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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Roofless Church

It was early on a Saturday morning. Because of the time change, we were an "hour off" so I was up early (early-to-rise was also enhanced by Rick's brother pounding on the door at 7 a.m. saying "Let's go riding!" Boys and their bikes...)


I had decided this would be the perfect time to take a walk to the roofless church and labyrinth (that's a later post) -- a time when it was quiet and thoughtful.


It was also a beautiful morning when I came upon the church designed by Philip Johnson. Birds, singing, warm but not yet too hot or humid.


The church was located only a couple of blocks from the New Harmony Inn. Outside you'll find some beautiful sculpture such as this "Angel of the Annunciation."


If one wanted to be literal, you'd describe it as a brick wall surrounding a very large garden. True. But so much more. The heavy entry gates on the main entry give it a sense of greater presence.


With no roof to close one in, the feeling of peace and beauty is simply overwhelming. At this time of day it was very quiet; I was the only one there. The environment felt protected, loved and cared for.


There were spots to sit and contemplate.



Beautiful art was scattered throughout.

The sculpture on the exterior was equally interesting.

 

Neatly tended gardens rest in the corners...


...and clean, even stones make for beautiful walkways.


The Roofless Church was created as "a place for all people," although it is under the care of the Episcopal Discese.


The only somewhat enclosed spot is the alter, which one can see from various angles upon entering.


Up close, it is equally lovely.


I know that not all who visited here thought the same way I did -- perhaps they came looking for an attraction, perhaps there were more people there and it didn't offer the solace and silence I sought and found.


But the words above say it well. An all-inclusive space for people to meditate, contemplate, worship or simply be. It may not be the faith that draws you but clearly it is the peace that reigns.

17 comments:

  1. My kind of church - lovely and peaceful.

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  2. That is such a beautiful space. I especially like the tile work. And how cool that you got to experience it at a time when you were the only person there!

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  3. What a nice way to emphasize the unity of Nature, Man, and God.

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  4. Oh Jeanie,
    What a beautiful place to see.
    Yes, the saying says it all.
    Thank you so much for sharing this... I had not idea it was there.
    blessings to you,
    Penny

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  5. Oh, I could just cry... I LOVE this place! What a beautiful place of peace and worship. And yes, that plaque says it all. :o) That is my kind of place! ((HUGS))

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  6. What a perfect place to hold a service...in nature, in a garden, where humankind began. OH, let us return to EDEN!

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  7. It's a lovely space. I'm glad your visit there was perfect for you!

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  8. what a uniquely welcoming and serene place...really lovely Jeanie!
    oxo

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  9. I love pictures of old churches, new churches, and any places of meditation - so soothing.

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  10. It looks more like a sanctuary to me than some enclosed churches do. I hope you post about the labyrinth - I love seeing them and have walked a few. Yes, indeed - boys and their bikes!

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  11. Stunning! I like to think of the entire world as a roofless church :-)
    big hugs,
    Cheryl

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  12. You know, this week especially (Ukraine, Gaza/Israel, ebola), your taking us to the roofless church is VERY appreciated.
    XOXOXO
    Maryanne in SC

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  13. For me this is what a church should be. Beautiful!

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  14. I am SO with you on the peace and quiet -- it looks like a perfectly lovely place.

    I'm interested to see the labyrinth.

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  15. Lovely! I was particularly drawn to the alter. Maybe it was built for just that purpose. It reminded me of a parachute, a blanket, or a cape - all things to could wrap, protect, and cover us with love. I could just feel the peaceful surroundings by your photographs.

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  16. What a perfect place to sit and think and enjoy a quiet moment.

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