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Friday, February 21, 2014

Places of Worship

What is the most unusual religious service you ever attended? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1435).

I have visited in several religious venues including Jewish, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Muslim.  All of these venues had one thing in common--they looked religious, they were all places set aside for worship.  The most unusual religious venue I ever witnessed was in a conference room normally set aside for business meetings.  It was in the late 1950's.  I as a youth was in Jacksonville visiting my Uncle Calhoun and Aunt Virgie.  They were Quaker.  One afternoon Uncle Calhoun and I visited a business office that housed a rather small conference room to the side.  My Uncle wanted to make sure the room was ready for services the next day, so he removed the ash trays from the table and straightened the chairs.  It was a novel idea to me at the time that a business office could serve as a place of holy worship.  There was no pulpit or podium--it had no designated front or back.   That seemed very strange to me then and would today except that I have come to appreciate that some of the most meaningful and memorable moments for me at church have taken place in utilitarian Sunday school rooms which typically look very plain.  Worship is clearly no respecter of place.

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