Monday, April 20, 2009

Pascha in East Texas, 2009























11 comments:

s-p said...

Nice group of people. The bald guy in the white shirt is "iffy" tho... LOL! Is this a permanent set up or a "setup/takedown" situation for your mission?

John said...

Ahem. The word is "shaven," not bald....but you are right, definitely "iffy." This is more or less a permanent setup. We are using what was once a rural schoolhouse, built around 1920 or so. In 1939, the school district was absorbed by the city and the building was deeded to the cemetery association for the cemetery across the road (where 6 generations of my maternal family are buried.) At various times, the association has allowed different churches to use the building. In the 1970s, a Baptist church bastardized the building--dropping the ceiling, covering the beautiful wood floors with red shag carpeting, replacing the high windows, and installing up dark paneling. They eventually split up, but we are still left with their handiwork 30 years later. The cemetery association lets us use the building for free, except that we pay utilities, upkeep and insurance--so we are definitely not complaining! It has been a great blessing for us. Once a year, the association uses the building for their annual cemetery meeting, around Memorial Day. For that occasion we have to take every thing down, and haul the pews back in (now standing on end in a back storage room.) But that is only one day a year, so again, we are not complaining. We have a 5 acre site about 1 1/2 miles from this location where we plan to build.

s-p said...

Hi John, Oh yeah, "shaven"... I like the look and tried that for about 3 weeks and it was harder to maintain than real hair, so I opted for a #2 guard on the clippers every week or two. I started to grow my hair back out to complete the "Russian monk" look to match my beard, but after 4 weeks I went back to my clippers. I'm all about "low maintenance" these days. That is really awesome about the building you're in. Free is VERY cool. We're hoping to raise money to try to buy the property we're occupying. We're on an open ended rental agreement because the owner was going to demolish the whole thing and build an office building but the economy tanked. We built the Church in hopes we can grow enough to get the capital together to make an offer before the "stimulus packages" bring us back to our economic glory days. (ahem...) But the church building can be moved if we end up with a piece of land somewhere else since it is a model home up on blocks actually, so the investment of time wasn't a total risk.

Andrea Elizabeth said...

Good to see y'all again! Hopefully we will in person within the next month or so.

Andrea Elizabeth said...

p.s. what were those '70's anti-traditionalists thinking! So many cool ceilings, walls and floors were covered up. It looks like your Church is more interested in building something new though than restoring what's there.

Ian said...

Christ is Risen!

Glorious photos of a glorious celebration: thanks for sharing, and for the information on your parish.

John said...

s-p, your church situation is interesting. I didn't realize that the building could be moved. That opens a lot of possibilities, I would think.

Andrea, I will probably see you at St. Barbara's first. I plan to be in Ft. Worth on Friday and Saturday visiting relatives, and hope to be at Vespers. I came home from college in the mid 70s and saw what they had done to this old school building, and I just wanted to cry. We are limited in what we can do to the current building. The property is not, and will never be for sale, and we can not make any structural changes to it. So, we have gone about as far as we can go in altering the inside of the building. We have talked of painting over the paneling and taking up the carpet and refinishing the floors, but we are sensitive to the feelings of our landlords and have held up on doing that...so far.

Ian, thanks. The pictures give a good idea of a what a fairly young, non-ethic, convert mission in the American South looks like. (and write soon about your Georgia trip--I am anxious to talk with you about that!)

Mimi said...

Christ is Risen!

Wonderful photos!

Andrea Elizabeth said...

You are most welcome at St. Barbara's. However I would really miss a certain family, whose matriarch read the Gospel in Syrian on Pascha, if they were to follow you back to beautiful Tyler as the other dear family did.

Hope to see you then.

John said...

Andrea, I'm shocked, shocked that you would suspect me of such behavior. (snick) What am I, the Pied Piper of Tyler? Seriously though, my motives for coming to Fort Worth are entirely...or well, mostly...or at least, partly...above board :)

Andrea Elizabeth said...

Now I'm glad I didn't come right out and call it sheep stealing. Actually, I think you might have been able to take it after all, but Pied Piper of Tyler is better. :)