I grew up in Danville, Virginia and was raised in the Methodist church. I was there every Sunday morning unless there was some VERY good reason that I wasn't. Right there near the front on the left side. As a child, of course I didn't fully appreciate the church or my freedom to be sitting there. My mind wandered - I remember looking at those large wooden light fixtures suspended from the ceiling and and then following their paths if they were to fall. I used to draw on the cards in the backs of the pews. Yes, my mind would wander. But, I was there. Absorbing what the church had to offer me.
Mount Vernon United Methodist Church in Danville is my home church. I had the chance to visit it again in all its beauty when I attend my uncle's funeral earlier this month.
Mount Vernon is also my mother's home church. She grew up on West Main Street in Danville and used to walk down the street to church. Mt. Vernon is situated at the point - the triangle - where Main, West Main, and South Main streets meet. Mom and Daddy were
married in this church in 1950.
Well over 100 years old, Mt. Vernon's sanctuary imparts
all that the definition of the word implies. Sacred place. Refuge. A place of peace. The peace that Mount Vernon's sanctuary offers hovers around you as you sit quietly. It's almost as if the interior air is alive and breathing with you. It meets you when you enter just waiting to cloak you in peace
I have yet to find a church sanctuary more beautiful or more compelling that Mt. Vernon's. The reason for this is in large part due to the extraordinary stained glass windows. They are perfectly gorgeous. To gaze up at them is just something I can't describe. Their colors. Their themes. They have such a presence in this spiritual place - this sanctuary.
Each of the windows has its own meaning associated with scripture or happenings in the Bible. In my readings trying to prepare for this post, I couldn't find dates when the windows were built/installed. I always thought they were Tiffany windows but Mom doesn't think so. I guess it doesn't matter, they couldn't be more lovely.
The current lean toward the more modern sanctuaries - while nice, I find them lacking something. Warmth, maybe. The warmth that you feel from Mt. Vernon's sanctuary literally surrounds you when you enter. My guess is that it probably has to do with the cost it would take to construct this type of building with the artistry and workmanship. I don't know but it's a shame.
The sanctuary has witnessed my life at every stage. It knew me as a baby - I was christened in this sanctuary. I took communion in this place. I was married in this church. I have mourned loved ones in this sanctuary.
Hope you enjoy these pictures. I took a picture of each of the beautiful windows and wish I could post them all. I hope that just looking at them brings you some of the peacefulness that this special sanctuary has to offer.
Until next time....thanks so much for reading!