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Open Door Churches

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I think Av is starting to feel as though his weekend isn't complete unless we've at some point been on a dirt road:


So...last weekend we were in the Black Belt and came across this road...and over on the right we saw this:

What a gorgeous church. I mean - well, right now it isn't the conventional kind of beautiful but it's definitely there, just in a different way. The door was standing wide open and I wanted to see what condition the interior was in:



There's no telling *when* the last time an active congregation was there.

And if that wasn't enough, on the same road we came across this Second Empire style church. The door to this one was also hanging open (this building has shifted on its foundation so that it may be impossible to close the door. I was certain it was also abandoned.). Looking straight-on, the building seemed to be leaning left:

...ohmystars the interior!!

I stood there at the door, and after a minute of just taking it all in, I realized: this building is still being used. There's a flower arrangement on the piano, the collection basket there on the table, all the decorations in the back, and in this cabinet were several funeral home-sponsored church fans:

Wasps were taking over the inside. There had to be at least twenty flying all around the room - and when I came outside, Av pointed up to to the top of the tower and there had to have been another 30 wasps swarming all around there - not sure you can see all the black dots:

I'm going to send this church a little check with my Amazon earnings this month and see if we can't help them get rid of these wasps.

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Does the place you worship keep the sanctuary doors open all the time?

When I was in college, there was a discussion on the chapel we had on campus about its hours and so on. There was a group - and I felt this way too - that said that the doors to the chapel should always be open. It was a non-denominational chapel and anyone could go in just for a moment of peace or a longer session of prayer. As a college student (um...and today also...) the moments when I appreciated somewhere to go for quiet and connectedness didn't always happen during 'business hours'. It was comforting to know there was a sacred place there on our campus that was always open.

One of my Catholic friends told me that he sometimes would get up at 3 in the morning when he wasn't sleeping well, and go to his church to pray. The doors were *always* open (and this was an opulent, opulent church). Occasionally, the congregation would have a sign-up sheet for people take hour-long stretches around the clock for days where they would pray about one certain issue or concern.

The building where our family worships stays locked when services are not going on, and when formal services are taking place, a security guard is posted at one of the doors. I wish my children did not have to pass by a security guard to get to our place of worship.

Here's to future always-open doors.

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