Worshiping in solitude

Apr 21, 2020

To the Editor:

Live church services are cancelled, and travel from home restricted, but Sunday morning I just couldn’t resist getting out of the house and fulfilling what I considered essential:  prayer. I toured in my car with windows up and making just brief stops during my travel, speaking to no one. 

I started my prayer tour at the 1st Congregational Church on Gibbs Avenue in Wareham. This church is where I usually worship and where my parents were members. I said a prayer in their memory before commencing my tour.  

From Gibbs Street I went to Main Street, stopping at the Methodist Church, where I prayed for all those who have died from Covid 19. 

Next, I took Chapel Street (that ironically doesn’t have a Chapel) to a left turn onto High Street.  On High Street I paused in front of St. Patricks, where I prayed for recovery of all those sick from the virus. At the Church of the Good Shepherd, near Tobey Hospital, appropriately I gave thanks to all those providing health care: doctors, nurses, hospital workers, pharmacy staff.  

From High Street I traveled to the Narrows Bridge and took Route 6.  After passing the Wareham EMT and just before the Rt 6 meets Route 28, I took a right onto Campinha Way. At the Church of the Nazarene on Rogers Ave., I gave thanks to first responders---police, firefighters, EMTs, health officials and others providing emergency care.   Proceeding to Cranberry Highway, I turned right onto Depot Street and proceeded towards Onset. On Onset Avenue, I paused across from the St. Mark’s Methodist Church , where I prayed for those unemployed due to the virus closings. 

I then turned left into the Campground, taking the first right, and pausing before the Community of Christ Chapel. There I prayed for good health and thanks for essential workers: supermarket personnel, bankers, restaurant staff, etc.    

Traveling back towards Onset Avenue is the Onset Foursquare Church. There, across from Lopes Field, I prayed for the parents, grandparents, and caregivers of school and pre-school children. Our future depends on the strength of the family and the hope that the playground will soon be filled with laughing youth.  

Before entering Onset Village, I took a left onto 10th Street, then a left turn onto Highland Avenue. At the Bridge Church I gave thanks and support for state and local community government leadership in this most unusual time.    

Returning to Onset Avenue, I traveled across the Stonebridge to St. Mark’s.  My church tour concluded with thanks and prayers for continued good health for my friends and family --- children, spouses and grandchildren.    

Up the road from St. Marks, at the top of the hill near a huge rock, once stood my minister grandfather’s summer Baptist Church. In the summer heat of the city,  his Dorchester Temple Church closed.  He built a cottage in Onset on East Boulevard—nicknamed Stiles City or Baptist Row (part of the rich Onset multi-faith built history). Now Onset Village is my home. In my driveway, I recited the Lord’s Prayer.  

You might ask, why pray outside all the various churches?  My answer: I believe God listens and watches over all channels.   

Bruce Hutchins