This is the faith season. At least, on Mexico blogs.
Several of my fellow bloggers have posted about spiritual matters. I have been planning to do the same thing since January -- the Easter season seems like a good time to do it.
I enjoy much about Melaque. But, my church here makes the area very special.
I started attending San Patricio by the Sea when I first visited the area as a tourist. Since then, I attend religiously. And, despite the old joke, that means more than twice a year.
My faith is far more important to me than the religion (the ritual practices) that surrounds it. My experience has been that religion tends to get in the way of our relationship with God and with our love for our neighbors.
But I also find that my faith is strengthened when I worship with other disciples. And that has been especially true here in Mexico.
San Patricio by the Sea is an odd faith vehicle -- suited perfectly to the community.
It is a multi-denominational church drawing worshippers from various religious backgrounds. Because the services are in English, most of the congegrants are expatriates or tourists -- lots of Canadians, a few Americans, and a sprinking of Mexicans, Australians, Englishmen, and South Africans.
In the winter, the attendance is regularly over 140 on each Sunday. In the summer we dwindle to a handul -- often in the single digits. But that is the rhythm of life in Melaque.
And because this is a church that believes strongly in sharing love with our neighbors, I have found many good friends through the church. Lou and Wynn being prime on that list.
I started this post by saying I have been meaning to write it for some time. But there is another reason to write it today.
The palapa at the church is no more. When I drove by on Thursday afternoon, this is what I found. Fire decided to have its way with the roof.
No one knows what happened -- only that the roof, the wooden contents, and the plastic chairs are no more. Even the poor palm trees look the worse for wear.
And this is a photograph taken from about the same place as the interior shot posted above (second photograph). That one was shot this January. The one below on Friday afternoon.
The rubble is cleared away. The church board has arranged to meet in the space that until recently was Maya -- one of my favorite restaurants.
There will be new chairs. And a reminder that God does not live in buildings. Nor is a church a building. A church is people. Anywhere we worship, He will be there.
And it will be a good reminder to continue showing our love to our neighbors.