Sunday, September 19, 2010

fourth visit: Sept 19th 2010 Episcopal

10:30 am
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross
7507 Kelly St, Pittsburgh PA 15208
homewood south

I have been looking forward to attending a place of worship in the neighborhood of Homewood since the idea for this project was born. I am drawn to Homewood for two reasons: 1—it is significantly, wonderfully urban in appearance, which makes me homesick for Baltimore. 2—It's not much of a through-way to other destinations, leaving the area less stomped, creating for me a sense of mystic and a desire to learn more.

The people I meet at CHC are special. Behind me Kay Fritz twice offers my her hymnal, open to the appropriate page, as I scrambled to follow the service amongst the "African American Hymnal," "Book of Common Prayer" and "The Hymnal 1982". "We like lots of books here," she said. (At Rodef Shalom yesterday, I had helped those behind me keep up with prayer book page numbers... karma is real.) Reverend Moni McIntyre comes up to welcome me during mid-service greetings, though she had not yet received my email and phone message. Art Butler (King Arthur, the Butler) claims accurately that it takes just one minute to know him. He hides nothing and announces that I owe him $1, as all visitors do, and $2 for my partaking in refreshments at the social hour. Kay also takes the time to talk me through the symbols of the east wall's hand-painted mural giving homage to African American accomplishments and related events in Episcopal and local history.

I've been spoiled by my surroundings — yesterday at Rodef Shalom and today at Church of the Holy Cross. Gorgeous structures. This on the register of historic landmarks and designed by Carpenter and Crocker. I welcome an unexpected aspect of the project: I'm learning a bit about the 'burgh's architects along the way...
Were there any architects who built places of worship for one religion, then agreed to also build one for another? I have not found one yet, but this is just the beginning.

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