Monday, December 01, 2008

december theme day: circles/spheres


this stained glass window is in a small chapel at my church. i attend pasadena mennonite church which meets in the pasadena church of the brethren building. mennonite churches are usually pretty plain buildings - not lavish or adorned with traditional religious icons. i guess our church is unique in that sense, probably because it wasn't built by our congregation.

the image includes several christian symbols - the greek letters 'alpha' and 'omega' which symbolize the beginning and the end, the crucifiction cross, the bible, a palm branch which is symbolic of peace and the coming of christ, and a star of david.

anyway, here's a plug - if you are looking for a church to worship at that places a particularily strong emphasis on peace and non-violence, social justice issues, systemic and social issues, and how essential all that is to being a follower of christ, come check us out! also we're a pretty relaxed group with lots of kids, young families, and students. dress is casual.


there are 175 blogs participating in today's theme day. you can check them out below!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

18 comments:

USelaine said...

I can see how these symbols would be acceptable, not being of saints or similar. It's a fine image for the theme.

Laurie said...

Ben, this is lovely. I know so little about the Mennonites, and I certainly didn't realize you guys emphasized peace and social justice. I've always thought that should be the mainstay focus of all Christianity, given the actual teachings of Christ. Way back when I was in Lutheran elementary school, I used to argue with my pastor that working for peace and loving your neighbor were the only really important things in the Bible. ( Alas, I was born too late to be a 60s radical hippie...)

Kate said...

It's a great choice for Dec. theme day. I, too, used a circular stained glass window.

Hilda said...

I've never heard of Mennonites before this, but I like your emphasis on peace and social justice. I'm a Catholic myself, but I've been lucky that most of my training has emphasized social justice (and action!) too.

Happy theme day!

ben wideman said...

USElaine - great point! I hadn't thought about how there aren't any saints involved.

Laurie - glad to introduce you to the Mennonites! We do love our peace and justice. One of my professors is working on this project which is right in line with what you are saying - that peace is essential for an authentic Christian witness - http://www.matthew5project.org/

Kate - what a coincidence!

Hilda - Catholicism and Mennonites/Anabaptists have more in common than most people realize when it comes to theology. Church hierarchy is very different, but many theological issues are on point.

Virginia said...

Ben,Liked hearing about your church. I am Presbyterian and my church is far from plain but I appreciate the fact that we too reach out to our community and the world in so many amazing ways. Your window is simple and beautiful. Thanks for sharing on this theme day. I don't get here enough. I will try and visit more often. Your work is so very good.
V

ben wideman said...

Thanks so much Virginia!

Petrea said...

Ben, I wondered if we'd post the same thing, given Fuller's proximity to the "untitled" art installation. Thanks for your comment on PDPjr.

Though I don't see you every day I've found you to be a person who embodies his religion - it seems to me you practice peace and non-violence, you are most definitely kind, and you care about social issues enough to support them with your time and energy as well as to listen openly to what others have to say about them.

I've met many people who declare their religious beliefs but don't live them. You do. I'm glad to know you.

Bob Crowe said...

Ben - thanks for your comment today. Your theme day post today has power. It is as if these symbols appear out of the void. It's well shot - stained glass windows are hard to photograph with both sharpness and true color.

ben wideman said...

Petrea - such thoughtful words! Thank you so much.

Bob - I really appreciate the kind remarks.

Tim and Deb said...

i don't know about this peace stuff. war is just a part of life and there's really nothing we can do about it. ;) nice post ben. love the pic!! i was just thinking it's pretty funny how much of a closet mennonite I am (or at least anabaptist). I loves me some peace and justice!!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Aren't you glad some decadent affiliation got there first and commissioned this beautiful window? The Neighborhood Church on Orange Grove has some beauties they salvaged from another Pasadena building that went under the wrecking ball.
Where and what country did the Mennonites get their start?

ben wideman said...

Tim, just give in to your convictions already!

PA - you're right. When it all boils down I'm glad that the window is there. If you are looking for more info on the Mennonites, check out this website: http://www.thirdway.com/menno/

They came out of the Reformation period in church history, centralized in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany.

Baruch said...

So beautiful - I love it!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I take it your not a black bumper Mennonite. You might want to avoid my blog for awhile, it's going through a violent period

ben wideman said...

Uh oh, PA on a rampage! That sounds like trouble.

Susan C said...

Ben, This photo brings back many memories. I attended the Church of the Brethren for more than a decade and would sometimes sit in on the Mennonite services. My daughter and I also spent many Wednesdays serving dinner with the Mennonites at Union Station. I was drawn to the peace and social justice issues of both churches.

Susan

ben wideman said...

Susan, great to hear from you! I'm happy to make that connection with a former PCB/PMCer. Your recipes on your blog look delicious by the way!