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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

January 18, 2013

“TOP OF THE DOME” TO YOU

What do you do when you are in a church, surrounded by a super abundance of frescos and icons? You stand back and take it all in.

That is what our Confirmation Class did recently when we visited the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Reynoldsburg. We received a hearty welcome from the Priest and two laypeople that I know. For all in our Confirmation Class, except for one, this was the first time in an Orthodox Church and it was a delight.

I’m not sure, but I estimate that maybe 1/3 of the walls were covered with those paintings. And those which were not painted, will be painted, as the years go and funds become available.

Orthodox Churches are Christian. They split from the church in Rome over 1000 years ago just as our Reformation ancestors split about 500 years ago. Over the years they were and are centered in Greece, Russia, Macedonia and many other countries. This particular church is comprised of Macedonian-Americans from that Orthodox tradition (in the same way that my German great grandfather came to America and sought out a German speaking Protestant Reformed church).

Questions abounded. “How many paintings are there?” “Who are those men painted in those icons?” “Why are there gold circles painted around the heads of some people in the paintings?” “Is that Mary?” “Why are there but 11 Disciples in those paintings?” “Who paints all these?” “Who decides what to paint on what sections of blank walls?” (The answer to that one is…the Priest.) “Why are women and girls not allowed in the sacristy behind the altar?” (Answer: it’s an Orthodox Church. They set their own rules of men only in the Priesthood.)

A red and cream-colored striped brick exterior. The interior included an amazing reflection of the head of Christ in a sky light window, which could be seen only from the center aisle. (It was a reflection of the amazing icon of Jesus at the very top of the central dome.)

But first and foremost, it was a house of worship filled with Christians who worship the same Jesus and God that we do, yet they worship in different ways. They were very gracious in their welcome to us all. In the end we had many more questions than answers.

And I like it that way.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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