Map it out – the extent of obvious misery

Here I am in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.

The row houses in the Kensington area were originally built for workers in the vicinity of the factories that employed them. They are a monument to industriousness and dignity. The factories were not social institutions, but apparently it was possible for many families to live in their own little house in the neighbourhood. It was a short commute to the workplace. There were many little corner stores selling things of daily needs, and bars for those who had daily or occasional wants. Some avenues were commercial districts with a variety of stores and shops. I have seen a library in a park, schools and a hospital – all in a similar architectural style making use of brickwork, just the way the factories were built. And there were many churches to comfort the ones hit by hardship and to celebrate with the ones who were able to make it.

Industrial Beauty - a restored factory portal in Kensinton
Industrial Beauty – a restored factory portal in Kensington

Continue reading “Map it out – the extent of obvious misery”

Advertisements

Grace to you and peace from the One

Grace to you and peace from the One who is and who was and who is to come (Rev. 1:4).

I offered my service as a reader today to the congregation at Whitehorse United Church, and the above quote was part of the readings. On occasion, I do worship with the local United Church congregation. As these things go, they have a relational aspect: I have been invited to join for the worship service; and Celia has been attending this church for a while now. To read from the scripture is a way for me to give back to the community and their hospitality. It helps me to overcome my fear for public speaking and my tendency not to publicly live out and share the ministry of presence.

I must admit that the space the Whitehorse United Church provides for worship is exceptional in the architectural desert of the Yukon. The sanctuary is simple, inviting, and not overloaded with distractions. I particularly enjoy the indirect light from the rainbow-coloured window glass in the alcove behind the altar. Today was not the best day for appreciating the light effects because the skies produced a diffuse light. But on a day with some sunshine, these windows create the warmest glow of light throughout the visible spectrum. A real treasure and for me an expression of the above quote from the Revelation to John.

No it’s not the end, yet! Light effects in the sanctuary of Whitehorse United Church (photo credit: Whitehorse United Church)

I have never required a particular place to experience God, the divine: most often this happens to me when I am out in the bush, close to the creation and at the same time away from the distractions of civilizations. Continue reading “Grace to you and peace from the One”