My good friend Steve was sipping a second cup of coffee as I walked up to him. I was exhausted after giving my all to the 9 a.m. worship service. Now I needed to find new energy for worship at 10:45.
"Every Sunday morning," Steve said, "I see you come in here about 10:15, and it's like you step right through a mirror from one world to another!"
Over the last decade, our congregation has developed two rather distinct worshiping communities. The traditional community meets in the sanctuary. Its design is hushed and spartan, with subtle gray walls, indirect lighting, white cornices and woodwork, and a choir loft directly behind me as I preach. The pews are long and straight, arranged in Puritan concert-hall fashion. The pulpit, with its clean lines, is a dignified symbol of tradition, authority, and austerity. When you enter the sanctuary, you are quiet. The organ sets the mood of somberness.
Worship here is informed by Enlightenment rationality: God is the wholly Other whom you approach ...1