For the past 2 ½ years, guests at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton, Massachusetts have opened their curtains on Sunday mornings to discover members of Grace Baptist Church in poolside baptismal immersions, ablutions, and other testimonies. That will end in two weeks when the kitsch 1960s-era Clarion closes its doors.
At the 46-year-old hotel, two floors of galleried guest rooms with sliding glass doors girdle the indoor pool, beneath a 30-foot diaphanous dome. Sightlines to the pool are optimal from the rooms, and if viewers aren’t careful with their curtains, visitors in and around the pool might return the compliment.
Founded in 2013, Northampton’s Grace Baptist Church has deployed “Clarion poolside” as its sanctuary from the beginning. Now it’s in the market for a new venue.
I offer these photos below in comfort: The congregation is sure to find a new venue given the variety, adaptability, and longevity of the baptismal rite!
|Labyrinth and Latin Cross Variations|
|Biblical Immersion in Seoul|
And while the pools below have yet to see baptismal service, I contemplate my oolong and say, “Why not?”
Then again, my understanding of the rite is less than complete. For solace and company, I turn to fellow traveler Larry David and his own brush with baptism in the video below. A link to the video on YouTube is here.