What's In A Building?

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"Sermon" on 18 Nov 2012. How various buildings and congregations have affected my faith journey.

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  • I’ve been thinking quite a lot about what I might have to say this morning; I’m going to talk in two parts – the first describing some impacts that some religious buildings have had on me. The second part is … well we’ll see when we get there. But first, a little travelogue:
  • Centenary-Queens Square: Dad grew up here and regaled us as kids with his memories of childhood around and in that congregation. One good story for children to hear: the tumultuous, difficult conversations that people had around the pros and cons of going to war – he was living through World War II. Also, the service that congregation provided to British servicemen and –women training in the Saint John area.
  • Kensington United: Mum grew up here; the church was pivotal in her family. She has stories of life on a farm and how things came to a stop on Sundays, to respect the day.
  • Hampton is where I lived from birth to age 4; I have vague memories of an old church – since replaced at Robb Court and added to with a seniors-living complex
  • St Paul’s United: first church that I remember – aged 4 to 12 – and many memories of Sunday School – outings and classes – it was difficult to leave these people when we moved to …
  • St Andrews United: aged 12 to university – great memories of Junior Choir and older Sunday School. Used the bass guitar in Junior Choir; had many opportunities for church outings and first weeks at Berwick Camp in the summer.
  • Cologne Cathedral: after university, I spent four weeks in Europe with a friend. We visited 15+ countries; one of the aspects that had the greatest impact on me was the old cathedrals, of which Cologne’s (with twin towers) remains quite strong in my mind. So intricate and detailed!
  • West New Annan United: this is where Terri & I were married in June 1987. Just down the country road from her paternal family home.
  • Saint Andrew and Saint David: Terri & I lived in Saint John, NB for three years. We frequented this church which features a round sanctuary. Centenary-Queens Square as recently started services in this building.
  • Abu Bakker Mosque: we lived in Doha, Qatar for three years. I drove by Abu Bakker mosque to and from work and often enjoyed its architecture. In rural Qatar – the country is a three-hour drive from north to south and one-hour across – we would see older, less-grand mosques …
  • Abandoned Mosque: somewhere in Qatar, we found this abandoned mosque while on a drive with my visiting sister, Susan. It’s a little intimidating to explore a building that has such a significant history.
  • Another Abandoned Mosque: same as above; better picture (courtesy of panoramio).
  • Saint Andrews United: in Prince George, we were part of this congregation … both our children started Sunday School here and there were lots of activities in this building.
  • Salisbury Cathedral: in 1997, Dad & I travelled to Scotland and England – visited with an old family friend who had been one of those British servicemen in Saint John 50 years before – and got to tour this cathedral. Point of interest: one of the Magna Cartas is housed in the rotunda.
  • Coventry Cathedral: also visited this place with Dad, in 1997 – there is a two-fold impact on me of this building. (1) That, when rebuilding after World War II, they should leave most of the devastation “as it was: as a reminder” and built a spectacular structure beside and around the damage. This building is “graced by symbols of hope and, most importantly, forgiveness towards the forces who destroyed the city's main landmark”. (2) That the service on Sunday AM was truly moving. The tapestry is 72 feet tall and depicts figures from the Book of Revelations.
  • Coventry Cathedral: also visited this place with Dad, in 1997 – there is a two-fold impact on me of this building. (1) That, when rebuilding after World War II, they should leave most of the devastation “as it was: as a reminder” and built a spectacular structure beside and around the damage. This building is “graced by symbols of hope and, most importantly, forgiveness towards the forces who destroyed the city's main landmark”. (2) That the service on Sunday AM was truly moving. The tapestry is 72 feet tall and depicts figures from the Book of Revelations.
  • William Black Pastoral Charge: you people have been our primary faith family for a dozen years!
  • Wayfarers Chapel: this summer, Terri, Myra & I found this respite from California’s quick pace. A lovely design of glass and wood, this building is perched looking over the Pacific Ocean, delicately nestled amongst quiet trees.
  • The second part of my discussion this morning is merely answering the question – yes, I morphed the original question – what is inside a church? And I suggest there are five letters that answer that question. The letter S is representative of quiet Solitude: churches provide a place of quiet and reverence. One can usually find a place or time in a church to simply relax and listen to God. Energy to deal with one’s weekly life is found in a church, through listening, thinking, talking; definitely, the letter E is an important aspect in the answer to this question. Another letter S, as in the Spirit of hopefulness is paramount in the actions of a church and its people. All of you, doing good, doing God’s work are represented by the letter U, as People (Us) helping each other learn and live. Through the actions of Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, we are reJuvenated to do God’s work in our community, across our land and around our world.
  • The second part of my discussion this morning is merely answering the question – yes, I morphed the original question – what is inside a church? And I suggest there are five letters that answer that question. The letter S is representative of quiet Solitude: churches provide a place of quiet and reverence. One can usually find a place or time in a church to simply relax and listen to God. Energy to deal with one’s weekly life is found in a church, through listening, thinking, talking; definitely, the letter E is an important aspect in the answer to this question. Another letter S, as in the Spirit of hopefulness is paramount in the actions of a church and its people. All of you, doing good, doing God’s work are represented by the letter U, as People (Us) helping each other learn and live. Through the actions of Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, we are reJuvenated to do God’s work in our community, across our land and around our world.
  • The second part of my discussion this morning is merely answering the question – yes, I morphed the original question – what is inside a church? And I suggest there are five letters that answer that question. The letter S is representative of quiet Solitude: churches provide a place of quiet and reverence. One can usually find a place or time in a church to simply relax and listen to God. Energy to deal with one’s weekly life is found in a church, through listening, thinking, talking; definitely, the letter E is an important aspect in the answer to this question. Another letter S, as in the Spirit of hopefulness is paramount in the actions of a church and its people. All of you, doing good, doing God’s work are represented by the letter U, as People (Us) helping each other learn and live. Through the actions of Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, we are reJuvenated to do God’s work in our community, across our land and around our world.
  • The second part of my discussion this morning is merely answering the question – yes, I morphed the original question – what is inside a church? And I suggest there are five letters that answer that question. The letter S is representative of quiet Solitude: churches provide a place of quiet and reverence. One can usually find a place or time in a church to simply relax and listen to God. Energy to deal with one’s weekly life is found in a church, through listening, thinking, talking; definitely, the letter E is an important aspect in the answer to this question. Another letter S, as in the Spirit of hopefulness is paramount in the actions of a church and its people. All of you, doing good, doing God’s work are represented by the letter U, as People (Us) helping each other learn and live. Through the actions of Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, we are reJuvenated to do God’s work in our community, across our land and around our world.
  • The second part of my discussion this morning is merely answering the question – yes, I morphed the original question – what is inside a church? And I suggest there are five letters that answer that question. The letter S is representative of quiet Solitude: churches provide a place of quiet and reverence. One can usually find a place or time in a church to simply relax and listen to God. Energy to deal with one’s weekly life is found in a church, through listening, thinking, talking; definitely, the letter E is an important aspect in the answer to this question. Another letter S, as in the Spirit of hopefulness is paramount in the actions of a church and its people. All of you, doing good, doing God’s work are represented by the letter U, as People (Us) helping each other learn and live. Through the actions of Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, we are reJuvenated to do God’s work in our community, across our land and around our world.
  • The second part of my discussion this morning is merely answering the question – yes, I morphed the original question – what is inside a church? And I suggest there are five letters that answer that question. The letter S is representative of quiet Solitude: churches provide a place of quiet and reverence. One can usually find a place or time in a church to simply relax and listen to God. Energy to deal with one’s weekly life is found in a church, through listening, thinking, talking; definitely, the letter E is an important aspect in the answer to this question. Another letter S, as in the Spirit of hopefulness is paramount in the actions of a church and its people. All of you, doing good, doing God’s work are represented by the letter U, as People (Us) helping each other learn and live. Through the actions of Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, we are reJuvenated to do God’s work in our community, across our land and around our world.
  • The second part of my discussion this morning is merely answering the question – yes, I morphed the original question – what is inside a church? And I suggest there are five letters that answer that question. The letter S is representative of quiet Solitude: churches provide a place of quiet and reverence. One can usually find a place or time in a church to simply relax and listen to God. Energy to deal with one’s weekly life is found in a church, through listening, thinking, talking; definitely, the letter E is an important aspect in the answer to this question. Another letter S, as in the Spirit of hopefulness is paramount in the actions of a church and its people. All of you, doing good, doing God’s work are represented by the letter U, as People (Us) helping each other learn and live. Through the actions of Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, we are reJuvenated to do God’s work in our community, across our land and around our world.
  • What is Inside a Church Building? Jesus. Amen.And, as he taught us to pray, …Our Father, who art in heaven
  • What's In A Building?

    1. 1. WHAT’S IN A BUILDING?Buildings that have affected my Faith Journey William Black Pastoral Charge Bridgetown, NS David MacLean – 18 November 2012
    2. 2. BACKGROUND INFO• I divided the sermon into two parts: • A “travelogue” of buildings that, for a variety of reasons, have affected me • The question “What’s in a building” except that I morphed the question into “Whats in this church”• Slide three is the front of the bulletin• I used Google Earth instead of slides 4 through 20 (slides were Plan B)• Slide 28 was explained (as having Lord’s Prayer on the steps) and used to initiate the Lord’s Prayer (recited by all)• Slides 29 & 30 are included as bulletin cover and “insides”• I have included “slide notes” for each slide that LARGELY reflect that which I said!WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 2
    3. 3. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 3
    4. 4. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 4
    5. 5. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 5
    6. 6. Hampton United, Hampton, NB; (Google Earth) – no pictures available WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 6
    7. 7. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 7
    8. 8. St. Andrews United, Truro, NS; (trurons.com)WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 8
    9. 9. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 9
    10. 10. West New Annan United, New Annan, NS; (trurodaily.com)WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 10
    11. 11. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 11
    12. 12. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 12
    13. 13. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 13
    14. 14. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 14
    15. 15. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 15
    16. 16. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 16
    17. 17. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 17
    18. 18. Coventry Cathedral, Coventry, England; (engagingplaces.org.uk)WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 18
    19. 19. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 19
    20. 20. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 20
    21. 21. WHAT’S IN A BUILDING? __ __ __ __ __WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 21
    22. 22. WHAT’S IN THIS CHURCH? __ __ __ __ __WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 22
    23. 23. WHAT’S IN THIS CHURCH? S __ __ __ __ __ Quiet SolitudeWHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 23
    24. 24. WHAT’S IN THIS CHURCH? Energy E S __ __ __ __ __ Quiet SolitudeWHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 24
    25. 25. WHAT’S IN THIS CHURCH? Energy E S S __ __ __ __ __ Quiet Solitude SpiritWHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 25
    26. 26. WHAT’S IN THIS CHURCH? Energy E S U S __ __ __ __ __ People (Us) Quiet Solitude SpiritWHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 26
    27. 27. WHAT’S IN THIS CHURCH?reJuvenation Energy J E S U S __ __ __ __ __ people (Us) quiet Solitude Spirit WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 27
    28. 28. WHATS IN A BUILDING? 18 November 2012 28
    29. 29. WHATS IN A BUILDING? Bulletin Cover 18 November 2012 29
    30. 30. WHATS IN A BUILDING? Inside Bulletin 18 November 2012 30

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