UPDATE FROM UKRAINE
They are more concerned about running water in their cities (Here in Odessa, the entire city was without water for 24 hours the day after we arrived.) They are more concerned about electricity for their homes. (The power was off for 18 hours on a different day.)
We've been sitting in Odessa, Ukraine for the past week and a half while my husband was doing a seminar here. I took the opportunity to visit several churches of the city and will share what I saw with you.
|Ukranian Orthodox Cathedral|
|Iconostasis in Orthodox Cathedral|
We also visited a Catholic cathedral in the city. Immediately upon entry we could see that it wasn't as majestic as the Orthodox Church, but it felt welcoming. Maybe the addition of the pews made me feel more at home. I felt that the simpler side altars told the story of the Bible more than their golden-domed counterpart.
|Catholic Church with pews|
|Image of Jesus' baptism on side altar|
Finally, I will show you the Lutheran church where my husband was working. St. Paul's Lutheran Cathedral was founded by a large German community in 1825.
|St. Paul's Lutheran Church|
During the Soviet occupation, the building was used as a youth hall. The Soviets located bathrooms in the area where the altar was located. Because of bad plumbing, this entire area of the church had to be abandoned after restoration.
As a result, the front of the church had to be restructured into a much shallower altar area. The symbolism on the wall of the chancel is the blood of Christ in a chalice, a wafer, and the water of baptism flowing out of these. The artist's modern artistic symbolism is very much Lutheran.
It makes for a simple declaration of the truth of God's Word without all the gold found in other cathedrals.