“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Friday, October 28, 2011

St. Giles Church 9/10/06

I just discovered this post I had written on a trip to Scotland in 2006.  Never posted, I thought I would post it now.

I just got back from a wonderful conference in Aberdeen Scotland. While there, I sat in a church in Edinburgh called St. Giles Church and listened as a classical music group prepared for a concert later that night. I wrote the following as I sat there

In a reformation kind of way, I hope to open the church. Or perhaps, it is a total change. I want it to change its priorities, to change its practices to become something it has never entirely been before. It may be that the doors are open. But that only means that like a museum it has visiting hours. You sit in a church but you might as well be like an informaiton center about cultural silliness (as in the Tron center there in Edinburgh which was once a beautiful church and now is the shell of a beautiful church filled with a combination of a partially excavated floor and silly things about witches, etc.). But it does begin with openness, with business hours. Particularly business hours that don't exclude. But people can be those visiting a museum or those engaged. People who look around and tke picutres and leave, or people are aware of what a church actually is, how it differs from a museum. How congregational members differ from museum attendees or visitors. I don't concern myself with who or is not in the museum. Of course, I would like everyone to have the opportunity to enter.

My desire, however, with a church is to think about who is or isn't in attendance and wonder why. How is their presence or not a reflection of me, of us? Churches may move from churches to museums to buildings housing silliness very quickly (comparatively) and the reasons for this change can be knowable. In summary, it is linked to obedience. How interesting that so many churches here in Edinburgh are museums or restaurants or bars. One even houses a tall rock climbing wall. It is a city dedicated to the culture they have abandoned.

So I go into Tron square church to see what is in the dirt that the church stands on. If I look up, the stained glass reminds me of worship. I got to the church below Edinburgh Castle and eat at the "Carvary." How funny that Kathi misread it as "Calvary." How many of the population would have the vestiges of culture to catch the "joke."

May God continue to move us forward as a growing church.  The churches of Edinburgh are like the stumps of dead trees.  A remembrance of what might have been, what had begun, what had life but is now a dead, distant memory.


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