Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Abandonment Issues: Victoria Methodist Church 1893
"How can you get through the day without God?" a devout man once asked me, adding how torturous it must be, how empty it must feel.
I didn't answer because there was nothing that i could say to him that would be more effective than silence. He wanted to convert me and more than anything he wanted to be right. He needed to be right. If he's not right, and he can't keep convincing people that he's right, the whole thing collapses in on him like a house of cards. Oh how torturous that must be, how empty it must feel.
Within days of pasting this scroll up on a skytrain pillar in Vancouver in August, 2009, my email accounts were bombarded with religious scriptures and outreach messages.
These people were trying to convince me that god was speaking directly to me through their actions, in response to what they perceived to be an outcry. They wanted me to accept their christ as my lord and savior merely to validate their own belief structure, and they wore it on their sleeves.
On this day, in early June of 2011, the congregation consisted of ninja IX and her brother RJPN, as well as our good friends open5 and Melanie, who were visiting from Vancouver. I approached the podium and cleared my throat, then belted out segmented bible portions out of context in the thickest southern baptist accent i could muster. I read aloud...
"To see Jesus who he was because he was little of and climbed up into for he was to pass that came to the place, he and said unto him, come down: for today haste, and come down. Amen."
i had trouble holding the character through to the end of the quote and burst into laughter like Jimmy Fallon used to do every Saturday night. Our collective laughter echoed back at us.
preaching to the choir
Sitting in a back pew, i watched my flock gather up front and scatter as brother RJPN opened the back of the organ and proclaimed that it had been gutted. Ope and Melanie wandered around wide-eyed, smiling at each other with that young love look in their eyes. These two young lovers were over a month into a journey from Vancouver to Quebec City and back, through America. They have been sleeping in a car and squatting in abandoned buildings along the way. Such a romantic pilgrimage, going nowhere together. For those of you that don't know, the homie Open5 is one of Vancouver's most prolific and adored graffiti artists, and is a dear friend of the IX family.
RJPN could never understand our obsession with abandoned places until this moment. In fact he detested that we were taking risks that he deemed to be stupid. He has never been to church in his life, and the only other abandoned house he's been in was out near Bancroft when he was a kid. In the late nineties we brought him up a long overgrown driveway in the thick forest, which he was afraid of, and came upon an abandoned house containing a dental chair in the depths of the dark basement. He still speaks ill of that experience on this day. But he gets it now, he says its not for him, but he now understands and is accepting of our choices, which is a luxury preached but never practiced by religious types in my personal experiences. In fact, he manned up and explored every other spot we stopped at during this week at the cottage.
Ninja IX was lurking silently, acting as the eyes and ears of the operation. Now that you've met the congregation, it's time to explore The Victoria Methodist Church that was built in 1893 in Havelock, Ontario.
The ironic baa of sheep can be heard from a nearby field as the congregation is herded out into the graveyard to allow me to photograph the empty church.
patterned after the lord and reflecting in his image
pass the collection plate
burning in hell for eternity
devil on your shoulder
the sins of the father
Toronto Star, Thursday, November 18th, 1976
a moment of silence
if i should die before i wake...
August 23rd, 1959
Hymnary's Greatest Hits, Top 10's and B-Sides
Statement of Faith
To the Needs and Opportunities of a Postwar World
all are welcome
this church was not an organ donor, apparently
DOMINION ORGAN CO. MOUSEPROOF PATENTED 87
no one's ark
The C-Word - Church
a window into the past
passed collection plate
While the church itself is no longer in use, the graveyard and church property are fairly well maintained. In order to help keep animals from using the church as a toilet, i returned the next morning with a multi-tool and sealed the P.O.E.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES