Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sanctuaries for the Spirit

I begin most mornings by reading miscellaneous articles from the New York Times on my iPhone. I start with the Latest News then move to the Most Popular. Eventually I find my way to Arts, Books, Dining & Wine, and Real Estate. I fell in love with New York City on my first visit to Manhattan in 1986, before I started elementary school in rural Oklahoma. My affection has only deepened through the years. There is no rational explanation for my desire to know which gallery in the Meat Packing District is exhibiting which Korean artist, which restaurant in Soho serves the best hummus, or what a two-bedroom on 26th street is going for in this market. But I can't help myself. My iPhone connects me vicariously to the rhythms and voices of a city that I love.

Last week I read an interesting article by Holland Cotter, self-proclaimed as not "the churchgoing kind," who chronicled his life in NYC through his interactions with a series of churches.

I wonder, how are our churches perceived by unbelievers? Are we plowing new ground in art, communication, and literature? Or are we bad imitators of the culture that surrounds us? Are we creating sacred spaces, rest stops? Would a wandering soul ever just pop in? Are our doors even open beyond Sundays? Are we?

Would love to hear your thoughts on Cotter's article.

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