Yesterday I took Cherilyn and the children to the Greensboro airport as they departed to spend a week in sunny Florida visiting family. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy spending time in airports (as long as I'm not delayed). Airports, perhaps more than any other location, contain the most diverse grouping of people in one place. From all colors, nationalities, languages, faiths, you name it - you can see 'em all hurrying with their carry ons to their concourse.
I was one of many saying goodbye to travelers. Hugs and kisses and 'call me when you land' could be seen and heard in many languages. Sitting in the airport, or while on the plane, I've often wondered where my travel mates are going. What's their story? Who (or what) will meet them when they land? We all in transition together.
My seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, had a very unique chapel. It wasn't designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but it looks like something he might have done and in fact, I believe parts were inspired by his design of Unity Temple in Illinois. The first day I walked in the chapel I didn't like it. It was too modern for me - too abstract. It looked like a bus station inside.
Come to find out, that was exactly the point. It was designed to look like a train station. Parts of the chapel, including the altar, had places where you could see right through. Parts were not finished. The chapel was the perfect place for seminarians. Women and men completely in transition. We were not were we began and we were not yet at our destination. We were travelers.
Think about this the next time you walk in St Timothy's (or any church). When you sit in the pews, remember that you are sitting in the nave. We believe the word nave comes from the Latin, navis, for ship. Look up. See the ceiling? Looks like hull of a ship, doesn't it? Again, that's the point. We are travelers. We are not were we started and we have yet to arrive at our destination but we are always moving. And with God's help, we are moving together.
Fr. Steve Rice
Rector, St Timothy's Episcopal Church