Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wallowa Lake Chapel

Jean and I went to Enterprise this past weekend where I did a Eucharist for the people of St. Patrick's and then went on up to the Chapel at Wallowa Lake for a somewhat non-denominational Morning Prayer. We go up there each summer for services and it's a great place to re-create. The Wallowa Valley lies at the foot of the Wallowa Mountains which are called the Little Switzerland of Oregon. It is truly one of God's "thin places" even though there are lots of tourists and tourist traps at the Lake. The Chapel, maintained by St. Pat's, celebrated its 50th anniversary this summer. It is open from June through August and offers a place to worship for all the campers who throng to the Lake each summer. The Chapel is a rustic structure designed to keep the sun (and occasionally rain) off the worshippers who sit on half logs facing a swift running stream just feet from the cross and altar. Deer sometimes walk by with hardly a glance at the strange humans sitting on logs. The celebrant has to stand under the cover to be heard over the sound of the stream. Many different denominations are represented and many return year after year. This year was one of the best I've seen, we had 27 worship with us at the Chapel and 9 take communion at St. Pat's earlier in the morning. Although the building is considerably different, the Lake Chapel has a remarkably similar feeling to the Glass Chapel at Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

The picture is Joseph, Oregon an artists center at the end of Wallowa Lake. The town is filled with bronze statuary, there are a number of foundries in the village.

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