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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Renovation II

One of my congregations worships in a wee small A-frame building, constructed by parishioners in the 1960's. It is not the most beautiful of churches, but is is well-loved, and has been well-cared-for over the decades. One of the... less than optimal features of the worship space there has been the looong pews (donated from a larger church, once upon a time, I assume), which stretch very nearly the whole width of the nave (The space is 25 feet wide, and the pews are 15 feet long).

The main entrance to the building is at the back of the nave, which means that when one enters, one has a sort of steeplechase view, with a whole series of obstructions between the entry and the altar rail. It feels as though, as some of my relatives might say, y'all cain't git there from here.

Not only is this aesthetically less than pleasing, but it can make liturgy difficult, especially for weddings and funerals. Most especially funerals-- there is really no place to put a casket, so unless the deceased has been cremated, a burial mass simply has to be held elsewhere.

Tomorrow we're going to change all that. After several months of prayer, and discussion, and consideration of alternatives... we have designated tomorrow as Renovation Sunday. The congregation will be coming in work clothes, and after Eucharist-- led by my wonderful assistant, a bi-vocational priest who in his "day job" is an experienced carpenter-- we will be cutting the pews in half, to allow for a center aisle!

I will be late to arrive, because of worship and an annual meeting with another congregation; but thanks to my husband, I hope to have pictures to share at the end of the day... if we can find my camera. In any case, I know I will be blessed by sharing in the work of a community who has the gumption to take such a step, in the name of mission and ministry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to seeing the pictures - I think they will be happy with the "new" pews.

January 28, 2007 5:52 AM  

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