Saturday, October 23, 2010

No names will be mentioned ...

One day in the summer of 2009, I headed to a town ... we'll just say somewhere east of Toledo, and spent the day photographing some stunning old churches (both Lutheran and Catholic). Near the end of the day, as I was heading out of town, I came upon another Lutheran church and stopped to take some exterior shots, none of which appear here because I don't wish to make the church readily identifiable. When planning a road trip, it is my usual habit to contact out-of-town churches and set up a time when I can get inside to take a few shots; however, I have visited a few churches unannounced and requested permission to take photos, which the church in question is free to either allow or disallow. Seeing that some folks were arriving for a meeting, I decided to knock on the door and ask permission to take photos.

I did so and was greeted by a gracious-enough gentleman who went to get a certain lady who turned out to be involved with church council. Wow ... from her reaction, you'd think I had asked permission to set the place on fire. First, she demanded in a confrontational manner to see my ID, which of course I produced because I have no problem with identifying myself. She then said I could come in for a few minutes but that they were getting ready to have a meeting. What I should have done right then was just LEAVE, and tell her I'd contact the church office. But knowing that I probably wouldn't get back out that way, I did go in and took as many shots of the sanctuary as I could squeeze into five minutes. While I was doing this, I was approached again by this lady, who basically began to interrogate me about why I was taking pictures and what I was going to do with them. She was clearly suspicious of my presence. She kept asking me my name; I finally asked her name, of which she gave only her first name. I explained this blog to her as politely as possible. I didn't hesitate to drop both my pastor's name AND Bishop Lohrmann's name, since he knows about this blog. I didn't say what I was really thinking, which was, lady, I'm NOT casing this place and I'm NOT going to be waiting outside with a gun!

The church was built in the 1970's, to replace an older building which still stands, and is now used by a different denomination. The congregation itself goes back much further. Among the items they brought from their old building are a nice altar crucifix and a lovely statue of Christ. The newer font nicely complements the ultramodern character of the church itself.

I had originally intended to post no photos of this church. But well over a year later, I said forget it, I'm putting up a few of these because they're nice photos! I appreciate being allowed with no advance notice to take the photos I did; but if it was really that much of an inconvenience for me to be there even for five minutes, or if anyone there was really that suspicious about my motives, why didn't they just say no??? It would have been fine; I would have understood!

I just hope that if total strangers come walking in there on Sunday morning -- and that may well be happening since the church is located in a tourist area -- that they are given a much warmer welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you back in the saddle and posting again. The last one with the statue of Jesus is my favorite. Nice shot. As for the all the drama thats just crazy.