Last week, we went to my parents' new church. They moved from Grovedale to Northcote a year ago, and soon found a ready welcome at this church. It is a composite. There was originally a bluestone church, but when this became too small, a brick one was built next door, without knocking over the bluestone one. Then, as these things happen, the congregation diminished, while another church half a suburb away was growing in numbers, but without having a suitable building. So one Palm Sunday in 2005, the congregation from the smaller building literally walked together into this brick church and the two congregations merged. It's a very active community.
We went to a special service to celebrate the 60th year of my father's ordination as a minister. The service was one of thanksgiving and celebration. People spoke briefly and well. My father spoke a little about leaving school very young to go and work on the farm with his father and brothers, but then being accepted into ministry training, and then going back to finish high school at evening college, and then going to university. But mostly he spoke about my mother (who is facing some long term health difficulties now). Here he is, more or less I think at the age he and my mother met, when she was doing her deaconess training.
And here he is, making his lovely acceptance speech.
So I have veered a little from bluestone. But what struck me so deeply, on this important day for him, was my father being so attentive to my mother, and remembering my bluestone project, and reminding me to get out and take photographs.