From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 08:40:07


                          by Alexa Smith 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Over 150 staff members crowded the soon-to-be dedicated 
Presbyterian Center chapel for the first worship service August 14. 
     The chapel will be dedicated formally on Sept. 29 during the fall 
General Assembly Council meeting here. 
     "Here today, we're beginning a journey," the Rev. James D. Brown, 
executive director, said.  " ... Serving the Lord with all humility and 
tears, testifying to the good news of God's grace." 
     Brown said the chapel itself embodies both the tears and the 
celebrative witness Paul describes in Acts 20: 17-38, and went on to 
describe the creativity of the architect and the "staying power" of 
community gathered together to share the gospel story. 
     Brown also said the community is now "standing with" the Hispanic 
artist who hand-carved the chapel's double cherry doors and who has filed a 
complaint alleging that two Louisville police officers beat and abandoned 
him in a city parking lot in early July. An internal police investigation 
is now under way and the department is to report its findings by 
     Describing the chapel as "not quite finished," Brown said it is 
reminiscient of the "already, but not yet, quality of the reign of God." 
     Intern Michelle Kollhoff, coordinator for daily worship, prayed: "O 
God, make the door of this church wide enough to receive all who need human 
love and fellowship, narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and strife. 
Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children, nor 
to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempter's 
     "God, make the door of this church a gateway to Your eternal kingdom, 
through Christ our Lord. Amen." 
     Former moderator the Rev. Robert W. Bohl adapted the contemporary 
prayer for an article on the chapel in the September/October issue of 
Church & Society Magazine. 
     Architect David Wilding told the Presbyterian News Service the chapel 
is "going to be a delightful space ... prayerful, dynamic, all the things 
we hoped it would be." 
     Cherry and maple wood are inlaid in the chapel's curving wooden floor. 
Skylights open up the ceiling so that light constantly changes as it moves 
across a low-hanging trellis decked with prism-like glass.  The exterior 
door depicts Christ with outstretched arms and the diverse people of the 
world, while its interior symbols are a dove, grapes, bread and an open 
     Brown said the morning service was a "quiet midsummer passage" for a 
pilgrim people, another "step along the journey." 
     The Rev. Insik Kim, coordinator of the East Asia/Pacific Office within 
the Worldwide Ministries Division, delivered the Minute for Mission on the 
United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the Presbyterian Church 
(U.S.A.)'s primary partner there. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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