PortlandNeighborhood.com

Welcome to YOUR Portland Neighborhood Community

I'm about to use a word that strikes most people with either fear or elation, or at least a sudden urge to leave the room. Even elated persons might find their momentary joy deflate into dread, because this word, though ubiquitous in its usage, is a powerful one, and often hearing it out of another's mouth may cause some awful wrothful (say it three times fast!) consternation when it's not uttered just so, even when those hearing it use the word quite frequently.

Here it is: Church.

Oh come back here. I'm not about to proselytize, I have no agenda that requires conversion, no funny hats or robes, no burning candles or crosses or books. I'm only going to write about churches in the strictly physical brick-and-mortar sense. I like churches. Actually, I love them, inside and out. I'm in love with the aesthetic, with the instant hush they command, with the aroma of worn pages in the hymnals and the sense of reverence they evoke. I'm not religious in the traditional sense of the word; my mother briefly sent my brother and me to Sunday school while my sister attended services at a Baptist church in Roswell, New Mexico, but I suspect it was in hopes someone else would would have to clean up after me while she caught a nap. Or maybe she felt we needed divine intervention (I know my sister thought so). Anyway, it was there that I came to love the echo-y sound of the upright piano and the smell of the fat colored chalk the youth director used to limn the joys and sorrows on the blackboard, and later where I found serenity in the sanctuary that, to me, felt wholly removed from any saintly figure and seemed to have a presence of its own.

First Unitarian Church

On the outside, I prefer the gothic structures of large stone churches. Those edifices loom larger than life to me, and are as inspiring as their interiors. These structures, more than any other, say without words that something important, even monumental, is happening within the walls, bigger than you, bigger than me, at least as large as Creation Itself. No other human-crafted structure speaks this way. Even when the messages they convey conflict with my own, they are powerful and undeniable. To stand in the shadow of a church is to understand that my opinion may be taken under advisement but with no promises.

First Presbyterian Church

Inside, serenity. Rustle of clothes on the seats of the pews, whispers, quiet smiles and greetings. Notice how in our modern world conversation anywhere else is of the raucous variety, voices raised so they can be heard above others nearby, some of whom are chattering on their phones to people not even in the same state, or even continent? Even in my neighborhood library people have taken to speaking loudly as if on the street outside. Everyone does this anymore, contending with the charp-charp-charp of being in the presence of fellow humans. In a church, it goes away. Everyone knows: Be quiet! You're in church!

Views: 181

Comment

You need to be a member of PortlandNeighborhood.com to add comments!

Join PortlandNeighborhood.com

Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on March 18, 2012 at 4:44pm

I love First Unitarian.  I haven't been in quite some time but I want to start attending again.  Thanks, Lorri.  :o)

Comment by Lorri E. on March 16, 2012 at 7:46pm

I have always loved churches for the same reason - they are beautiful and peaceful.  I have fond memories of my Grandma taking me to church each Sunday as a child.

Latest Activity

Willamette Women Democrats posted an event

Gov. Kate Brown Shares Her Vision for Oregon at Celebration Conference Center

September 8, 2016 from 4pm to 6pm
Governor Brown is running for her first election as governor after assuming the governorship in February 2015 following the resignation of Governor John Kitzhaber.  As governor she prioritizes making the government more accountable, improving public education, building strong and safe communities, fostering a climate for business growth and innovation, and standing up for working families. Come hear her lay out what she has accomplished since she became governor and what her vision is for the…See More
Saturday
Lea McWhorter posted an event
Thumbnail

Sophisticated Beads Holiday Jewelry Show at Monarch Hotel & Conference Center

November 19, 2016 from 10am to 5pm
Sophisticated Beads will be hosting a jewelry show Saturday, November 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas, Oregon. The hotel, 12566 SE 93rd Ave, is located off I-205 and Sunnyside Road, near Clackamas Town Center. Homemade refreshments, holiday beverages, prizes and stress free shopping all in one location! Our designs are handcrafted with a vibrant assortment of semi-precious stones accented with Austrian Swarovski crystals, pearls and sterling silver. We design…See More
Aug 19
Jim Gabrio posted events
Aug 18
Harper Schantz posted a discussion

Neighborhood Suggestions?

I'm a self-employed artist, and will be moving to Portland in the Fall. I'd like to live in a neighborhood where there are other creative folks, doing their thing. Other factors that are important to me in a neighborhood are a sense of community, proximity to parks and bike paths, and easy access to public transportation; someplace that has plenty of social gathering spots, such as cafes, pubs, little restaurants, etc. and activities available like yoga, dance, open-mike and music jams. Any…See More
Aug 13
Angie Antang is now a member of PortlandNeighborhood.com
Aug 13
Lea McWhorter posted an event

Artistic Portland Goes Back To School at First Thursday Gallery Art Walk at Artistic Portland Co-Op

September 1, 2016 from 4pm to 6pm
Artistic Portland will be hosting a First Thursday September 1st event from 4pm to 6 pm with a Back-To-School theme featuring fashions in jewelry, scarves and other fiber arts. The 50-member artists’ co-operative will be hosting Bull Run Distilling Company - crafting their spirits from the local Bull Run watershed. The public is invited for tastings. Many of the Co-op’s artists will attend to answer questions about their art and share some of their creative processes.In addition to finished…See More
Aug 12
Harper Schantz commented on Faliscia C. Knuckles's blog post Moving to Portland in 2016
"Hi Faliscia, I too will be moving to Portland this year, but not until the Fall. Since you're a bit ahead of me, I'm wondering if you might have any advice?  Did you find what you were looking for? And, if so, what resources did you…"
Aug 12
Harper Schantz replied to john doney's discussion The skinny on neighborhood differences?
"John, I see that you posted this back in 2014, but, like Michael McD and Katie McM, I'd be very interested to know if (and how ) you found the answers to your questions. I'll be moving to Portland in the Fall, but I will be renting for the…"
Aug 12

Badge

Loading…

Powell's Books Picks

© 2016   Created by Lorri E..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service