Editorials

The ‘Halo Effect’

You probably have already heard about the “Pope Francis Effect,” which has been credited with everything from bringing lapsed Roman Catholics back to church to boosting collection plate offerings. Since Francis became pope last March, attendance in … [continue]

Faith of Our Fathers

I recently read the novel Catholics, written by the late Irish-American writer Brian Moore, and published in 1972. The book was made into a TV-movie a year later. Very short, barely 100 pages, its premise is a confrontation between the Catholic … [continue]

Manna About Town

Where in the city does one find God? Historically, the holy, sacred places and spaces where God might “reside” have been sacred buildings at the city’s center, fronting the marketplace, rising to dominate distant views of the city. As a typical urban … [continue]

House Party

“God's House” and “The House of the Lord” are such commonplace terms for religious buildings that they barely register their implications of intimacy and domes- ticity. Many people raised in mainline religions–Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or even … [continue]

Do You ‘Church’?

Have you noticed that the word “church” is now a verb, as well as a noun? In just the past few weeks I participated in conferences where the question of how one “churches” was central to the discussion of religious and spiritual life. At a seminar … [continue]

Shall We Dance?

In July, Gallup released findings that American confidence in organized religion is at its lowest point ever. Just 44 percent of Americans expressed “a great deal, or quite a lot of confidence” in the Church/Organized Religion, down from 48 percent a … [continue]

Pilgrim’s Progress

I remember it being a very hot day. I had traveled with friends and colleagues this past April on a pilgrimage to the ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico, one of the places on my architect's bucket list. Now I stood at the threshold of this monumental … [continue]

The “S” Word

A few weeks ago I was invited to make some remarks at a gathering at Cornell University's New York City Center to open an evening panel discussion by architects and academicians on “Space, the Sacred, and the Imagination.” The event being held was … [continue]

Litmus Test

The other day, in the Faith & Form LinkedIn discussion group, a group member brought up the topic of the fealty of those who work with congregations on architecture and art projects. He wanted to know if he might not be considered for a … [continue]

The Gift That Keeps Taking

I'm on the Buildings and Grounds Committee of my church. Recently an email from our committee chair let us know that a parishioner had come forward to donate an irrigation system for our memorial garden. The chair wanted the committee's feedback on … [continue]