For some time it has bothered me slightly that, with the exception of the wooden cross hanging over the coffee pot and the small photograph our our bishop near (of all places) the scullery door, if you found yourself in Patton Hall, you would really have no idea that you were in a church building. In most homes, the photos and other artwork on the walls tell you a great deal about the person or people who live there. You can often see the history of their lives laid out; you can tell something about their interests or about what is important to them. As i have asked some of you personally, what does what hangs on the walls of our church buildings say about us? What stories do those items tell about St. Michael's?
Don't get me wrong - i'm very glad we have some blank walls. Too much of even a good thing is too much, and it's helpful to have wall space that can be used for newsprint from time to time or other needs. But i have really wanted something in that space that says something about who we are and what we believe. I have learned, though, about things like this that often it's best to just wait and be patient, and a solution will present itself in time. That time has come.
St. Michael and All Angels has very recently been given two incredibly lovely gifts by folks with longstanding attachments to our parish. The first was a set of 22 icons given to us by the Rev'd Canon Bob Carter. Most of them depict scenes from the life of Jesus or are images of the four Evangelists. Thanks to the labor and skills of Judy Naylor Johnson, our Parish Administrator, those icons now adorn the walls of Patton Hall.
Last weekend, i returned home from a wedding in Atlanta to learn that Louise Shipps had given us one of her own creations, a mixed media representation of St. Michael the Archangel, our patron. This one will not go in Patton Hall; i am hoping we find the right place in the sanctuary or nave of St. Michael's for it. It is rather large and quite striking. (If you were here last Sunday, you saw it in church.)
I'm enormously grateful to both Fr. Carter and Louise for their generosity, grateful that St. Michael's is important enough to them for them to want to give these gifts to us. I hope the next time you're near the church with some time on your hands that you'll drop by and take a look. Be warned, though, especially if it's an I AM pantry day, we may put you to work while you're here.