This is my latest completed design work for a Memphis makeover of Grace-St. Luke Episcopal Church in 2015-2016 that turned out stunning. Though lighting was just one aspect of the design, its power to transform space can’t be downplayed. If that was all that was accomplished, this project would still have been a success.
April 6, 2016
April 20, 2014
Don’t answer a man by studying about him – the horrid concept that spurns difference, rather study to show yourself approved toward God. Build the relation. Get to know your man. Let him tell you what he thinks, knows and believes. Let him trust you that you will listen to his thoughts, ideas and words. Let his confidence be ensured that you will not condemn his concept, rape his reason, disparage his decision, a priori. Know him intimately, as a friend. What point is there to win the argument only to lose the man? To build a wall only to keep civility and its discourse outside? Embrace the awkwardness of not knowing. Cherish the confliction of concepts. Desire the disparity of mental genealogies. In the endgame, reason doesn’t win the battle, that’s belongs to the middle ground. The beginning and end is a gift of love.
December 16, 2013
“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so” – Douglas Adams
July 20, 2013
“Liturgy is a splendid NT word that carries a wealth of meaning, all of which is bound up with the idea of service to God. It is applied to the priests, the offerings, the vessels of the temple used in the service of God (Luke 1:23, Heb. 9:21), the “sacrificial service” (Phil 2:17), and the service of officers of the Church. That this word liturgy should come to be used of worship indicates the importance with which worship was rightly held as service! But the service of worship must be governed not by tradition, let alone by aesthetics, but by theology. Thus Conrad H. Massa has well said that for the Reformers “the liturgy of the Church was the working out of its theology in the activity of corporate worship.” Thus, there is a propriety in speaking, as does Hammond, of “liturgy and architecture,” and meaning very much the same as “theology and architecture.” Architecture, however, must be liturgy (i.e., service to God) in working out the theology of a church [building] in its physical structure. Just as liturgy is theology in action, so architecture is theology in material structure. Thus liturgy seems a word more appropriate to describe the role of architecture, rather than its underlying basis. Both architecture and liturgy must be determined by theology”. -Bruggink and Droppers, Christ and Architecture
July 19, 2013
“The situation of the Presbyterian/ Reformed churches in America is very much akin to that of the Church of England, so well described by Peter Hammond (in Liturgy and Architecture, 1960). Like the Anglicans, we have simply not given enough thought to our to our theology in relation to church architecture. Unlike the Church of England, however, we are not imitating the “traditional” churches of an earlier age; rather, we are being tossed about on a shifting sea of eclectic borrowings. This situation will continue until we are willing to give some very serious thought to our understanding of the relationship between gospel and architecture. If the gospel and its proclamations are important, and if architecture can proclaim the gospel in a significant way, then we must consider with absolute seriousness its architectural proclamation” -Bruggink.
If art is a language endowed with meaning, how has church architecture proclaimed the gospel to you?
In response to the quote above, I present to you G.K. Beale’s “The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God“.
The church building where Calvin preached in Geneva
April 3, 2013
Every year, this day, April 2nd, I remember:
“The title of the free, of the “coming generation,” could not be bestowed on those whose future was not hewn out by the older generation’s voluntary restraint and opening up of their “coming.” Future and freedom, liberty and “coming” are two aspects of the same thing. Without foresight – no freedom. My father’s foresight is my freedom. My own “future” is made possible by the love of the preceding generation.” – Origin of Speech, E.R.H.
My son, hear the instruction of you father and forsake not the law of you mother… if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou inline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searcheth for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
March 30, 2013
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands… Isaiah 49:16
We live in a world of common place alienation, loneliness and exile, but Isaiah reminds us that the LORD has not forgotten His people, that he is not far off and that he will draw nigh to His people. He will cause His face to shine upon us and our faces will be lifted up in joy.
March 29, 2013
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
What wondrous love is this that God would be made flesh and dwell amongst a broken creation, to be despised and rejected by His own, the king of heaven and earth mocked by His servants, tortured and nailed to a cross? This is the love of God, that He should give grace toward those of such lowly and de-meritted intentions. Christ was incarnated to save those just like us. To re-orientate us within a new creation. To save the world by an unyielding sacrificial love.
March 2, 2013
This is a recent collaborative project between Hord Architects, Franck & Loshen for a new church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. With 45,000 square feet housing a sanctuary, chapel, parish hall, school and administration while perched upon a high rising bluff, it literally is a city set upon a hill for the local community to comprehend and appreciate. Kudos to my associate Matthew Lee for an great rendering. This will be an eventful week!
February 26, 2013
John Calvin wrote, “Decorum ought to be observed in the sacred assemblies” (Commentary on I Corinthians). According to Calvin, the chief principle governing public worship is decorum, a concept that describes how we are to behave, dress, and, I would add, build. For Calvin, decorum is a general principle that includes qualities such as propriety, gracefulness, dignity and, yes, beauty. Indeed, these are the qualities that should be sought in church architecture…
…The dignity, decorum, and beauty that we seek in designing places for public worship should extend also to the external witness of the church. We must not forget that, besides being a gathered body of believers, the local church is also an earthly institution. Like all civic and commercial institutions, when churches construct buildings, they are building public statements about their identity. In other words, all buildings—whether art museums, gas stations, big-box retailers, or churches—bear witness to the institutions they serve. – Reforming Church Architecture, David Gobel