Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!

You can find your "church" anywhere...
A majestic cathedral, a beach at sunrise, a wedding celebration in a park on a beautiful Spring day...
it's anywhere and everywhere we 
Worship God and Praise His Holy Name.

On this Christmas morning, let's remember the First Church, where a tiny baby who would change everything laid in a manger.  The shepherds came, the wise men came, and we come and welcome him into our hearts on this special day.

Oh Come all ye faithful, Joyful and Triumphant!
Oh Come let us adore Him,
Christ The Lord.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

One perfect day in Salzburg

St. Peters Cathedral Square
Salzburg, Austria

This past May, my husband and I took a Viking River Cruise through Europe from Amsterdam to Budapest. We visited more Cathedrals then we could count.  I knew my task of finding the "Christmas Card Church" was going to be tough, but when we visited Salzburg, it was a done deal!   It was a gorgeous day, our wedding anniversary, and I was in the heart of "The Sound of Music" land... if you know me, you know that I can recite all the words and lyrics of that movie!  We toured the magnificent cathedral and the cemetery grounds nearby.  We climbed the old stone staircase to the third floor of the catacombs built into the side of the nearby mountain.

This sketch is from the window in the catacombs built where a monastery thrived in the 7th Century.   That's hard to wrap my mind around!  I tried to imagine what it would have been like to live then, in the early days of Christianity.   Today our lives are much easier in many ways, but in other ways more complicated.   But like the monks of that day, our commitment to our faith is what remains steadfast and gives us hope for the future.  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Church England

Saint Peters Roman Catholic Church
Marlow, United Kingdom

Earlier this month, my church in The Woodlands held "A Lesson in Carols and Service."  A beautiful evening of scripture and music, much of it acapella, that's origins go back to 1880 in England.  Held in our small chapel, the music was so deep and moving, but what came to my mind was this church, I had sketched several years ago, St. Peters Roman Catholic Church in Marlow, UK.

This small gothic church, located on the River Thames, about 35 miles west of London, was built in 1845.  In my mind, I took myself back in time to that day and place and imagined the beautiful voices resonating in the old stone church. 

Take a moment and close your eyes and imagine.... can you hear the singing??

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"Upon this rock I will build my church"

"The Chapel on the Rock"
Saint Malo Church
Estes Park, Colorado

On vacation in Colorado, as we were making our way up toward Rocky Mountain National Park, we zipped past this beautiful church and did a quick turn around to check it out... of course it became our Christmas Card in 2015.

I loved the way the church and the rock become reminds me of the need for a solid foundation!!!  Here's a little history of how it came to be.

During a quest to find the impact site from a falling star in 1916, Monsignor Joseph Bosetti came across a large rock formation just east of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Stirred by the biblical phrase "upon this rock I will build my church " Bosetti soon begin to envision a church perched on the rock he had just discovered.  As with many dreams, Bosetti's lack of funds delayed construction for nearly 20 years.

Eventually, land for the church and retreat center was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Malo, and Denver architect Jacques Benedict transposed Bosetti's dream to paper.  With Mount Meeker as a backdrop, the Chapel on the Rock took shape.  Here in this dramatic Rocky Mountain setting, Bosetti's dream was completed in 1936

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My "home" churches

Pasadena Community Church
St. Petersburg, Florida

Pasadena Community Church is where I grew up!  
Not just on Sunday mornings, but at MYF after school, church camp in the summer, and choir tours...we were "The Good News Singers!"  It was my center and helped me to become so much of who I am today.

The Woodlands United Methodist Church
The Woodlands, Texas

Today, my church home is The Woodlands United Methodist.  I've sketched it many times, often donated to an auction or fundraising event., but these are two of my favorites.
Like my years growing up in Florida, much of my life today revolves around activities here.... bible studies, mission trips, working with Habitat, and sometimes just gathering with friends in the cafe.   My husband and I were married almost 12 years ago in it's little prayer chapel with family gathered around us.   Special Memories! 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Central Christian Church in Austin, Texas

Central Christian Church
Austin, Texas

One of my happiest memories in a church was this one!  In 2014 my daughter, Katie married Hector and I was honored to walk her down the aisle in this beautiful old church in the heart of Austin.  Established in 1847, just eight years after the city of Austin was platted, it's faith community met in a small log cabin close to it's present location.  Construction was completed in 1929 and CCC has been an integral part of Austin since.  It was listed on the National Registry of Historical Places in 1992.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

God's creation

Chapel of the Transfiguration
Grand Teton National Park
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Churches come in all shapes and sizes, but this one may be my all-time favorite!
Built in 1925, with it's log pews, and large picture window of the "Cathedral Group" of The Grand Tetons, it connects me to The Almighty God like no other.   Nature.   All things Beautiful!!

I hope during this Christmas Season, amongst the shopping and parties, you can take some time to sit quietly in the midst of God's creation.

This sketch was our 2012 Christmas Card and included this poem:

These things make life worthwhile to me;
A sunset sky, a maple tree,
A mountain standing grim and gray,
Against the sky line far away;
A baby's laugh, a summer breeze,
A roadway winding 'neath the trees;
A friend to trust, a book to read,
And work which meets some human need.
And through it all, a sense of God
Lifting my soul above the sod, 
The hope and peace which He can give - 
These make it worth my while to live.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!

I've been keeping busy with sketches for clients to give as gifts, and haven't posted much lately...  so in keeping with the season, I thought I'd repost some of my favorite church sketches from over the years and a little bit of a story behind them.

First Congregational Church
Lee, Massachusetts 
Founded in 1778

In 2010, I started the tradition of sketching a church for our Christmas Card... this was my first!  My husband and I had visited The Berkshires in Massachusetts for a Fall getaway, and toured the quaint little towns, each with it's tall steepled church in the heart of it's community.  Since that time, it's become a mission of mine to find THE church that would be our Christmas Card on our vacations... as you will see in the coming weeks!!