IF YOU LOOK BEYOND the pews, the altar, and the stained glass windows, if you listen beyond the music and the sermon and the scripture readings, you will find, within a church, a family.
Here’s what I mean. Recently while photographing an old country church in southeastern Minnesota, I began to notice the personal touches that made me feel welcome, like I had stepped inside someone’s home.
Yes, women greeted me at Moland Lutheran Church during the congregation’s annual Strawberry Festival. But no one showed me around. I simply meandered on my own, with my camera, absorbing my surroundings. And that’s what I prefer.
Perhaps because I’m a writer and a photographer, I take note of my environment more than an ordinary person. I am drawn to that which others might simply pass by.
But rather than try to explain all of this to you, I’ll show you the discoveries I made inside and outside this 1884 Norwegian Lutheran church, the discoveries that led me to a family of the faithful.
FOR MORE INFORMATION and photos of Moland Lutheran Church, please check my previous posts, “They serve the best food in Minnesota church basements” (posted July 1) and “In praise of preserving country churches” (posted July 7).
© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling