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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wrong eyed Jesus and thoughts of religion in the South

If you live in the South you probably know all about the Bible Belt, the Southern Baptists, and the fact that there is a church every where you turn. I think there must be more churches in the South than in any other place. Gerry's dad is a Baptist preacher so I know all about the Homecomings too, those amazing Sundays when they call back a preacher that has moved on to preach, they have "special music" and they put out a spread of food like you just can't believe. Going to church in the south is a crazy thing. My head is usually about to explode by the end of the service since I disagree with much of what gets preached about, always have always will. Don't get me wrong, I have my own personal beliefs about what God is to me, he just isn't what the Baptists say he is! You may remember a post I did on the movie Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus. If you haven't seen this movie I highly recommend it!!! It is such a great movie. My friend Melissa Swingle plays the saw in it and has a small part. Strangely enough, I'm not the only one with southern religion on my mind. When Wes was home this weekend we talked about how much religion has influenced her life, going to church with her grandpa and hearing my mom talk about God incessantly. I look for this to work it's way into her writing someday, what do you want to bet?! You can't be a southern girl and the granddaughter of a Baptist preacher and not have it's culture seep into your pores somehow.
Anyway, my rambling here has a point. I have had images of churches in my head and I have added steeples and crosses to some of the barns I have made in the past, but all of a sudden I have been thinking about those vestibules that churches have. I like that word and I like the vestibule itself. It's where you get the little church bulletin from the sweet ladies in the church as you go in, and it's where you wait in line to shake the preacher's hand when you leave. The preacher always makes each person feel special and welcome and I like this custom. Gerry and I have been taking some rides out in the country lately (jeez that sounds like we have turned into two old farts doesn't it?) and I have been looking at these churches. The other day I saw one with a very distinct vestibule, very small, so I added one to this barn I made and I really like where this is going. It gives the barn a little sacred space, an alter if you will, a niche for treasures, whatever you want. I found the Madonna pendant at a local thrift store, I am not sure I will add it yet, because I really like it, but I do think it would be very cool with this piece.
My poor Michael Sherrill rib was sacrificed today. I needed a skinny rib to get in and smooth around the outer structure so I cut this one up. Dang, these things are hard to cut! I had cut up a hotel key but it just wasn't the same. Michael Sherrill is a genius!

16 comments:

Laura Farrow said...

amen sistah, from a former Baptist minister's daughter.. xo

Hollis Engley said...

I bow to the superior wisdom of a former MYF president.

Tracey Broome said...

I hear ya Hollis, I was that MYF pres too! Laura, you and Gerry are scary similar!

Patricia Griffin said...

Looking forward to seeing where you go with the churches... I had my fill of 'em growing up and the symbols of Christianity are so heavy with dogma for me that it's sometimes hard to be open-minded...

Therefore, we didn't do the forced march to church with our son, but his aunt would fill him with fire/brimstone stuff every chance she got... A self-proclaimed agnostic today, he often deals with the subject of religion in his art. And loves nothing better than long passionate discussions about formal religion and (what he thinks are) misguided belief systems. Perhaps he'll mellow with age. I sure have.

It'll be interesting to see how he raises his own kids... And we found out last week that he and his wife are expecting! Another grand adventure begins...

Tracey Broome said...

Patricia, first of all congratulations on the new baby!!!
We took Wesley to church when she was small and she went to a private Christian school for a few years due to the lack of good public education, but she leans towards Buddhism mostly. I remember a fire and brimstone service where I leaned over and told her not to believe a word that man was saying! I love religious symbols though, such great art there:)

Lori Buff said...

Doing churches seems to be a natural progression from the barns. So many churches are very beautiful no matter what comes out of them.
Funny about your rib, my Sherill wiggle wire broke yesterday...very said.

Michèle Hastings said...

i was raised in the catholic church, tried attending mass as a young adult, thinking my daughter needed some sort of religious base... it just didn't work for us. after a couple of years i just decided to stop the torture. like you, i am still intrigued by all the symbolism and art associated with religion.
last january we needed a calendar for the fridge so my mom gave me one from their church... a patron saints calendar. each month is a different saint, some are scary looking so we give them a sharpie mustache to take the edge off looking at them for 30 days.

Hollis Engley said...

I know, Tracey. You're the one whose wisdom I was bowing to!

Tracey Broome said...

Lori, I agree that churches are really beautiful, I like being in them. Michele, I love the calendar story! Too funny. We did the same with Wesley, taking her to church. I at least wanted her to know who some of the Bible characters were, since they are referenced so much in the South. Interestingly, she started reading the Bible last year for story inspiration :) she probably knows more than me now, she retains most everything she reads, unlike me!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Hollis, I thought you were talking about Dee. Wasn't she an MYF officer too?!

Dennis Allen said...

Tracey, I hadn't thought of this song for a long time but your daughter's plight brought it back to me.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRrrlmBmzXs

Hollis Engley said...

Turns out all three of us held the same exalted office.

Gail said...

Tracey...Google 'Stave Churches' for an entirely different perspective

barbaradonovan said...

As a recovering catholic, I'm drawn to religious art especially when it includes madonnas and have used her on my pots sometimes as well. I also made a series of bottles and then cups with patron saints of animals. I had orginally planned to make up my own, but the stories of the saints that already existed were so crazy that I knew I couldn't out-do them! Hee hee. Love your church piece and this post.

Tracey Broome said...

Dennis that song is great! Sat out on my front porch and gave it a listen, my neighbors probably think I 'm crazy :) I'll forward it to Wes.
Hollis, that's why we are all so great, we had that good church guidance early on.
Gail, OMG the stave churches, I have never seen those before thanks for suggesting them!!
Barbara, Wesley was into saints for awhile and we went to a Catholic store to look for some saint pendants. I have never seen such crazy saints, you are so right!

SUSAN WELLS said...

Praise the Lord of Barns!