Iíve talked to many people over the years about the cities and towns they grew up in. For years, the churches served as the center of the community. It was a place for worship, a gathering place for community events, a place to meet new friends, to discuss spirituality and to strengthen the values and morals of a community. It was what held communities together. Churchyards, or church cemeteries as they would later become known, served as a resting place for the congregationís dead so that they could be buried in accordance with each religionís beliefs and the deceased could begin their journey into the afterlife. During times of grief, the churches were a gathering place for people to look to God for the answers. Whether that grief was over the sickness or loss of a loved one, death of a world leader, or just to say a prayer during times of war or when life seemed overwhelming, there always seemed to be a certain peace that one could find under Godís roof.
The Pottstown area is no different when it comes to religion. Nearly every faith-based church is present as well as many non-denominational churches. Simply drive up Hanover Street and one can get the sense of how strong religion was in the area.
Many times children are introduced to religion as a child but as they get older, they make a choice for themselves as to whether or not to continue believing in a higher being. Sometimes, they get married to a person who doesnít share the same values or principles of the religion so they let it slip away to make the other happy. Sometimes, bad things have happened in a personís life to make them question the existence of God and they will try to force their views on others. Whatever happens in life; if we have been exposed to religion as a child, there will come a time when we once again turn to God for help and pray that he answers us.
This series wonít be for everyone as we all have our own religious beliefs. I am certainly not an authority on religion but for people new to this area or for those that are looking for a spiritual outlet, the Community Connection hopes to introduce the reader to some of the areas more well-known faith based religions as well as introduce some of the areas non-denominational churches as well.
Come along with us as we begin next week to explore our spiritual community in the hopes of bringing everyone just a little bit closer and helping us all become just a little bit more compassionate to others.