Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hollywood United Methodist Church,
Hollywood, California

The First Methodist Church of Hollywood (now called Hollywood United Methodist Church)  at 6817 Franklin Ave. is just north of Hollywood Boulevard and Grauman's Chinese Theater. It is also on the corner with North Highland Boulevard which was in the opening scene of "The Godfather". To the west of the main church (the door entrance can be seen on the left end of the photo above) is a smaller Chapel and parlor.  Between the two is a patio lined with 10 foot high poinsettia plants that have been donated over the years.  The formal Chapel and large parlor has many Spanish architectural features and much heavy dark wood.

Sanctuary (Link.)

"The vision for Hollywood United Methodist Church as "a sanctuary of hope" began back in 1909 when the first congregants started to organize. Eventually with an ever-expanding business community and a growing congregation, a bold step was undertaken to purchase a lot on the corner of Highland and Franklin Avenues at the base of the Hollywood Hills, and to build a new home.

Chapel Hero
                                                                   Chapel (Link.)
                               (At the time of the wedding of Suzanne and  Alan
                                      Wilson the seating was dark wood pews.)
"Construction began in 1927, with the Recreational Building built first to house the congregation's worship services, after which the Sanctuary and Education Building would be constructed. A series of set backs challenged the congregation during construction, including the discovery of soft, unstable ground on the site for the Sanctuary. Monstrous holes were dug by workers who labored 65-feet below ground. To stabilize the footing and foundation, massive pits and wells were filled with enough concrete to equal 15 railroad freight cars.

"The congregation's faith and perseverance was finally rewarded on March 16, 1930. The majestic building was unveiled to enthusiastic acclaim, launching its distinguished reign as a Hollywood landmark. An historic postcard describes the church building as " of the most famous churches on the Pacific coast," with an atmosphere of "...reverence in symbolic beauty and compelling stillness."In December 1981 the church was declared Historic-Cultural Monument #248 by the City of Los Angeles."(See Link 1.)

December 1, 1967 Suzanne and Alan Wilson were married in the chapel at The First Methodist Church of Hollywood.  In 2008 Suzanne had the following article published in February 9, 2008 The Vancouver Sun, "Wedding Plans and Memories".

"My husband of 40 years and I were eating breakfast and reading the weekend Sun and National Post  at The 80’s Restaurant in North Vancouver when the phrase “caught the bride’s bouquet” “caught” my eye. 

"Yes, “I still remember when ‘we’ got married like it was yesterday”.  I especially remember throwing my bouquet.  And I most certainly remember “who caught it”.

Alan and Suzanne Wilson

"Alan and I were married in the chapel of the First Methodist Church of Hollywood December 1, 1967.  The reception followed in the church parlor across the hall.  When it was time to throw the bouquet I climbed the beautiful Spanish tile staircase.  I turned around and I threw the flowers over my head. The bouquet flew. I looked to see who would catch it. My friend’s faces turned upward, arms raised in anticipation, and then they stopped. There was the bouquet, “caught” by the six sided chandelier that lit up the hall. 

Wedding Bouquet in Chandelier
"A pole to open high church windows was fetched and the bouquet tumbled from the chandelier and was “caught” by a good friend and neighbor.  It did its magic.  She was married the following summer at Knott’s Berry Farms.  She threw her bouquet from a staircase on a fake exterior facade.  At her wedding there was no chandelier, only a young girl to “catch” it."

Photo: Top photo of First Methodist Church of  Hollywood, thank you to

Sunday, January 22, 2012

                                                                                                                           January 22, 2012

                                St. Stephens Catholic Church
1360 East 24th Street

St. Stephens Catholic Church
North Vancouver, B.C.

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver borders the corner of the 24oo block of Mountain Highway.  However, its actual address is 1360 East 24th Street. One of the three buildings on its campus is the Sanctuary built in 1964 and siding Mountain Highway.  Although this building was used as the original sanctuary, it was intended to be the Parish Hall.   

                                                  Entrance to Church Sanctuary

Behind the Sanctuary Altar is a large mural of a modern depiction of the Crucifixion. (See photo below.)  Along the north and south walls of the Sanctuary are plaques depicting the Stations of the Cross.  In the ceiling of the sanctuary is a skylight with a large cross in its center.
In 1978 the large hall on the east side of the parking lot was built and the original hall continued as the sanctuary. The new hall provides the congregation with a stage and kitchen.   A covered walkway joins these two buildings. 
Parish Hall

                                                          Entrance to Parish Hall

To the north of the entrance to the Parish Hall is a Memorial to all the victims of abortion.

The third building is the Parish Rectory. In the plaza between the Rectory, the covered walkway and the Sanctuary is a shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

                                                       Parish Rectory and Shrine

The History of St. Stephen's Parish (See Link 1.)
"Archbishop Duke appoints Father Albert Eisenring as the first pastor of a new parish in the Lynn Valley area of North Vancouver. Land for the new parish had been acquired several years earlier. (The land was on the corner of East 24th Street and Mountain Highway.)

"Father Eisenring takes up residence in the smaller of the two existing, rundown houses on the parish property and recommends that the new parish be named in honor of Saint Stephen, the first martyr. 

"The first Mass in the new parish is celebrated on November 17 at the Lynn Valley Community Centre on Frederick Road. Over 400 people were in attendance.

"1964, July: Renovations to the second house on the property are completed, and it becomes the parish rectory. This small house continued to serve as the parish rectory for about twenty more years.

"1964, September: Construction begins on a new building that was intended to serve eventually as the parish hall and, in the interim, as a more suitable venue for Mass. This is the present church. 1964, December: The first Mass is celebrated in the new church/hall on Christmas Eve. 1965, March: Archbishop Johnson blesses the new church on March 14.

Sanctuary Altar

"1971, March: Pierre Elliott Trudeau, then the prime minister of Canada, and Margaret Sinclair are married at Saint Stephen’s.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Margaret Sinclair

"1972–1973: Part of the parish land is sold for private housing to raise funds for the parish. 1974: Construction of the parish hall is completed. 

1978, August: The parish debt is eliminated." (See Link 1.)

Photos: Taken in November 2011 by SW.
Link 1:
Link 2:
Reference: Traditions of Faith and Service, Archdiocese of Vancouver.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


 Costa Pacifica in port in Malta

Costa Pacifica Cruise Ship Chapel
The Cruise Ship Costa Pacifica is a "home away from home" during its eight day cruise of the Western Mediterranean. The 3,789 passenger luxury ship built in 2009 features music as its theme. Classical music is played in the halls and music of the day's destination in played in the elevators. Entire lounges are dedicated to a single style of music: classical, jazz, swing, disco, calypso. Afternoon and nightly shows feature a single style or a the whole range including classical, rap, and pop. Decor also features music with: treble clef railings in the lounge, cello motifs on the elevator doors, paintings of musicians in the state rooms, wallpaper sketches of musicians on the hall walls.

The 112,000 tons of this cruise ship are decked out in ultra Vegas with spectacular amenities. There are: two retractable-roof swimming pools as well as an outdoor swimming pool, five hot tubs, a kiddie pool, a Formula 2 race car driving simulator, one of the largest spas at sea, a library, a music studio, and 13 bars/lounges.

The route of this floating beauty is: Civitavecchia (and hour and a half on the train from Rome), Savona (with an excursion to Monaco available), Barcellona Spain, Mallorca, Tunis Tunisia, Malta, and Catania Sicily. Passengers board at several of these ports. (See map below.)


Since the Costa Pacifica is an Italian ship, Italian is the main language used on board.   On the first week of April 2010 cruise only 500 of the 3,789 passengers were English speakers. Italian and French were predominant. Announcements were made taking this proportion into consideration.  Important information such as the life boat drill were repeated in every language represented.  As the 3,789 passengers stood on deck sporting their life jackets all the information was repeated in: Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, and English. Only then was the all clear horn  sounded.

Another pleasant surprise on the Costa Pacifica Cruise line is the age range.  Families with with babies, preschoolers, and teens, honeymooners, and  extended family groups dominate the roster.


The Costa Pacifica Cruise Ship includes this beautiful petite chapel for daily worship. The chapel seats 18 and is 45 square meters in size.  Christ, Mary, and Joseph and perhaps the feeding of the multitudes are depicted behind the altar. Brightly painted single Saints are painted in the side wall niches of the chapel. Framed spiritual paintings are mounted between these wall niches. The blond wood pews, gold trim, crystal chandelier, and warm overhead lights reset in circular alcoves and chandelier give the chapel a golden glow. Dark carpeting contrasts with the shiny marble center aisle with its stylized cross border. The marble pedestaled altar is covered with a scalloped linen. An urn of flowers sit in front of the altar. Daily church service times at the Chapel on the deck 4 are varied to fit in with excursion schedules.

Other church services are held on board as well. On Easter Sunday the 8:45 am Holy Mass was held on deck 5 in the Around the Clock Lounge. This facilitated a larger congregation. On Saturday night at 8:45 pm a renewal of marriage vows was held on deck 5 in the Amadeus lounge. Honeymooners and those celebrating special wedding anniversaries were invited. Again a venue larger than the chapel was needed to accommodate the many couples that attended.

For personal worship a Gideon Bible can be found in the bedside table in each state room. Since this is an Italian ship, the Bible is in Italian, of course.

For more information regarding the Costa Pacifica see Blog Post June 19, 2010.

Photos: Taken on Costa Pacifica Cruise Ship in April 2010 by SW.
Thank you: To Carol Pennington Senior Advisor, Office of the Sr. Vice President- Guest Relations on the Costa Pacifica for details regarding the chapel.

Link 1:
Photos: Costa Pacifica Cruise Ship taken in Malta in April 2010 by SW.

Note: Sympathy to passengers and their families involved in the tragic accident on Pacifica's sister ship Concordia.  (See Link 2 for photos and details.)
Link 2:


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Community United Methodist Church
Leavenworth, Washington

The  Community United Methodist Church at 418 Evans Street sits two blocks north of the Gazebo in the center square of the Bavarian style town of Leavenworth, Washington. It has been there for over 100 years.

"1907: Rev. Melvin Rumohr arrived on Memorial Day to organize a
                        Methodist church in Leavenworth.
             First service held a few weeks later with 20 people received
                        into membership.
           Sunday School began two months before his arrival, with five teachers
                       and nearly 40  children  attending.
           Annual conference held in September. Church incorporated as
                       First Methodist Episcopal  Church of Leavenworth, WA.
           Land purchased as building site for a church. Rev. Rumohr bought
                      adjacent lots and built a home for his family.
1908: Methodist Episcopal Ladies Aid Society organized.
          Choir organized by Mrs. Martel, a fine organist.
          Church built, at Evans and Whitman Streets. First services held Dec. 9.
1909: Church dedicated June 10, one of three Methodist churches in the
                     valley dedicated that day.  Others in Peshastin and Cashmere.
          Organ purchased. Bell installed in the belfry.
1912: Parsonage built.
1929: First women pastors appointed: Bertha Reich and Winifred Dove.
1946-49: Four lots purchased at Evans and Summit Streets for new, larger
                    church. Existing house on the land became the new parsonage.
         Church construction took three years; Rev. Rumohr was on the
                    building committee.

Sanctuary 2011

1950: "Art" window installed in the sanctuary.

Sanctuary "Art Window" of Jesus Christ

1954: New church dedicated, after mortgage was paid off (required before a
                    building can be dedicated).
1959: Golden Jubilee of the church celebrated (50 years after dedication of
                   first church). Rev. Rumohr participated.
1969: New parsonage purchased.
1986: Church exterior stuccoed.
1997: Celebrated 50th anniversary of laying the cornerstone of present church building.
2006: Lift installed for handicap access.
2007: Celebration of Centennial Year." (See Link.) 

Thank you: To Jane, church historian, for reference to history of Community United Methodist Church.
Photos: Taken in November 2010 and October 2011 by SW.

For more information on Leavenworth, Washington see these Blog Posts at
                              Saturday Travel Feature, "The Gazebo", November 6, 2010.      
                              Saturday Travel Feature, "FestHalle", November 13, 2010
       and  at "Churches on Sundays" Blog, "St. Joseph's Catholic Church",
                              January 1, 2012.



God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Church Feature
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington is a town in north central Washington State that reinvented itself as a Bavarian tourist destination when its lumber industry died.  The landscape of high mountains gave the setting and the citizens added facades and paintings to their buildings to transform the town into this Alpine delight.  Some even incorporated some of the original heritage buildings of the area.  One of those was the hotel Pension Anna.

In 1992 the owners of Pension Anna moved the abandoned St. Joseph's Catholic Church to their site one block south of the Front Street.  Here they added it to their hotel space and named it  the Old Chapel Suite.

The church building is distinctive with its Russian onion shaped steeple. A painting of St. Joseph decorates the south exterior wall of the church.  It was original built at the north east corner of Evans and Cascade Streets, an area known as Leavenworth Gardens,  in 1910.  The building was "26 by 38 with a vestibule and tower at the entrance. Sacristy, 14 X16, will be located opposite the entrance.  Cost approximately $2000. (The Sacristy is presumable the small structure attached at the rear of the building.)... church received a handsome altar from Seattle...1913 The bell arrives, largest in town, weighing nearly 1000 pounds..the church bell now (2010) resides in Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church at 145 Wheeler St., Leavenworth." (Reference.)

"Saint Joseph (Hebrew יוֹסֵף, "Yosef"; Greek: Ἰωσήφ), often clarified as Saint Joseph the carpenter, is an important figure in Christian belief, the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus. According to Christian tradition he was not the biological father of Jesus, but acted as his foster-father[1] and as head of the Holy Family. According to Christian tradition, Jesus was referred to as the son of Joseph during his public life,[2] though in Mark he is referred to as Mary's son (Mark 6:3).[3] Joseph is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches." (See Link 1.)

Reference and Thank You: To Leo Bodvin of south of Yakima.
Photos: Taken in Leavenworth in October 2010 by SW.
See: Blog Post November 6, 2010
              "Saturday Travel Feature, The Gazebo, Leavenworth, Washington" for
                more information on the history of Leavenworth.



God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)