Faith

Jim Grey, Preacher

I’m, gulp, preaching in church this Sunday. I’m a software developer, not a preacher!

At church, our new pastor resigned. He’d been with us just since March. All the reasons are private, but he left on good terms.

WPCC
Zeiss Ikon Contessa LK, Ultrafine Extreme 100, 2018.

The Elders are now directly operating the church, including doing the preaching on Sunday. That includes me! Which is a little daunting. I have preached twice before, when our previous pastor had to be away and he was desperate for someone to fill in. I used to teach a lot of Sunday school, and I’m comfortable doing that. My sermons will be a lot like Sunday school lessons without the audience asking questions.

At West Park Christian Church
Pentax KM, 28mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-M, Kodak Tri-X, 2017.

We hired our new pastor to help us attract and retain people from the Generation Z and Millennial generations, which are underrepresented in our congregation. The new pastor made some changes in our worship that our Generation X and Baby Boomer members found challenging. But it’s up to us mature Christians in the older generation to adapt with the times. We don’t get to be set in our ways. Yet worship still needs to feel like worship to us. It’s a tricky balance to strike, and this is what I’m going to talk about. I’m going to borrow heavily from this old post and a little maybe from this one to build my message.

As we move through the holiday season, we will reflect as an Eldership and as a congregation on what we want to do next. That will certainly involve looking for a new pastor. But we want to be certain of what we want, and as much as we can of what God wants, first.

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The Episcopalians had this place built, but it’s a place for all believers. Services are not held here on Sunday; you are invited to worship here or seek quiet contemplation whenever you like. Ater all, the sky above is the only roof large enough to cover all of God’s followers.

Designed by architect Philip Johnson and featuring a sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz under a shingled parabolic dome, The Roofless Church opened in 1960. You’ll find it in New Harmony, Indiana, on the town’s northernmost east-west street.

The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church

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Photography, Travel

The Roofless Church

Under the open-air roof of the Roofless Church in New Harmony, Indiana. A photoessay.

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Cathedral

Turbaned man passing a Catholic church by
Canon PowerShot S95
2018

Have you ever made a photograph and then, later, you noticed something in it that made the image? This is one of those times for me.

Margaret and I happened upon St. Peter’s Church, on W. Madison St. in the Loop in Chicago. It’s such a stunning structure that we had to pause for photographs. Madison St. is relatively narrow, and I couldn’t back up enough to capture the whole building. So I looked for interesting framing within what I could capture.

The building’s symmetry appealed to me — my goodness, but do I love symmetry — so I went for that. Then today, while reviewing these images, I noticed the man in the turban passing by. What a joyful juxtaposition!

Photography

single frame: Turbaned man passing a Catholic church by

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Mr. and Mrs. Mount

Mr. and Mrs. Mount
iPhone 6s
2018

At church, all the stained-glass windows have names of original church members painted on them. Our congregation dates to around the turn of the 20th century, and the main part of our building was completed in 1909.

Two blocks east of our church is a street that bears this family name.

I’ve written lately of wishing for good in-camera JPEGs from my digital cameras. This photo is straight from my iPhone 6s, no editing. That happens more than I care to admit with my iPhone. I only wish the phone were easier to hold and use as a camera.

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Photography

single frame: Mr. and Mrs. Mount

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Windows at West Park

Church windows
Pentax ME, 35mm f/2 SMC Pentax-FA AL
Eastman Double-X 5222
2018

In the little church I attend on the Near Westside of Indianapolis, the sanctuary windows are all stained glass and feature the names of original members. Their descendants attended until the last of them died about a decade ago. Today, these names are historic curiosities to the current members.

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Film Photography

single frame: Church windows

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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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