Father Michael Henry slowly walked up the narrow aisle of his new church Sunday morning — passing by a giant poster of the periodic table of elements as he did.
It’s his small congregation’s fourth stop since the building it once called home was destroyed by a tornado in November.
The 20 or so members of Christ the King Anglican Church have bounced around for months between each other’s homes, a conference room at St. Joseph Hospital and Grace United Methodist Church.
Sunday, they had their first service at yet another new location — a classroom inside the Indiana University Kokomo observatory.
Before the service started, members chatted and even cracked jokes about how cold the observatory was. It was 62 degrees inside. They laughed and said they assumed the $30 they paid to rent the building for the afternoon did not include heat.
Church member Rose Addington said it’s just another curve ball. They can handle it, just like they’ve handled everything else thrown their way.
“We look at it as an adventure,” she said.
That adventure began on a Sunday afternoon in November when a tornado tore through Arnold Court and swept away a large portion of the building Christ the King had rented and worshiped in for several years.
Father Henry got a message from his son late that afternoon. The church was gone.
The whole church family later gathered there to see it for themselves. At first, all they saw was rubble. They thought everything was gone.
“It was heartbreaking, heartrending,” said Linda Henry, the pastor’s wife. “We had just been there six hours earlier.”
As they looked closer, though, they found that much could be salvaged from the rubble.
Addington saw some vestments — robes for clergy — through a tiny hole in the wall. She punched bigger holes to pull them out, she said.