Locke out by vandals, Bear Island churchgoers hold service outdoors

MEREDITH — On Sunday, churchgoers arrived to attend Sunday services at the St. John's on the Lake Chapel on Bear Island to discover three or four men trying to jimmy the lock. But they weren't vandals, they were board members of the St. John's Association trying to get the doors open for the Sunday service. Apparently someone had tried to break into the chapel and broken off a piece of metal inside the lock.

The board members did not succeed in getting into their own church, but a beautiful service based on the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes was sung by the girls from Camp Nokomis on the steps. The beauty of the woods and sky and the nearly ninety year old church provided a serene and beautiful backdrop.

The St. John's Board says it has become increasingly vigilant against vandalism in recent years, installing a series of more and more serious locks.

"The good news is that the lock worked. They didn't get in," said Cyndy Mernick, vice president of the board.

Under discussion by the board now is a game camera. If anyone wishes to visit the church during the week, they should contact a board member to arrange to get a key or send an inquiry through the website at www.stjohnsonthelake.com, said Sharon Doyle, president of the association.