I t is more than just a little amusing, I think, that we could end up with a church sitting next door to a strip joint in southern York County.
The very thought of it puts a smile on my face.
Because in the all-consuming, everlasting battle between good and evil, this pretty much is the icing on the cake.
Oh, it could be a church sitting next to a house of prostitution, I guess. That would be more interesting. Or it could be a church sitting next to a gambling casino or a crack house or a business that publishes pornographic material or distributes triple X-rated movies. That would be wild, too, I guess.
But a church sitting next to a strip club is pretty good. You don't get that every day in conservative York County.
On one side we have the SonLight Chapel, a smallish church in just its third year of operation, that's been holding its religious services at the New Bridgeville Fire Hall, 2870 Furnace Road in Red Lion.
It's a done deal for the SonLight Chapel, since the York County commissioners have already agreed to sublet to them -- for $1,000 a month -- the former offices of retired District Judge Nancy Edie, 2512 Delta Road, Suite 1, in Brogue.
To present a proper mental picture of the situation, you should know the new location for the church sits in the end unit of a strip shopping center.
"It's wonderful to have our own place," said Leah Geesey, an elder at SonLight Chapel. "We've been looking for quite some time. Then this opportunity came up, and it was God's timing for sure."
Either that, or God's got a heck of a sense of humor. I'm thinking the latter might be closer to the truth.
Because the church might sit within a very short stone's throw from a spot in the strip mall that could be the site for The Office, a proposed members-only adult cabaret that would feature "live nude female dancers."
Translated: It's a strip club.
It hasn't been decided yet, however. Not officially anyway. The Chanceford Township zoning hearing board will decide on May 23, whether it will allow club co-owner Terry Sutton to open the adult club in the strip mall.
A special exception is needed for The Office to open in that location, and the township's planning commission has already recommended that exception not be granted.
So maybe the perfect storm between good and evil will occur on this site, and maybe it won't. Only time will tell.
But the very thought of religious folk meeting in Suite 1 on Sunday morning, just hours after all sorts of "private entertaining" was going on inside the strip club, conjures up visions of lightning bolts and 40 consecutive days and nights of rain in the Brogue area.
You're familiar with Sodom and Gomorrah, aren't you?
I'm just saying -- if God's paying attention even a little bit, it could get ugly down there.
And interestingly enough, the SonLight Chapel folks knew about the possibility of having a strip club for a close neighbor before they signed their new lease with the county. They could have avoided the whole situation -- rubbing elbows with all those sinners and such -- but chose not to.
Which, to my way of thinking, is a nod in favor of the decision made by members of the SonLight Chapel. What good is organized religion, after all, if it doesn't see as its primary function the redemption of wayward souls?
In fact, according to Geesey, the church was not intentionally moving to the Brogue strip mall with a thought to keeping the strip club out.
To the contrary.
"This move will give us a chance to expand our ministry," Geesey said. "This is where we should be."
I couldn't agree with her more.
In fact, she said, the church is considering a variety of ministry options for those who need a church home and for people of need.
I suppose that could mean ministering to those who spent the night before -- or the whole week before -- attending an adult cabaret.
"If that would be where (The) Office is, then it gives us a perfect opportunity to offer Christ to those going there or working there," Geesey said.
It was almost too good to be true, I guess, having sinners so close at hand. It's like a person who bakes apple pies for a living having a house right next door to an apple orchard.
It hardly gets any better than this. A person could literally spend a long, late night getting some private entertainment attention from a naked woman at the strip club, catch a short nap in his car in the parking lot and then show up for church services the next morning without taking more than a couple dozen steps.
Talk about convenience.
Like I said, God must have a sense of humor.
Columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch columnist, run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.