Yesterday we went to Sedona, about a two-hour drive north of Phoenix, and our first stop was visiting the Church of the Holy Cross, built in 1956 into a spur of Sedona’s signature red rock about 200 feet above the ground.
By reading the information posted outside the church we learned that its creator was a sculptor named Marguerite Staude, an informal student of Frank Lloyd Wright’s, who showed her initial designs for the church to Wright’s son Lloyd. Lloyd helped her build an architectural model of the church. In November Dave and I toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio and the home where his son Lloyd grew up in Chicago.
It is hard to just walk straight up to the church because the scenery along the way is so breathtaking, you want to stop every few minutes to take a picture. Marguerite had to get special permission to build the church because the site is part of a national forest. Her friend Senator Barry Goldwater helped her obtain the rights from the Department of the Interior.
My sister Kaaren poses at the entry to the church, which is illuminated only by natural light and the prayer candles which visitors have lit. The Church of the Holy Cross is the most popular tourist spot in Sedona.
The church isn’t ornate. Only two tapestries of Moses adorn the walls. The sanctuary is a lovely sunny place to sit and think. During peak tourist season it is probably too loud and busy for that, but once a week they do have a Taize service. Our church in Hong Kong had monthly Taize services and driving down from the church Dave and I sang some Taize songs for Ken and Kaaren. Here Ken and Kaaren are silhouetted against the red rocks as the afternoon sun wanes. After visiting the church it is easy to understand why the structure has won architectural awards and received so much international publicity. Marguerite Staude said she wanted the church to be a place where people of every religion would feel welcome–a place where she hoped they would feel God come to life in their souls.
Sedona has an international reputation as a spiritual mecca. The Church of the Holy Cross is one of the reasons why.
Other posts about Frank Lloyd Wright……