My wife and I recently went to see William Inge's play Picnic,
which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. It was a riveting performance. I
was moved by how deeply the characters struggle to figure out who they
are in their corner of the world, a small town in Kansas.
I have not baptized many adults, so those I have baptized stand out and
are special to me. One was a woman I'll call Eleanor. Eleanor's hair has
tight curls. She walks with a slight limp and smells a bit of cigarette
My George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine is sitting in
my basement, serving as a lovely stand for our waffle iron. It still
works fine, but I think I've only turned it on twice since I unwrapped
it two or three years ago.
From Britain to Denmark, Europe has hundreds of empty churches. The closing of a church is painful—especially in villages where the church for centuries served as a community anchor, even for unbelievers. Efforts are often made to adapt the buildings for a community service, such as a library. Because they are very expensive to maintain, empty churches are more frequently turned into some kind of commercial endeavor. The Church of St. Joseph in Arnhem, Netherlands, still owned by the Catholic Church, has been turned into a skate park. The Netherlands has the largest number of idle church buildings. Roman Catholic leaders in Holland estimate that within a decade two-thirds of their 1,600 churches will be closed, and 700 of the country’s Protestant churches will likely close over the next four years (Wall Street Journal, January 2).