Thursday, February 7, 2013

When "church the building" gets repurposed

I ran across these photos of  "repurposed" churches this morning.  All of these buildings used to house churches and now are used for everything from bookstores to restaurants to a Dunkin Donuts store front.

And it made me think again about how "church the building" is so different than being part of a faith community.

"Church the building" can seem like it's a permanent thing, but it's not at all.   These days we watch as congregations are combined due to financial constraints.  We see churches burned down in various parts of the world - out of hate sometimes. 

And those who attend "church the building" sometimes have to move on. There may be a geographical job change, a retirement, or we may choose to change our "church the building" for some reason.

In these times, "church the building" is more challenged than ever before.

Carrying our faith with us, however, is something we can always do, no matter what our circumstances.


Frank Tetto said...

There is a poem which reads:
He who carries a church within his heart is far more holier than he who's church is but a one day house of prayer"
Of course, I maintain one could both attend the physical church and carry the spiritual church in his/her heart.
I find being with the community of believers in the worship service, and participating in the service,reflecting on the meaning of the rituals, making and renewing a commitment to be a better person, inspiring and empowering.
Is it possible to work on some social justice initiatives together?

Elizabeth McClung said...

In western cardiff we went to a pub which had taken over a 18th century church, keeping the stained glass, pulpit and some pews.

On the other side, LGCM as well as another LGBT organization in the UK meet in either quaker houses, pubs or other buildings as often members have been so extremely absued by church members and leaders that church buildings are emotional triggers (try to imagine 'coming out' in a strict baptist faith - being up front with hands laid on you to 'heal' or 'drive out your demon' is not uncommon - we had one woman we gave lifts to who was told she could stay in her church because her Pastor told her she was God testing him to determine if he had the faith to heal her spiritual sickness)