Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday night.

Wednesday began with a bright blue sky!  What made it even more unusual is the fact that it continued like that ALL day!  The air was warm ... scarcely a breeze ... a most peculiar experience ... and not in the least unpleasant.  Indeed, had there been time it would have become a gardening day .. but there were too many things to do and people to see for that to be even remotely possible.
However, there was time to sniff the flowers.  You'll know by now that sweet pea are among my favourites and these have continued in flower all season.  They are, at the moment, better than they were a month ago.
  The deep dark colours have so many shades and variations ... each flower an object of beauty in its own right.
 The 365Project theme this week is façades.
That could be interpreted in any way that you like ... it may be the image, or face, that human beings hide behind ... a façade that conceals the inner struggles ... In unguarded moments there may be a glimpse of what is going on inside ... an observant person may see beyond the exterior into hidden depths. When the mask is in place all seems well ... but that is not necessarily so.  Or perhaps it is like the façades on a film site where behind a glittering exterior view there is nothing but emptiness.  Maybe that interpretation is too challenging to document in pictures...
Most 365Project participants so far have done what I chose to do here ... find a building's façade for their photographs.   
The façade of Saint Nicholas', while giving a strong perpendicular, doesn't offer much of a clue as to what lies behind.  There is an inner beauty that you could not imagine by just looking at the face here on the Lisburn Road.  Come inside and a whole world of bright beauty opens up before you.
If you haven't seen inside the gorgeous church then do take a look at Paul Dawson's pictures using the link on the right of the screen ... he's a son of the parish, now a London photographer ... and he took some magnificent shots of the church and its windows.
The church was built in 1901 so isn't all that old ... and the windows all date from the last half of the twentieth century.  Nevertheless, there is something timeless about the sense of God's presence and the atmosphere of holiness within the walls.
In order to continue to develop into this century and beyond, we need to find new and creative ways to present and live out the "old, old story."  As part of these plans we're experimenting with an interactive service once a month which will be held on a Wednesday evening.  WOW - Worship on Wednesday - will run for six months to see if it is meeting a need in the local community.  Advertising leaflets arrived today!
 These describe briefly what WOW is, when it will meet and give an invitation to join us.  Towards the end of October we'll start giving them out around the parish and in the local school.
 With the way my schedule is this week the dog has again had to go off to kennels ... so for a couple of days there won't be any "real" pictures.  This is a shot you've already seen ... I like it so think it might make a good painting of Eliot.  It's worth a try.  The last one I did of him isn't terrific so it is time to have another attempt!  I'm not sure when there'll be an opportunity to get going on it ... but at least the place is ready for me to begin when the moment arrives!

Be our strength in hours of weakness,
in our wanderings be our guide;
through endeavour, failure, danger,
Father, be thou at our side.

Maria Willis (1824- 1908)
Church Hymnal number 645 verse 5  "Father, hear the prayer we offer ... "

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