door to another church. There is a street between us, but that is our only physical separation. (Welcome to the Bible-Belt South. You can throw a casserole in any direction and land in a church fellowship hall.) Today they were celebrating 150 years. That's a big milestone for a US church. I learned when traveling to Europe that 150 years would be a fairly young church, in comparison to cathedrals that are 1,000 years old. But for the US, 150 years deserve a big celebration.
My husband works for a non-profit that received a special offering from the church and they attended the festivities today. Since it was literally right across from where I was leading worship, he invited me to come over and join them for lunch. So I did. First of all, I must say that a meal 150 years in the making is pretty scrumptious. They had Publix fried chicken, barbecue, macaroni and cheese, pinto beans, potatoes, deviled eggs, slaw, and lots of other delicious things. I heard rumors of a dessert table, but got in the ice cream line instead. I have no regrets.
Our church celebrated 60 years last October. Our denomination has undergone a lot difficult wrestling with scripture and inclusion. We don't know what the next year, much less 150 hold for us. I do know that it was a wonderful thing to celebrate the faithfulness of God through 150 years with our neighbors. And I know the same God will continue to be faithful to them, and to us, for all eternity.