Someone asked me recently, “If your church disappeared tomorrow, what impact would that have on your community?” In other words, what does All Saints offer to the community that is unique? As I pondered that question one thought kept coming to me: We offer to the community a view of the beauty of God. Three hundred years ago, the most beautiful buildings in the world were churches, the most beautiful pictures were painted using Biblical themes, and the most beautiful music was written to the glory of God for use in the church.
So where has beauty gone in the American church? We have traded our organs and choirs for rock bands and light shows, our altars and pulpits for tables and bar stools. Rather than stunning cathedrals that took decades to build we now have pre-fab steel buildings that go up in a weekend. We have rejected beauty and called it ostentatious or garish. We have cut corners on houses of worship in order to have more money for "ministry." But did we ever stop to think that perhaps things that are beautiful can actually be ministry?
The Rev. Eric Zolner
Father Eric is a 3rd generation Anglican and the Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Springfield, MO.