Reub's journey

13 November 2009

Friday Shoot-Out: Places of worship

The idea of the My Town Shoot-Out is to post photos of your local community every Friday. This week's assignment was chosen by Rebecca, from Ambler, PA. Link

Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a dome.
Emily Dickinson

According to Gallup (2006) Oregon ranks near the bottom of the list of church-going populations in the US. Only Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Vermont have a lower percentage of church attending folks. Having moved here from Alabama, which ranks number 1 on the list, I don't doubt this for a moment. However, our low ranking doesn't mean we are without a variety of churches. It doesn't mean we are without religion. That would be religion defined in a broad, but real, sense.

There are dozens of churches in Corvallis. They range from Catholic to Protestant. Muslim. Jewish. Buddhist. There is a castle-like Presbyterian church, a classic Methodist church, an octagonal Quaker meeting house. There are several evangelical churches housed in pole buildings, and there are two Mormon churches.
The building that I like best is actually a small Russian Orthodox church located on
a winding back road at the edge of town, and serving our sizable population of Russian immigrants. If you weren't deliberately trying to get there you would never find it.
I am crazy about its golden onion domes, reaching out of a simple wooden building.

The building is small, tucked into an opening in the woods, and set about with sprawling,fragrant lavender plants.

At the entrance there is a set of bells. Who can resist these?

For some of us, there is a thirst for the spiritual that can only be slaked by getting outside of buildings, and far away from other people.

There are lots of places nearby that meet this need. This one happens to be a beaver pond, located in the foothills of the Coast Range, very near our house. Beavers, hunted to near extinction, are miraculous creatures. I am in awe of them.

The line where the water meets the beavers' dam is like the edge of an altar.

There are other places to go, other churches to attend. They are all amazing. Come visit us, we'll take you there.


  1. I love Greek Orthadox architecture and that is such an interesting church. I would probably follow your example, touch the bells then go sit on the bench in the mist. Thanks for a great post.

  2. The Greek Orthodox church is a great choice to focus on and those bells, well, I agree who could resist! I love contemplating life alone in nature.

  3. What a lovely church. I love those bells and your photo just below the bells. The bench almost looks haunting, or rather, its surroundings do.

  4. Amen. Love the church with its domes and bells, love the bench...I'll come!

  5. I do like that church. Such lovely and simple architecture. It looks as if the people really love this place. I also worship outdoors.

  6. Beautiful rustic building with a definite Russian feel to it. I sure couldn't resist those bells any more than I could resist spinning the prayer wheels at the Buddhist Temple We visited for this series (that never made it into our post this week).

  7. Like everyone else who has replied,I love the Orthodox church.It actually looks like a museum of churches on the island of Kizhi in northern Russia.Very simple yet elegant.I can smell the incense and hear the low chanting voices.But give me a quiet woods or crashing surf any day!

  8. Fabulous photos, brilliant - love them all!

  9. very lovely serene relaxing post! great job!!

  10. Just gorgeous ....I love the bells and domes too!

  11. I am never disappointed when I come here for a visit. But this visit was extra special.
    Thank you


  12. what wonderful charm, I would not be able to resist the bells either. How interensting that they leave them Human Hands height so anyone visiting the area can ring the bells. and to worship to the smell of lavender how great is that. I am impressed

  13. Love those onion domes, so beautiful against God's canvas. One can see how much that place of worship is valued. To have the bells there for anyone to touch is really special. But for me it would be the bench in the mist.

  14. needing to come worship with you and the dogs right about now...

  15. Love the domes and bells - quite original!


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