Sunday, April 01, 2012

Palm Sunday 2012

First United Methodist Sanctuary

My wife and I attended the Palm Sunday service at First United Methodist in downtown Orlando. While there we also partook of communion. It was a good Sunday for us both, as we haven't been to a Palm Sunday service in a number of years. The scripture lessen was 1 Corinthians 13, of which the first three verses are always powerful for me:
  1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
  2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not charity, I am nothing.
  3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13 verses 1-3, 21st Century King James Version
I think of this every time I hear a conservative candidate make claim to his Christian faith in one sentence, then lash out at his opponents in the next sentence rather than addressing the issues. I think of this every time I hear of fundamentalist Christian sect protesting at a fallen soldier's funeral. I think of this every time I hear of yet another suicide attack against the innocent in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other places with "soft targets." And I think about it after I've become irrationally angry at someone, rather than before, when it can do the most good for all concerned.

Feed the Need

I walked through First United Methodist's sanctuary after the service, photographing various angles that happened to catch my eye. On the way up to the upper balcony I happened to look down and see this small sign on what appears to be a combination seat and chest. It brought back the memory of my wife and I serving meals to the homeless at F.U.M. back in the early 90's with our suburban Methodist church.

Our church went once a month to feed the homeless. When my wife and I first started we noted that all we were feeding the hungry were cold sandwiches and something to eat. And this was in the basement of F.U.M. that had a full-blown kitchen. We did this for two months, then the third I went out and got a bunch of soup and heated it up in the kitchen before we served everyone. Over time we added a bit more to the meals, but whatever we gave them I made sure at least a portion of it was good and hot, not old and cold. I remember hearing we got in a bit of trouble with the F.U.M. at the time because they didn't like us using the kitchen. I guess we must have left a mess or else I didn't wash the pots well enough. I'll never know, and frankly, it never really mattered.

Later in my life, around the early 2000s, I became involved with another group serving hot breakfasts to the homeless on Sunday mornings. That group was led by Bruce Dalton, a former boss. I worked with that group until Bruce abruptly passed away. There was some talk about continuing, but nothing came of it. Such is the poor strength of my faith, I suppose.

City Hall with Bird

After the service we drove back downtown to city hall so that I could document further construction on the Dr. Phillips Arts Center being built between First United and the 408. As usual I turned around to photograph the center of city political power, tall and looming and empty. This was where Occupy Orlando was supposed to occupy, but in the end they were shut down and driven off even from here.

The Pit - Dr. Phillips Arts Center

Construction continued unabated, even on Palm Sunday. The base of the building is being slowly rising from the deep pit that was dug some months back. Rebar stands at stiff attention out of the heavy foundational slab that's been poured. Pretty soon walls of concrete will be poured around the rebar, and steel beams lain down for the main floor and floors further up.

Friendly - Dr. Phillips Arts Center

The Changing Skyline - Dr. Phillips Arts Center

The wooden forms hint at the walls that will soon rise and challenge the current Orlando skyline. It will be interesting to watch all this rise over the coming months and what it will finally look like when it's finished.


I pulled out my E-3 and attached the ZD 12-60mm, and carried it out with the E-P2 and Panasonic 20mm. The photos from First United Methodist were taken with the E-P2, while the city photos were all taken with the E-3. All post processing done with Lightroom 4.

I have begun to alter my technique a bit to produce warmer toned photographs, with much lighter areas throughout. I've spent too many years creating dark and contrasty digital photographs, even when the subject matter was outdoors in broad daylight. I don't know why, as I still have my Eeyore personality. It may be just because I got bored with the old ways and wanted to do something different.  I'm happier with these results, results I started to obtain with Lightroom 4.


  1. Interesting. Yeah time is moving on, and what was unthinkable when I was younger - like to work on a Palm Sunday - now sadly becomes rather commonplace. Deadlines have to be met, but in the end I guess it's all about what we call "shareholder value". Anonymity makes "sinners", hm? And I bet that most of these shareholders sit and pray in churches on a Palm Sunday, while they let poorer people work for them in those construction areas at exactly the same time. If I remember correctly, then in the bible these are called pharisees, or hypocrits...

  2. It's a matter of coming out of a bad economy. People are going to work as much as they can when-ever they can. This downturn has been particularly brutal in Orlando, especially in construction. I can't say for certain in this instance but I know of a lot of people who work like this because they want to and need to, not because they have to.


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