A closed church offered an opportunity for a new (old) style of church to arise. Weekend Edition on WUNC interviews pastor and members:
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I’m Rachel Martin. And we take you now to southwestern Virginia, where a small struggling church is getting a second life thanks to a new pastor who’s mixing old-time Appalachian culture with a new style of worship. Robbie Harris brings us the story of the Wild Goose Church in Floyd County, Va.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “PACK UP YOUR SORROWS”)
PASTOR EDWIN LACEY: (Singing) No use crying, talking to a stranger. Naming the sorrow you’ve seen.
ROBBIE HARRIS, BYLINE: Edwin Lacey is part preacher, part musician. That gave him an idea for this abandoned one-room church in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia.
The Roanoke Times reports:
This is Wild Goose Christian Community, where people meet every week in an old church way the heck out in Floyd County. They listen to old-time mountain music instead of a choir. They sit in rocking chairs instead of pews. They take Communion from a Mason jar instead of a goblet. They meet on Tuesday nights instead of Sunday mornings.
Instead of listening to a sermon, they sit around in their rocking chairs and talk about Jesus, the Bible and all of life’s big questions.
The last Tuesday of every month, after the service is over, they push the rocking chairs to the side, clear the floor and end the night not with a benediction, but with a big ol’ square dance.