"Beloved Spaces": Needham rector connects congregation with church building through new video series

The Tuesday before Pentecost found the Rev. Nicholas Morris-Kliment in the memorial garden at Christ Church in Needham, where he is the rector, vested in red and, with red coffee cup in hand, sharing a word about the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The Rev. Nicholas Morris-Kliment Screenshot from video The Rev. Nicholas Morris-Kliment

A week later, he’s on the church’s Rosemary Street patio, wearing Ordinary Time green, and talking about action steps toward racial justice during these extraordinary times.

Last Tuesday found him in front of Christ Church’s “Wedding at Cana” window—one that parishioners may not have gotten a good look at before, he quips, given than no one likes to sit in the front pew. It’s a good spot from which to reflect on the power of sharing a meal together in Jesus’ name.

These are the first in a new series of weekly videos that Morris-Kliment is calling “Beloved Spaces” and that he's producing as a way to bridge the pandemic-created physical divide between church place and church people. Each is a short “video visit from a beloved space in our church, on topics that touch on holy places, both concrete and metaphorical, in our lives,” he wrote in a message to the congregation launching the series.

One of the best things about the project, he said by e-mail, has been “hearing from older parishioners especially, for whom our ‘beloved spaces’ have long and rich associations.”

And while Christ’s body is people and not buildings, he noted, “it is also true that attachments to place are part of what makes us human.”

There is invitation and instruction in the mix, and a little bit of humor, too. 

“Personally, it has been fun to engage more fully in social media. I have never made YouTube videos before and I’ve enjoyed indulging my closet ham,” he said. “More seriously, I love the challenge of making and sharing the timely and actionable connections I see among sacred spaces in our buildings and sacred places in our lives as followers of Jesus in the wider world. It is another small way to be the Pentecost church that Bishop Gates preached about on Pentecost.”

--Tracy J. Sukraw