It Takes A Village

Today was the first day of the 21st Annual Working Wood in the 18th Century conference in Colonial Williamsburg.  This year, the focus is on five different woodworkers who all had different stories and places from which they came.  In remembrance of 2019 being the 400th anniversary of the first documented enslaved Africans being brought to the North American British colonies, two of these five makers are enslaved woodworkers: John Hemings, a master joiner and carpenter who was owned by Thomas Jefferson, and Cesar Chelor, a unspeakably gifted hand plane maker who was owned by Francis Nicholson.   Continue reading “It Takes A Village”

Preliminary Theological Perspective on Building

Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages (Jeremiah 22:13, NRSV).

Listen!  The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts (James 5:4, NRSV).

Have you ever noticed those big signs they put outside of renovations of buildings?  They are normally in a kind of triangle shape and have a long list of all the people associated with the remodel.  If it is a city building, they typically have the mayor and other elected officials on the list, perhaps a project date, and usually the architect and probably a general contractor.  What is always absent from these lists, though, is the actual people who did the renovation.  The people who literally built the building, did the remodel, or whatever the sign may be showing get little to no credit for the labor they do. Continue reading “Preliminary Theological Perspective on Building”