St. Paul’s Chapel stands in the shadow of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. When the twin towers fell and first responders rushed in to do what they could, the work quickly overwhelmed and exhausted them. St. Paul’s took them in and cared for them.
Margaret and I were in Shelbyville for the day a couple weeks ago to meet with a few business owners. Margaret has become the Communications Director for the Historic Michigan Road Association, and she is starting to profile businesses on or near the road for our Web site.
We got to town more than an hour early for our first appointment, so we parked on the square and walked around taking photographs. St. Joesph Catholic Church is an imposing structure on E Broadway St., which is also the Michigan Road. It towers over the surrounding buildings.
As we photographed the exterior, a car pulled up and a fellow got out. He introduced himself to us as Jack, a member at the church. We got to talking and after a few minutes he asked if we’d like to see the inside. Well, of course we would! He called a staff member to see if a visit could be arranged. It was, and shortly we were in.
It just goes to show you that you never know what beauty lurks in any town. Shelbyville isn’t the flashiest town on the Michigan Road, but my goodness but does it have this gorgeous church.
St. Joseph’s stained glass windows are simply stunning. I did my best to capture the deep, rich color.
I checked: Emil Frei and Associates is still in the stained-glass business, and has been since 1898. Emil may have been from Munich, but he based his business in St. Louis. Today, it operates in Kirkwood, a St. Louis suburb.
We were incredibly fortunate to meet Jack, who unlocked this tour for us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Mormons’ Indianapolis temple isn’t actually in Indianapolis. It’s in Carmel, a city that borders Indianapolis to the north.
But I gather that this building is drop-dead gorgeous inside. After it was completed a few years ago, they offered tours to the public. My parents went, and my mom gushed for days about the quality of the materials and the attention to details. I wished I had made time to take a tour.
Because after the tours completed, non-Mormons were forever blocked from entering.