Rev. Anne Williams is the Congregational Care pastor for members of the Resurrection family who have last names beginning with S-Z.
I grew up at Calvary UMC in Wichita, Kansas–a place that will always be near my heart. For most of my life, I never thought much about the church building–it was all I knew. But I remember in confirmation in seventh grade, our Pastor led us through the church and pointed out the theological significance of certain aspects of the building. First, I learned that our sanctuary was in the shape of an octagon (I had never noticed that before) because we are people of the eighth day, the day Jesus was raised from the dead.
Then he took us up to the chancel to take a closer look at the baptismal font, where several years before I had been baptized. There we noticed that the font, too, was octagonal. Here he paused to remind us that when we are baptized we are given new life in Christ. As Romans 6:4 puts it, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
Slowly, I was beginning to see that the structure of our building represented our belief that we are resurrection people, people of new life. From that day forward, I appreciated the fact that I worshiped in a space that was rich with meaning. I appreciated our church building in a new way and my curiosity was piqued to learn more about it. Today whenever I am back in Wichita I make it a point to step into the doors of Calvary because doing so is a reminder of God’s goodness and mercy. I am grateful God uses buildings as tools to ignite faith in my heart.
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