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The Churches of Antarctica and the Moon

In an article in Vice, Brian Merchant argues that the first structure that humans will probably build on the Moon after they have completed building a base there will be a church. Indeed, Christian missionaries and clergymen have built churches in the harshest of climates, whether they be the tropical jungles of Africa or the sun-drenched deserts of Australia.

When the Ross Sea Party of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917 landed in Antarctica, among the men was an Anglican priest named Arnold Spencer-Smith. Spencer-Smith set up a small chapel in a dark room in Scott's Hut at Cape Evans. He built an altar with a cross and candlesticks and an aumbry where he reserved the Blessed Sacrament.

Today, there are eight churches in Antarctica. One is an Eastern Orthodox church built of wood in the Russian style. Another is The Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows which is a Catholic church located in a cave in the ice. It is the most southern place of worship of any religion in the world.

Churches have been erected in Antarctica since the 1950s. Extended stays in the region can be an extremely stressful experience for the researchers who often stay separated from their families for months at a time, which is one of the reasons why churches exist in this remote continent.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Living anywhere in the world (or space) is a stressful experience for believers. We need the church to give support, care, connectivity to others, and to center ourselves in worship of Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth.

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