Snow-covered steps

Snow-covered steps
Kodak VR35 K40
Kodak Max 400 (expired)
2018

At church, we all come in the back door. Our parking lot is back there.

But it means we often forget about our front door. The door that the neighborhood sees. And so on this snowy Sunday, nobody thought to shovel it clean. Were it not for the footprints on the steps, our neighbors might think we were not even open. Indeed, when we encounter them around the neighborhood that’s sometimes what they tell us.

It’s a common trap churches fall into: we know our ways. But we want to meet people who aren’t in our church, and they find our ways strange, or even to make no sense. And we wonder why we seldom see anybody new on Sunday.

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Film Photography

single frame: Snow-covered steps

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7 thoughts on “single frame: Snow-covered steps

  1. Modern churches are all about the car, but these old ones were not. I have noticed in old Catholic churches particularly that are still in neighborhoods that once teemed with parishioners. Now many drive in from elsewhere and few come from the immediate neighborhood.

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    • Check this out:

      This is our congregation in 1914, all spilled out across the front of the church. We have other similar panoramic photos through about the mid 1920s hanging on our walls.

      In these days, you’re right, it was quite common to just go to the church of your denomination that you could walk to in your neighborhood.

      Our church became one of those drive-in-from-elsewhere churches through the 1990s and early 2000s — until the members began to age out and die. When our current pastor arrived in about 2005 or 6, there were eight members. He immediately began to take the message back out into this neighborhood, and that is where most of our members come from today.

      It is a challenging ministry given that this is a neighborhood that knows poverty and all its problems. And if we took a whole-congregation photo in front of our building now, we would certainly not need a panoramic lens. But we have had some success returning to the neighborhood.

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