DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

March 14, 2008

                                                           

                                      

Rooted in the Future

Our church building has been reproduced in paintings by more artists than anything else in Historic Dublin. At least, that is my un-scientific assessment.

I wonder what that means.

I have on my wall a fine Calendar for 2008 on my office wall. It was conceived by the Dublin Arts Council. There are 12 paintings of Dublin and one is of the church. Last year the 2007 calendar had a painted picture of the historic Gladden Chapel also.

If you go to the newly remodeled Kroger just west of the church you will find that they reproduced pictures of Old Dublin on the wall just above the self-check-out lanes. There is the Gladden Chapel, with a dirt lane meandering past the front door. That last part is a bit of wishful thinking since there hasn’t been an actual dirt lane there in over a hundred years. I have seen photo of the street from the early 1900’s in front of the church and while it would not be confused with the current 4 lanes of 33/161 traffic each day…it was 100 years ago, a sort of street for buggy traffic. That is a long way from being a lane.

Nevertheless, just before you buy your milk and bread and use the checkout lanes, you can check out the iconic picture of our chapel. I’m not sure if we are due some monetary reimbursement for our church likeness in a place of business, but I am grateful for the free advertising. I suppose lots of folks are standing in the Kroger line, wondering about groceries and prospective churches to attend. Perhaps Dublin Community Church comes to mind as they absent-mindedly glace above their heads to our Chapel. I think one of the Roman Catholic Churches is there also, along with a stone fence and other parts of Historic Dublin.

For the right price, we would be glad to put a painting of Kroger on our narthex wall. I await further contact from them.

What I have found interesting is that folks will drive by our church. Decide to come to worship as they are seeking a local church…and they are totally surprised by the size of our place. Few know that we have the large modern sanctuary off the back.

Driving from the east or the west, you can see the steeple from several blocks away. We are indeed, in a great location and the number of visitors in worship each week bears that out.

I was looking at the different images of our church that we have in the office. We have several pen and ink and painted images of the chapel. We have note cards too, of the chapel. Some are photos taken directly of the front of the chapel. Others show a side angle. Recently as we prepared the Installation Bulletin we used a pen and ink drawing which shows the chapel from the east side and the length of the educational wing including the Kennedy Rooms…done from the street out front.

If you check out our web site, you will find, first and foremost the Gladden Chapel right near the top of the site. We also have added a parking lot view of the large modern sanctuary in the back. It shows the size of the sanctuary and the entrances off the parking lot. We felt that view of the large sanctuary was necessary for new folks who might look at our website before they come for the first time. (And they DO look at our website. I hear that all the time from visitors… “We looked at the website before we came, Rev. Tussing.”)

 

And not to be left out. I have seen a very nice, stylish pen and ink drawing of the big sanctuary from the angle of the parking lot. It shows the wooden entrance doors to the elevator and sanctuary, my second floor office and the doors to the preschool. It is a Christmas card….and just below the cross made of brick on the part of the building that houses the elevator shaft…is a large colorful green Christmas wreath and large red ribbon.

It is very striking in its simplicity. I would love to have a few hundred of those cards for my own use. By the way….how many of you are wondering…. “WHAT ‘cross made of brick’ on the side of the building his Bob talking about?” Take a look the next time you walk in through the wooden doors.

Last year an artist painted a picture of the historic Gladden Chapel and displayed it in the narthex. I also saw another picture of the chapel… the view was towards the East….with the title “Sunset of Chapel.” I believe that is impossible for the sun to set in the east, but then artists are allowed to take liberties. It’s art.

So many pictures. So many different ways to look at Dublin Community Church from the outside. So many different ways to imagine our chapel and sanctuary and so many ways to imagine our ministries.

Long-time members and relatives of the founders envision the Gladden Chapel when they think of Dublin Community Church. Artists and passers-by on the road first envision us as the brick chapel and steeple too. I will certainly agree that seeing us as the Gladden Chapel is good. We have a great history, something to take pride in. But look at it another way.

First time visitors might see the Gladden Chapel from the north as they drive by, but when they come to worship, they come in the south entrance. They walk up the steps and enter the large, spacious sanctuary and never see the Gladden. Often I will greet these visitors at the end of the service and they will mention driving by the front of the church and admiring the Gladden Chapel. I tease them a bit and say, “And what do you think of the chapel?” knowing full well that they are confused because they just finished worship in the large, modern sanctuary and have not even seen the chapel from the inside.

They scratch their heads and admit that they have not seen the chapel and are baffled as to its whereabouts.

Our Gladden Chapel is an “anchor” to the Historic Dublin Community Business District, as one of the city planners said to me. Indeed, we are. But an anchor just lays on the bottom keeping things from moving forward.

I like to think that our chapel and the very presence of Dublin Community Church with its historic chapel and large modern sanctuary, signifies our deep roots in the community and deep roots bring nourishment and continued life to all to which it is connected.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing