Journal Entry, 20 July 2020
I was pedaling home this evening and the sight of this church lit up against the blue sky was striking so I stopped to capture an image. Now known as Pilgrim-St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, this location as a church was founded as a bilingual congregation (German-English) in 1872 and was originally called St. Lucas Evangelica, and later St Luke’s Evangelical and Reformed Church. In 1968 it merged with another church—First Pilgrim Congregational Church—which stood where there is now a chain drug store on the corner of Elmwood and Bryant, and became the hyphenated Pilgrim-St. Luke’s that it is today and is once again bilingual (English and Spanish). It has been a progressive and activist church throughout the years. During the Vietnam War, for example, the congregation housed conscientious objectors, and today they help refugees and those new to this country find safety and citizenship. For 150 years this small but beautiful church has preached the power of love not hate, and peace not war. Oh, and btw, the reason I know a bit about this church and its congregation is because it has been my home church for about 20 years. Without revealing too much about myself, there was a point in my life when I was broken, and the people of this church held me until all the pieces grew back together. Yes there are some churches that preach fire and brimstone and make the news for all the wrong reasons, but there are also some churches that preach love and accept anyone—literally anyone—who walks through the door, And this is one of them. And this is what I was thinking about as cars zipped passed me (which created the light trails) on a beautiful summer evening as I squatted curbside next to a camera and waited for the shutter to close. I’ll get off my little soapbox now.