Crazy Horse & Chapel In The Hills
May 10, 2009
|Hi Everyone! Again thank you for your emails and prayers we so appreciate them. It's so great to find out what is happening at home. Please continue to stay in touch.
Yesterday we went to Chapel in the Hills. The chapel which they call a "Stavkirke," was built in 1969, it's an exact replica of the famous 850 year old Borgund Church in oslo Norway. Its intricate wood cravings, strange dragon heads, and ingenious pegged construction make it a place of unusual interest.
The "Stavkirke" is a ministry of The Evangelcal Lutheran Church. They have during the summer devotional service each evening. The details of the structure add to the impressiveness of this church. There are 16,000 shakes covering the roof. The roof has four dragonheads on the rof surrounding the upper gables. They are similar to the figure-heads which the Vikings of old carved for the long boats.
At the very apex of the roof is that old Christian symbol, the rooster or cock. It reminds the beholder of Peter's denial of his Lord. the cock's crow brought to Peter's mind Christ's warning.
The intricate carvings surrounding the main portal through where we entered have elaborate intertwining of animals and serpents represents the struggle between good and eveil, betwen the forces of dying paganism and the emerging power of the Christian gospel; and it is the latter which is victorious.
As you face the front, looking into the chancel, you see a simple stone altar, the center of Christian Worship, which is adorned with a cross, a Bible and candles. Sometimes we seem to concentrate more of how beautiful our altar looks rather than the simplicity of the cross and a Bible. The pulpit reminds me that the reading and preaching of God's Word what the worship service is all about.
There is a small sliding door, about 18 inches square, to the right of the altar. When the door is pushed back, there is revealed an opening known as the leper's window. Through it lepers could share in the worship services and receive Holy Communion. They were denied admission into the church but not exclded from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
As you stand at the center of the church, facing the altar, you look upward and become aware of three arches which separate the chancel from the nave of the church. They are to remind you of the Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The 14 x-shaped braces are carved to form beautiful crosses, the so called crosses of St. Andrew. The carved faces at the very tops of the 12 pillars represent the 12 disciples of our Lord. the great staves at the four corners upon which the structure depends represent the four gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
They have outback of the church a prayer walkway that as you go along they have statues and benches where you can sit and mediate and pray. One plaque that was written struck us:
As you go on your way, May God go with you.
May He go before you to show you the way;
May He go behind you to encourage you:
Beside you to befriend you;
Above you to watch over you;
And within you to give you peace.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN.
Today this is our prayer for you.
Just a note the pictures don't show the beauty of the inside or outside of this church. Sorry about that but one of these days maybe we'll it a fancier camera but I doubt that because both Brian and I aren't savy in those sort of things.
We left the church and headed up the mountain to see Crazy Horse. The story of the man who started Crazy Horse is very interesting there is a lot to see in the buildings. They had for a little extra charge a bus trip that took you closer to where they do the blasting to complete Crazy Horse, personally we won't recommend this for the price you had to pay the only thing that made it worthwhile for us was the driver was fantastic.
Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakeota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse memorial Jne 3, 1948. The Memorial's mission is to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.
They have not accepted any government grants in the building of this monument. The money has all been raised by private donations and the entry into the park. Korczak has passed away but his family continues to build the monument. The face of Crazy Horse was dedicated and unveiled to the world at the Memorial's 50th anniversary on June 3 1998. The momument to this day has been worked on for 60 years.
They us explosives to carefully remove and shape the rock of the mountain. Since the dedication of the face of Crazy Horse they have focused on blocking out the horse's head.
They have an Indian Museum of North America onsite. It's home to an extraordinary collection of art and artifacts refleting the diverse history and culture of the American Indian People. The museum, designed to complement the story being told in stone on the muntain, speaks eloquently to present and future geneations about American Indian life. They also house Native American Cultural Center which provides a number of unique education opportunities. One-of-a-kind artifact collections are displayed, native artisans/vendors are showcased and special activities and games are featured. One thing in talking to one of the artisans is we found out they can set up their display there free of charge and they receive all the proceeds nothing they earn goes toward the Crazy Horse Monument.
Onsite is also Korzak's Studio and Home. Korczak moved to the Black Hills of south Dakota from West Hartford, Connecticut When he arrived at the future site of Crazy Horse Memorial on May 3, 1947, there was no road, no water and no electricity. He lived in a tent the first year while he cut, peeled and notched the trees to build his log home. All the furnishings they display came from his home in West Hartford.
Kozack married and had 10 children five of who we understand are still very involved in the building of Crazy Horse, his wife Ruth still lives there and oversees the day to day operation. Just some information about the Sculptor. Korczak was born in Boston of Polish descent. He was orphaned at age one, he grew up in foster homes and he was completely self-taught, and never took a formal lesson in art, sculpture, architecture or engineering. A strong believer in free enterprise system, he felt Crazy Horse should be a nonprofit educational and cultural, humanitarian project built by the interested public and not the taxpayers.
He twice turned down ten million dollars in potential federal funding. He knew at the outset Crazy Horse was much larger than any one person's lifetime; so, he and his wife Ruth, prepared three books of detailed plans to be used with his sclae models to continue the project.
The status has Crazy Horse pointing out over the land. A quote from Crazy Horse:
"My lands are where my dead lie buried."
Crazy Horse was born on Rapid Creek in the Black Hills of south Dakota in 1842. While at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, under a flag of truce, he was stabbed in the back by an American soldier and died September 6,at about age 35.
Crazy Horse has never been known to have signed a treaty or touched the pen.
We felt it was well worth going to see the monument. We learned a lot about the history of the American Indian and felt we walked away with a better understanding of how they feel about their land.
They have plans of building a university onsite as well as a hospital the plans look fantastic. We asked if they had any idea when completion of the monument would be and they just say it's work in progress. By the looks of it will not be completed in our life time.
This morning we went to church at the Calvary Baptist Church. We met some very nice people and the service was really nice as well. Of course we need to add we miss your preaching Mark.
Brian is doing some minor repair work outside and rearranging his cupboards so I'm staying inside so I don't get a honey-to-do-list. Well I will go for now and hope to hear from all of you. We will be leaving in on Wednesday morning so tomorrow we are thinking of going to the Hot Springs just to get warm.