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pstidsen

All those churches

28 posts in this topic

First let me state: I absolutely LOVE churches of all kind and I am one of those who like the way the sub categories of religious buildings has turned out to be.

 

Today we have 28 sub categories. My personal oppinien is that we have room for more than that and I am sure there is more category opportunities out there worth finding. Not everybody feels the same and comments like "when is enough enough" starts to appear in forum and in peer reviews. I also remember seing a comment stating that "we don't want a catch all category here". I have been thinking a lot about this.

 

I would hate to see the religious categories ruined by too small subcategories taking away the value of the existing category structure, and I don't think it is possible to avoid this before it is too late if we continue adding subs and wait for the community to draw the stop line. Maybee it is time to work on a final catch all category. I believe, if done right, this will be the best way to meet both those who love this categories and those who start to vote nay simply because they don't see the value of just another sub-something.

 

This is still an idea that needs lot of work and I think the right place to start is here in forum. Some of my loose ideas and thoughts are:

  • This is for religious buildings with function and services similar to eg. a church
  • It is NOT for ordinary houses where people gather in private homes
  • The religion need to be officialy recognised as religion in the country
  • Waymarks need to have some kind of eg. cultural, architectural, visual etc. appeal.
  • Maybee this would require (like it or not) some sort of 'power to the reviewer' even with a good category description

 

To be a worthy category this would recuire an absolut outstanding description, open forum debate and a group of officers dedicatet to maintaning the category with high quality in mind. I wouldn't write a topic like this if I wasn't interested my self, but what do others think?

 

Is this a good idea or is it just a waste of time? Will a category like this be a good or bad thing for the religious building categories?

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Peter, thanks so much for your posting. I thought exactly the same the last weeks. I did the same for the European Post Offices. We have a church here in my hometown, it's called the "Christian Gemeinschaft". It's definitly too small for an own category, but I like to waymark it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Christian_Community

 

Example Switzerland

 

Larry, we need you for that, what do you think? I know you don't like to combine things in that way, but perhaps it is a good way to go.

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I have started writing a draft for a category description. Please comment on the above posts... no point in posting a no good text with only my own thoughts in it

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I like the idea, but I am not sure if it is the time for this yet. The traditional way of a category for each denomination is apparently loosing support, sooner or later it will come to an end.

 

About half of the churches in my area do not have a category and most probably will never have, because they are geographically too limited.

 

There are some problems with an inclusive category, a clear definition is not that easy. Let's find out, what the general opinion is!

 

@lumbricus: funny coincidence! In your example church my nephew was baptized about a year ago.

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Dear Waymarkers,

please join the discussion, in my opinion it's important.

Thanks,

-lumbricus

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Would this be a Culture or an architecture category?

 

Are we Waymarking interesting or odd variants of religions, or church buildings??

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I would say that the category, we are thinking about, should be for 'Small Religions' and their 'buildings/churches'. Let's say there are worldwide about 10,000 religions, and 270 have more than 500,000 follower. At the moment we have about 28 categories but do we want really let's say 40? We think about a solution that makes it possible to waymark churches from small religions. (If their church is older than 100 years they could go to the 'Old church' category, but what's with the 80 years old nice looking church from a small not global church?

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We think you are on the right track for a catch-all church category -- but the angel will be in the details ;)

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We think you are on the right track for a catch-all church category -- but the angel will be in the details ;)

I do have to disagree with this approach.

 

I guess I'm partly to blame since I wrote some of the first denomination-specific categories.

 

This is a constant question in Waymarking - how to slice the pie? There needs to be a balance between very small slivers, and just dishing up the whole pie. Each field has its own particular characteristics that will give different answers.

 

Lets take a look at just a few. How about museums? How many museum categories are there? I count at least twelve:

 

Maritime Museums

Railroad Museums

Science Museums

Wax Museums

History Museums

Art Museums

Aviation Museums

Wildlife Museums

Children's Museums

War and Military Museums

Motor Vehicle Museums

Oddball Museum

 

This covers most museums with some overlap, and I think this is better than having one omnibus category for all museums. There may be some museums that don't fit any of these categories. What to do? I could create a category for Wine Museums, or we could just have an "Everything Else Museum" category, just so none is left out.

 

What about Christian churches? Well, I count 32 church and church-related categories.

 

There are at least 19 that are identified by specific denominations or related groups of denominations:

 

Presbyterian Churches

Church of the Nazarene

Orthodox Churches

Lutheran Churches

Wesleyan Churches

Baptist Churches

Methodist Churches

Anglican and Episcopal Churches

Church of Christ Scientist

Roman Catholic Churches

Orthodox Churches

Assembly of God Churches

Seventh-day Adventist Churches

LDS Church History Sites

Salvation Army Locations

Quaker Meeting Houses

Historic United Methodist Sites

Mormon Temples

New Apostolic Church

 

========

There are only 5 that are based on criteria other than organization.

 

This Old Church

Country Churches

Medieval Churches

Megachurches

Cathedrals

 

============

 

There are at least 8 more categories that are largely church-elated though they may include other types of buildings or sites. This does not count several categories which often have a large number of churches in them such as Town Clocks, Bell Towers, etc. There may be others that could be added to this list.

 

Stone Church Artefacts

Unique Steeples

Outdoor Stations of the Cross

Churchyard Cemeteries

Stained Glass Windows

Churchyard Crosses

Christian Crosses

Outdoor Altars

 

Disclaimer: This discussion is limited to the broad grouping of Christian churches and in no way intends to lessen the value of other religions, some of which are represented by categories, such as Synagogues, Buddhist Temples, and Hindu Temples.

 

So what do we do with those churches that still do not fit into any of these categories?

 

1). NOTHING -- Not every church, every building, and every object and site needs to be waymarked.

 

2). Create a category for every denomination in existence. Possibly hundreds. If anyone doubts the complexity of this, just take a look at the Wikipedia article on Christian denominations! (I could probably add a few to that list.)

 

3). Create a "catch-all" category for those not included in a category.

 

Here are some of the problems I see with this approach.

 

1). The result would be a sprawling category that includes buildings that have nothing in common except that they are churches and may actually have huge differences. I think this could be especially sensitive when it comes to religious groups that may not want to be lumped together with other types of churches. Sad, but true. This is not due only to denominational or theological factors, but is often influenced by nationalistic factors.

 

2). I think it would be almost impossible to come up with a set of criteria for inclusion in such a category unless it is open to all churches. Things like "interesting," "significant," etc. are just too subjective.

 

3). I think a general principle of category creation, which I know has been articulated by Groundspeak although I cannot find the reference, is that a category should stand on its own merits without reference to other existing categories. So, categories that are defined by what is not included in existing categories really lack a rational basis.

 

4). Such an approach would preclude the formation of other, more specific categories.

 

Well, I think there is another approach. Really, it is nothing new, but is valid, especially in view of the above fourth point.

 

This is simply to allow new categories for churches to be created as there is interest in them--a leader and management team and a positive peer review. I would suggest that there is room for several more such categories, some that may be broader. For instance, a category for independent pentecostal and charismatic churches might be viable. Maybe a larger category for all independent (non-denominational) Christian churches. Or some groupings based on broader criteria such as Reformed Churches, or Congregational Churches. This would be similar to the Baptist Churches category that lumps together many dozens of different denominations and even independent churches. Other church categories do much the same thing. (There are many denominations of Lutherans and Presbyterians, for instance.) Then there are a few denominations that are probably significant enough to warrant a category such as the Unitarian Universalist Church, or Evangelical Free Churches.

 

While it is true that this approach leads to more categories and still doesn't include EVERY church (should that be a goal?), I think it is a more reasonable approach. As mentioned, one of the keys is that someone is interested and knowledgeable enough to create any particular category.

 

I don't want a bunch of splinter categories, but neither do I think a conglomerate catch-all category is in our best interest. I think a better balance is possible.

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I am in agreement with Silverquill on this. I am not in general fond of catch all categories. I also think that not everything needs to be waymarked. I can think of a few fairly large denominations that don't have a category. But most of the churches in those denominations I can waymark the buildings I would want to waymark because they are either over 100 years old or are listed on the National Register. In my travels I pass hundreds of churches I could do a waymark for in their denominational category but seldom will stop unless they fall into a few personal criteria: Architecturally interesting, historically interesting, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, listed in one of the American Guides, or sometimes if they are over 100 years old.

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Thanks Larry, thanks Bruce.

 

SQ wrote:

 

"...I would suggest that there is room for several more such categories, some that may be broader. For instance, a category for independent pentecostal and charismatic churches might be viable. Maybe a larger category for all independent (non-denominational) Christian churches. Or some groupings based on broader criteria such as Reformed Churches, or Congregational Churches. This would be similar to the Baptist Churches category that lumps together many dozens of different denominations and even independent churches. Other church categories do much the same thing. (There are many denominations of Lutherans and Presbyterians, for instance.) Then there are a few denominations that are probably significant enough to warrant a category such as the Unitarian Universalist Church, or Evangelical Free Churches..."

 

I like the idea to create categories based on broader criteria!

 

Let's try this on the followig religion/church. I would like to waymark churches from "The Christian Community (German: Die Christengemeinschaft)"

 

"The Christian community is represented in 32 countries and has about 35,000 members worldwide.

 

In Germany there are about 140 municipalities, 14 in Switzerland, 6 in Austria. Communities exist today in all five continents. In Germany, the Christian community had in 2002 about 10,000 members and 50,000 friends. According to another source, there are 20,000 members. The baptized children do not count as members, but only adults in any case, must join their own.

 

In Switzerland, the Christian community is represented in:. Aargau, Basel, Bern, Biel, Lucerne, Grisons, Geneva, Kreuzlingen, Lausanne, Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Ascona, Lugano and Zurich.

 

Since 1933, in Stuttgart, there is a seminary, in 2001 one in Hamburg, since 2003, the other in the United States, first in Chicago, now. In Spring Valley, New York"" Wikipedia

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Christian_Community

 

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Christengemeinschaft

 

Would this community fit in a "Independent (non-denominational) Christian churches" category?

 

Thanks,

-lumbricus

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Let me start by saying that I appreciate what you are trying to accomplish with you idea. I do have some reservations, however. In my opinion, a catch all for Churches wouldn't be a good way to handle all of the "other" Churches that aren't already waymarked. I believe this for a number of reasons.

 

First, Churches, unlike other groups of categories, relate to an individual's religion, which can have deep personal significance to them. Since there are already several specific denominational categories, I think it would be potentially offensive to someone who belongs to a specific religion, for the Waymarking community to categorize it as an "other" religion. As in, all of these religions merit their own category, but mine gets lumped in with all of the other (viewed as) "less significant" religions. That, of course, is certainly not your intent here; I totally understand that. While the intent is not there, along with the fact that it may or may not happen, the potential is still there. I think it best to avoid the possibility.

 

Second, just because a religion exists, doesn't necessarily mean that their Churches should be waymarked. If a group of waymarkers feel that a specific religion deserves a category, let them present it. That's the cool thing about Waymarking - categories aren't decreed by Groundspeak, they are determined by all of us, as a community, as they are presented by us, the community. If no one brings it up, that doesn't mean it's being excluded, or insignificant, it just hasn't been proposed yet. It doesn't yet have a "champion" to facilitate it.

 

Third, I know we don't like to compare categories, but I don't think many, if any, would support a catch all category for all other "retail" establishments, or all other "buildings", no matter how interesting some of them might be. I think catch all categories should be carefully scrutinized, as they may not be the best way to handle every situation.

 

There may be intermediate proposals, as lumbricus has suggested, where similar groups of Churches could be combined into a single category. Again, I would say proceed with caution, but it could certainly be done in an appropriate manner.

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As the one starting this thread I just needed to say that I'm still here, reading and reflecting...

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I like the idea to create categories based on broader criteria!

 

Let's try this on the followig religion/church. I would like to waymark churches from "The Christian Community (German: Die Christengemeinschaft)"

 

"The Christian community is represented in 32 countries and has about 35,000 members worldwide.

 

[cut]

 

Would this community fit in a "Independent (non-denominational) Christian churches" category?

 

 

Well, I'm not familiar at all with this group. But, this appears to be an organized group with a headquarters and central administration, at leas similar to what we call "denominations," and not truly independent.

 

There is probably no logical larger grouping for them, so in that sense an individual category would be called for. Now, it is a small group with a limited pool of potential waymarks and a limited geographical distribution, but this also illustrates my point that if there is a group interested in creating and maintaining a category for this group.

 

Not all categories have to have thousands of potential waymarks and have sites in a hundred countries. While we have long advocated global categories, and still do, I would like to here a reasonable argument against having smaller and more limited categories.

 

Independent churches would be those which have no affiliation with a larger administrative group. Each individual church is independent for its theology, government and administration. Even this definition is problematic because there are networks of independent churches that may share some oversight or cooperative associations. And this is an ever shifting ground as new churches and groups arise, join, split, and proliferate or fade away. But, we need not delve into that too much for our purposes.

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For now I think I am pretty much in line with a great part of the things written by Silverquill but also a lot of things stated by lumbricus. I think the right way might be NO cacht all category and if we find a small group of religious buildings worth Waymarking that can't be a category on their own a category with a broarder criteria could be tested in forum and peer review.

 

I think this is a relevant issue and it needs a ongoing debate. I would love to see an outstanding example of a religious building that don't fit in existing categories but still is something we all would love to visit.

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Yes, after reading SQ's eloquent response, we are in agreement that a catch-all church category might not be the best approach.

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Here is interesting example:

 

If stumbled over the church this weekend: Alt-Katholische Kirche (Old Catholic Church) -> totally new for me.

 

18cf956c-f5d2-48ce-9356-cfcd9f28e645.jpg?rnd=0.06092018

 

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Infos about this Catholic church, but they are not ROMAN Catholic.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Catholic_Church

 

Union of Utrecht (Old Catholic)

 

"There is a federation for Old Catholic Churches, not in communion with Rome, that seceded from the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of Papal infallibility. The Declaration of Utrecht solidified this movement in 1889. The Union of Utrecht is in full communion with the Anglican Communion, in accordance with the Bonn Agreement of 1931, and with the Philippine Independent Church." Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_Utrecht_%28Old_Catholic%29

 

All the best,

-lumbricus

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"These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See of Rome, but their Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches is in full communion with the Anglican Communion and a member of the World Council of Churches." Wikipedia

 

Does this mean that the church could go in the Anglican Church category? I'm not sure.

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This denomination is very common in my home area. I have posted a couple of them to This Old Church. And I did ask the officers of the Anglican Church category; they don't accept them.

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We found another Catholic splinter group church and Academy in St Mary's KS -- the Society of St Pius X does not recognize the reforms of Vatican II or the authority of the popes after V2. Their church was accepted into Roman Catholic Churches, but I am not sure that the waymarker knew these were "splitters" -- (yes, a "Life of Brian" reference :lol:)

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Umm, so, leave things as they are?

 

After reading of the issues with Christian churches I feel the need to highlight an issue that has been in the back of my mind for sometime. Currently, there is a single, catch-all category for Buddhism. Temples, shrines, and what not are all get piled in together. I can see how this would be suitable for a western country, where the category originated and where Buddhist sites are few and far between, but it is far less so in regions and countries where Buddhism is the dominant belief system. The problem with this is two-fold. Buddhism is a varied belief, with more than a few divisions and sub-divisions. Also, I can attest that the Buddhist countries of south east Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and maybe Vietnam), all have issues with each other. In a decade or two, when Waymarking becomes a hobby in the region, there will be a few comments made by locals about the suitability of mixing these varied Buddhist faiths of each of these different countries together. At this future time a splitting of the Buddhist category into sub-divisions will be something that Waymarking.com will need to look at.

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The architecture of this example would probably allow it in other categories eg. odd-shaped buildings and maybe the octagon shapes qualifies too. As a church, being rejectet in the Anglican Church category I can't see where else it could go. Beautiful example by the way.

 

@Tanatlarge... I totally agree with you, christian churches is not the only religious buildings with lots of divisions. It would be interesting to hear statements from waymarkers familiar with and living in areas where a religion other than christianity is the dominant one. Todays religious buildings reflects without a doubt the view seen from people in christian countries.

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Wiki: "In 1988, it was reported that there were less than a half million Old Catholic adherents worldwide." - is there a statistic foundation that supports a "minor catholic denominations" division?

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Seems like other organizations outside of Waymarking might have the same issues and perhaps some solutions.

 

For example, I remember that, as a church pianist, once a year I had to fill out and return the Christian Copyright License, marking the closest "denomination" or group that represented our church. There was, oh, about 30 or so categories, if I remember right. That's just for the Christian faith. I would guess there may be something like that for other things.

 

If such lists could be gathered and compiled (perhaps too big an IF?), maybe they could be the standard by which categories are created.

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There's a joke about an old man who, when asked for directions to some place, thought for a while then replied "Well, I wouldn't start from here".

 

If we were able to wind Waymarking back, I'm sure we could come up with a much more rational breakdown of categories for churches and religious buildings in general. But we are starting from where we are, and to be honest I don't know the best way forward at all. My heart sinks when I see a new category for a particular sub-sub denomination up for peer review. I don't feel I can decline them because there is plenty of precedent, but IMO we've got ourselves into a bit of a muddle as things stand.

 

Not a very helpful post, I'm afraid. But I wouldn't start from here.

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You hit the nail on the head. But we have the situation as it is, so for the moment I do not see a good final solution.

 

If a group is interested enough to create and maintain a category, then they can try. This has worked in the past and this is going to work for some time. Silverquill's insightful comments just missed one fact: denominational categories are loosing support in Peer Review. The next few - I would say two or three - probably make it, but then it is over.

 

Maybe we should start finding a solution for later. I know a lot of great religious buildings that do not fit any category and never will when we continue following that road. I think that's a pity! I would really welcome a *sensible* solution, but I cannot offer any, currenty. But we have some time left to think about it and this is not the worst thing.

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If we were able to wind Waymarking back, I'm sure we could come up with a much more rational breakdown of categories for churches and religious buildings in general.

 

Ah, yes, all too true. I think this is true of many broad groups of categories. Veterans memorials come to mind, as well as public art.

 

But, even if I were to start from scratch, I'm not sure I would know what to do. I suppose I contributed to the problem since I created the first several denomination specific categories. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Yet, broader divisions would have their own problems, too. One way to handle large categories, though, is to make use of variables. So, one might have a category for Protestant Churches, with a variable field for denomination. But, I don't see a way to roll this back either.

 

As to the non-Roman Catholic churches, could these fit logically into a category of their own?

 

Well, fi67 may be correct about the trend in peer review. But, I think this is another illustration of why we shouldn't vote based on our personal preferences. If a group of people want to create and manage a category for another denomination, then do we have the right to deny them just because we don't like churches, or because we think we have too many church categories?

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[...]

But, I think this is another illustration of why we shouldn't vote based on our personal preferences. If a group of people want to create and manage a category for another denomination, then do we have the right to deny them just because we don't like churches, or because we think we have too many church categories?

All votes are always based on personal preferences. When I think: "I personally don't enjoy this category, but many people would and it's well written." and vote Yea, then this is a personal preference, isn't it? :laughing:

 

Just to keep my right to not like chain stores, I would defend anyone's right to not like churches or anything else.

 

Yes, we have the right to vote against something when we think it's not going into the right direction of improving the quality of the whole. No matter what it is! The right to vote does always include the right to vote Yea or Nay, anything else is a complete farce. The four criteria are a good guideline and most of us do acknowledge them, but they are not and cannot be the only justification for the personal decision.

 

Even more: to think there are more than enough small sub-categories of a certain type and there must be another better way, is a very rational and tolerable motivation for opposition.

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