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Content about Church buildings

September 1, 2008

Involvement in the arts is an important way for kids of all ages to find their place in congregational life. Church is a place where someone can recognize and respect children’s gifts and then work with them to create something unique that contributes to the whole congregation’s worship. Be that person!

The construction of this hanging is simple and the amount of potato printing required will give everyone plenty of opportunity to perfect the technique.

I Say Potato

Here’s how it’s done:

June 1, 2008

If you build it, they will come.” This familiar quote from the film Field of Dreams has often been associated with church building projects—probably too often. We usually think that the words “they will come” refer to people. But at our church we discovered that “they will come” actually refers to a limitless set of questions about how to build and furnish a worship space. If you build it, they—that is, ideas, questions, options, choices, decisions—definitely will come. So how do you legitimately address all those issues?

March 1, 2007

Lots of people walk or drive by your church building each week. What does it say about you?

You keep the place fixed up. It’s accessible to people with disabilities. You make sure the landscaping is kept up. What else can you do to get your neighbors to visit your church? To pique their curiosity?

June 3, 2003

The family of God is not complete unless all are present—people of all ages and races and physical abilities.What do disabilities have to do with worship and justice? People with disabilities were the last group in the United States to receive legal rights. Those with mental retardation were not allowed to go to school until 1974; they were not allowed to live in communities (in group homes) until the 1980s.

June 1, 1995

Q I attended a Lutheran church, and there they call the sermon a "homily." How does a homily differ from a sermon?

September 1, 1994

Austere. Clean. Simple. Those are qualities we traditionally associate with a Reformed worship environment. The early Reformers, after all, eliminated many of the visual distractions for the simple, direct worship of God.

However, a visually simple environment is becoming more the exception than the rule in many of our churches. That may be due largely to our tendency to add new fixtures to our worship space without much thought as to how they blend with the existing structure and furnishings.

September 1, 1994

What does lighting have to do with worship?

If your congregation is like many others, you've never given too much thought to that question. On these pages John Weygandt, a lighting professional, challenges churches to take another look at the lighting in their worship space. Although Weygandt's observations are based on his experience in a setting quite different from those in most of our churches, his reflections may well encourage even small churches to make some important changes.

September 1, 1988

The first time I walked into a church and found two French Provincial pink and blue stuffed chairs near the pulpit, I thought they had been brought in for a drama of some sort. I was participating in a worship conference and had arrived early to check out the piano, organ, and sound system. I assumed someone would remove the chairs after the drama section of the program.

September 1, 1988

In our attempts to modernize our sanctuaries we may be muffling the sounds of worship.

"And I will stop the music of your songs." (Ezek. 26:13)

September 1, 1988

Practical comments on bringing new life to acoustically dead sanctuaries

The building committee needed a break. They had been discussing the acoustical problems in their sanctuary for over an hour. They had read the complaints, studied the estimates from a contractor, and argued back and forth about the importance of a good sound system.