Wednesday, May 22, 2013

On Starting Spiritually

This image from the Gensler Biola University classroom-to-chapel project reminded me of how important it is to start a sacred project with the enunciation of a sacred vision.  For this chapel, that was a juxtaposition of the physical place of the chapel--deep in a building--with a spiritual place--the depths from which we cry--both made for prayer.

The first thing that you tell your architects should be your spiritual vision.  And if you don't have that, you're not ready to build.

Here's what went to our architects, in their very first brief, before we had talked about much of anything regarding the physical form of the church.
beacon hill owasso
“A key scripture for the church is Psalms 43:3-4: “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.” 
“Below are the outlines of the pastor's sermon taken from the church’s guiding scriptures, and which contain some key concepts that are important for the site, particularly of beacon and pathway. 
Church Building
1. There is needed a beacon of light and of truth. (O send out thy light and thy truth)
2.  God must send it out. (O send out thy light and thy truth)
3.  God will give us a pathway to follow. (let them lead me)
4.  Then holiness will follow (let them bring me unto thy holy hill)
5.  Then God’s presence will be known (and to thy tabernacles)
6.  Then service will be sanctified (then will I go unto the altar of God)
7.  Then joy and its expression will be real. (unto God my exceeding joy)"
You're not ready to build if you can't enunciate your spiritual vision, and if your architects can't connect with it, they're not your builders.

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