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My computer decided to cooperate for today. Mind you, I have forgotten what I planned to say yesterday, but I think this will be an approximation.
Frequently on Sunday I show pictures from a church I have visited at some point on my travels. Today’s church is the Protestant (Lutheran) church in Wolfenweiler.
I had never heard of Wolfenweiler until I found myself in it. We were exploring, and got off the train in Schallstadt, intending to walk to St. Georgen. Turns out Wolfenweiler was amalgamated with Schallstadt back in 1971, which may explain why I hadn’t heard of it before. For that matter, I only know Schallstadt as a train stop on the way to Freiburg.
From the outside the building looks older than it appears inside. I wonder if that may be due to wartime damage. I quickly looked online, but no church history jumped out at me, so that would be speculation on my part.
It wasn’t a particularly interesting building, but what was of note was a difference in practice from what I am used to. At the front of the church there was still a nativity set and a Christmas tree.
My church experience has primarily been in non-liturgical traditions. Christmas decorations came down on December 26. Churches here leave them up longer I guess, until Epiphany on January 6. If that theory is correct, then I imagine these were set for removal Saturday night (January 12). Kind of late minute in my eyes, given that we were there about 2 p.m. that day. Or maybe I have it all wrong.
Maybe it is the difference between small towns and big cities. Or maybe different countries. In Ottawa I don’t expect churches to be open for people to just wander in and look around. Here I am surprised when I find a church with doors locked.
Next time in am in Freiburg or other big city I should just pick some churches at random and see if they are open to the public. There are some big ones, tourist attractions, that I know have their doors unlocked. But I wonder if they all do?
Churches should be welcoming, doors should be unlocked, but I know that sometimes there are issues in doing so. An open-door policy can be abused. Is that a good reason not to have one? I’m not sure if I can give a definitive answer. Can you?