UU Church photo

When I was a child I found it all too easy to ignore churches of other religions. I went to one church throughout my childhood, and almost directly across the street from it was a stately Baptist church. Not being a Baptist I largely ignored the building, although it was certainly one of the most impressive in town. All I knew was that I wasn't a Baptist and in spite of their good taste in architecture they weren't practicing religion the right way. Who knows what would happen if I came too close to that church and those Baptists got a hold of me? ;-)

Time carries me along and I've grown to appreciate other religions. Where and how we choose to worship speaks volumes about what we value in life, and so my interests in religion and photography naturally combine to focus on our spiritual meeting places.

I chose to focus on Montclair's churches in this essay because of their glorious variety, both of denomination and architecture. When seen as a group, they speak of the diverse beliefs and communities co-existing in one town. As I worked on these photographs I also began to see so much we have in common.

As we spend more time in isolation with our technology, and when a minister from Montclair has even migrated from bricks and mortar to the Internet, an opportunity to reflect on our great spiritual meeting places is wonderfully reassuring for me.

From a materialist point of view, churches so often embody our great architecture because we feel it would be improper to skimp when building them. Our government buildings, schools, and even our homes rarely match the generosity dedicated to the construction of a church.

By following the links below you'll find examples of a wide variety of churches. I use the term "church" freely as I include synagogues and other places of worship and fellowship. Eventually I hope to include photos of every church in town, which by my count totals approximately 46 buildings.

If you're unfamiliar with Montclair here's a bit of background information. I welcome comments and suggestions via email.

Victor Lombardi [ email] [ personal home page]
Montclair, NJ
January, 1999

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