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Letter to the Editor: Church closing part of bigger picture

by | Feb 14, 2023 | Letter to Editor

Thank you for sharing the news about the closing of Community Covenant Hopkinton. The story of a church cannot be told in just dates and numbers but must include the story of the Spirit working among them. This church at many points during its history responded to the call to step out in faith. Most recently, in 2019, after years of declining attendance, the church formed a discernment group to try and figure out a direction. The group learned practices for coming to unity, not becoming attached to particular outcomes, and listening to the spirit in silence.

The discernment group carefully explored many options, and, after 19 months, came to unity on reaching out to the Highrock network of churches to become a part of them. Although this did not work out, the church saw a huge amount of spiritual growth as members learned to listen together and set aside their own desires. These disciplines gave them the strength to eventually make the difficult decision to close this past year.

Our culture values success, and even churches compete to provide a “product” that will attract the most “customers.” So, for many the closure of a church might be considered a failure. But it is never a failure to listen and get direction from the Spirit and to lay down your own desires for the good of others. In this case, the funds from the proceeds of the sale of the building will go to plant new Covenant churches. The church sensed God smiling on them in their decision.

The final service was held Dec. 11, which was the third Sunday in Advent, the Joy Sunday. The date was chosen as a convenient date that worked for the conference, but later, longtime members remembered that the third Sunday of Advent had been very significant in the church’s history for a few reasons. One of which was that the first worship service in Hopkinton was held on the third Sunday of Advent 47 years ago. So, without any planning or foresight on their part, the church held its final service exactly 47 years after their first service in Hopkinton. The Spirit is pulling all things together still.

— Mary Overholt, Upton

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