Sunday, December 28, 2008

Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning

This morning we woke up to the sound of strong wind gusting outside our bedroom window and strange blue lights in the sky. Clouds had blown in, and the temperature had dropped from a comfortable mid-50s to the 40s and falling. We turned on the radio and heard the report that the winds during the night had knocked out power to about a quarter million Metro Detroiters (We found out later that while we weren’t affected, a chunk of the branch was, including our building). After listening to the morning news and hearing about the power situation, Hallie, Landon, and I piled into the Buick and drove down to church to find out whether the building was without power and to drop me off for morning meetings if we determined that everything was fine. Once we got to the church, we had our answer. The security gate was without power. I climbed under the gate to check out the building and found that the security system was on battery power. A low whiny from a warning alarm on the security panel indicated that the furnace/AC unit was off. I called members of the branch presidency and PEC to let them know we wouldn’t have our morning meetings, and then we drove back home. Upon hearing that DTE would not be fixing power lines until the wind died down, I made a few calls to the stake and then drove back to the church. About an hour before sacrament meeting would have started, I went ahead and cancelled church. Hallie and I reflected on the decision a little later today. She made an observation that bears repeating. If we had been pioneers, we probably would have gone ahead and had church. We probably could have made at least sacrament meeting work. Granted, everyone would have had to park on the street and climb over or under the security fence (powered gate—have to rethink that one), but we could have forced the issue (not the gate—we’ve tried that before). I managed to turn off the interior alarm, so we wouldn’t have had that sound in our ears as we sang to the music played on the piano that we would have brought from the primary room. The rooms would have been quite dark. Our building is built like a fortress (or prison?), and our windows are few and far between. In each classroom, the space for the window has a bullet-proof panel of glass at the top and the bottom of the window frame with a large filled-in wall space in between. Kids have to crane their necks to see out the narrow windows to daydream. We do have emergency fluorescent lights in the hallways, bathrooms, and cultural hall on battery power which is nice (and which was waning by 10:15 this morning when I left). Still, we could have soldiered through and at least had sacrament meeting (of course, once you’re there, you may as well stay for the whole block), but we didn’t. It’s a strange feeling making the decision to cancel church. One member suggested families get together for cottage-style devotionals, which I think could be coordinated in the future. Anyway, happy Sunday to you, and Happy New Year on this now sunny, if brisk, Sabbath day!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I think it was a good call! I remember having Sacrament Meeting at home a couple times growing up when power was out or in a nasty ice storm when my dad was the bishop. It made for good memories.