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: 171

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

All Families Surrogacy posted an event
Thumbnail

All Families Surogacy Open House at Play Boutique

June 5, 2016 from 1pm to 3pm
June 2016 Surrogacy Open HouseCome join us for a FAMILY FRIENDLY event (kids and spouses welcome) to learn more about becoming a surrogate. Kids can play on the indoor playground while adults enjoy coffee, wine, and beer served with light refreshments.When: Sunday, June 5, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (PDT)Where: Play Boutique - 12345 Southwest Horizon…See More
Wednesday
Imago Theatre posted events
Saturday
Willamette Women Democrats posted an event
Thumbnail

Tea Party Shenanigans in Clackamas County at Lakewood Center for the Arts

May 12, 2016 from 4pm to 6pm
Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette, President of Friends of French Prairie, Ben Williams and Wilsonville City Councilor Charlotte Lehan will be our featured speakers discussing the proposed industrial development of French Prairie at our last program of the 2015-16 season. Oregon Values and Beliefs Project surveyed Oregonians throughout the state and found that 66% of Oregonians believe it is somewhat important or very important to preserve valuable farm and timber land from development. Some of…See More
Apr 28
Amanda posted an event
Thumbnail

Restaurants for Raphael House at 42 participating restaurant locations

May 18, 2016 all day
Dine out for a cause on Wednesday, May 18th and support survivors of domestic violence! More than 40 local restaurants have pledged a portion of their day’s proceeds to aid Raphael House of Portland’s life-saving shelter and violence prevention programs. You can make a difference simply by enjoying a meal – or several – at any participating eatery in Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Happy Valley. Find a full and growing list of involved restaurants online at…See More
Apr 24
Dennis Homes commented on Faliscia C. Knuckles's blog post Moving to Portland in 2016
"Hi Faliscia! I saw your message a little late and would love to know where you chose to live. I would really appreciate your comments as I run a Portland moving company and always look for feedback to give our incoming families. I hope you and your…"
Apr 22
Lea McWhorter posted an event

Artistic Portland’s First Thursday Gallery Art Walk on May 5, 2016 at Artistic Portland

May 5, 2016 from 4pm to 7pm
Artistic Portland will celebrate Cinco de Mayo between 4-7 p.m. on May 5, 2016 for the First Thursday Art Walk. Many of the member artists will be present to answer questions about their unique artistic vision. Visitors can find unique, locally made, handcrafted items for which the 50-member Art Co-operative is known. This is the perfect opportunity to find something for that special person for Mother’s Day that is on May 8th.There will be refreshments inspired by the holiday and spirits…See More
Apr 19
Tedde McMillen posted a status
"Learn how to create a Vertical Garden with Lisa Taylor, Saturday, April 23, 11:00 a.m. at the Hoyt Arboretum. FREE to the public."
Apr 14
Oregon Historical Society posted events
Apr 14

Badge

Loading…

Powell's Books Picks

© 2016   Created by Lorri E..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service