See this photo of me (kind of blurry in a black sweater) speaking in front of an enormous mural of Jesus and His modern-day apostles? That was at Church of the Redeemer in Houston where I spoke a year ago about my “Days of Fire and Glory” book. Well…this Sunday the 27th, hundreds of people will pour into Redeemer for what will be the last service in that 90-something-year-old church.
I’ve heard of churches being closed but….being demolished?? This is enormous news for a church that was considered architecturally quite radical when it was built. Why? Because it had no windows when it was built around the time of the Depression (I believe there was an earlier church in that spot before the present one was built but I gave away all my newspaper clips about this back to the folks at Redeemer so can’t check the exact facts). The windowless part was to conserve on air-conditioning (which was a much newer invention back then) and to draw attention to the stunning mural of the Ascension painted by John Orth. That’s the mural that everyone hopes to save when the demo crews arrive.
And so the congregation (and it’s not a large one) is having this huge good-bye party this weekend for the diaspora (all the folks who passed through Redeemer in the past 50-some years) to visit and say good-bye. I got a call this afternoon from a Houston Chronicle reporter who wanted to interview me and she told me 400 guests were expected. That’s just the ones who’ve RSVP’ed, I assume, so who knows how many will really show. There are events Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I have been wondering for 2 weeks whether to fly down or not. Being unemployed for nearly 9 months kind of puts a crimp in one’s ability to travel about. Fortunately I had enough frequent flier miles for a direct flight on United; sitters for the kitties and for Veeka were free this weekend so I figured the doors were open. And it appears I made the right choice. An added bonus: while there’s snow on the ground here, it is in the mid-70s down there.
The photo, by the way, was taken by Eric Sawyer.