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God's Janitor

Imagine being Catholic - about 1.1 billion people can, these days - and being given the opportunity to spend 4 hours helping to tidy up, say, St. Peter's basilica.

Or having your Mullah come to you and say, "How would you like to help us dust the Dome of the Rock tomorrow?"

How many Jews would be honored to spend a few hours gussying up the Kotel Hama'aravi?

Hey, let's not leave out the secular humanists. Care to help take care of the Smithsonian for an evening?

The average adherent of any major belief system doesn't get anywhere near the major shrines or worship centres of their religion unless they have the good fortune of living close by, or being wealthy enough to make the journey.

So when our High Priest's quorum was offered the chance to spend a few hours cleaning up the Conference Center

(Keep clicking for the full-resolution image)

you can bet your dung-caked boots that I jumped at the chance - the second time in a couple of months that I was given such an opportunity.

The entire conference center encompasses 1.4 million square feet - you could stick 2 747's in the auditorium above.

So last night at 9:30 I joined about 10 others from my local congregation, strapped on a backpack vacuum (Important safety tip: Don't cross the streams! - well, that's how I felt, anyway) and worked until midnight vacuuming up the areas most frequented by daily tourists, while others dusted chairs, polished escalators, and who knows what else. And the whole time, I just kept feeling privileged to have the opportunity.

Folks do this every day. The entire custodial staff for the building numbers 14 people, so the Church relies heavily on volunteer labor to help pick up the slack, and there's never a shortage of helpers. I can understand why.

I mean, I wouldn't want to do this for a living - janitorial work is tedious and labor-intensive - but if it's what I could do, I'd be honored.

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Apr. 24th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Good gravy! How many people does that hall seat? And how many in the choir loft?!

Apr. 24th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)
21,000 in the audience, and the choir loft has to be able to accomodate the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Church leaders, so a couple of hundred at least... it's a very impressive building.
Apr. 24th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
Do they fill it every Sunday?

Apr. 24th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
They fill it several times a year for general conferences. At other times it's used for public events, for the weekly Tab Choir broadcast, daily organ recitals, and other functions.
Apr. 24th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
Wow. Pretty amazing, filling that space each week. Or is there an audience for the broadcasts?

Would that other churches filled a space like that each week. My church has a sanctuary that seats around 200, and we rarely ever fill that space.

Apr. 24th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
As much as I wish that were the case, the weekly broadcasts hardly fill the place. On Sunday, folks meet in their usual chapels, which - like many other denominations - have far more people on the rolls than actually show up on any given day.
Apr. 24th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Alas. I was hoping to get some of the secrets on how they did that. Too bad. ;)

Apr. 24th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't object to cleaning that now and then!


The Old Wolf

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