My mom sent me some interesting reflections from her prairie childhood in response to my reflections about house church:
Remembering back to my own childhood I recall something that meant little at the time but was interesting, and a bit amazing. Your great Aunt Peg (Lurie's mother) had a room to house the teacher of the community one-room school. Any of my cousins who were ready to go to high school had to find someone in town to live with as there was no bus system. This drafty, sort of ramshackle school building also served as a church on Sunday for people from neighboring farms. Everyone pitched in. Someone cut the wood and went early to make a fire. The "parish-ioners" might arrive on horseback or with the family in a wagon, most people bringing food. There was no sermon unless someone read or presented something of their personal interest. The "music" was not-at-all, or I remember a man who played a harmonica occasionally and another who did musically-deficient violin. My favorite time was the singing of hymns that were old-time to me at that time. It was really very much of a social activity but made Sunday morning count for something in their lives. I think faith and location was what brought THESE people together but at that time and place, it kept a sense of community and maintained their faith. Not a small thing but NO opportunity for outreach, growth or change.
I also appreciated Jamie's comments (as someone who's doing it, not just thinking about it).
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