PITTSTON — Jan Lokuta holds a fascination of all things churches, particularly their history. But, an upcoming tour will focus on the architectural side of the spiritual buildings.
For the second year in a row, the Dupont native will conduct a tour of Pittston churches for people to enjoy the creativity behind their structures.
Lokuta holds an annual church tour throughout the Wyoming Valley in which he discusses the churches’ history, but with this tour he said he won’t be saying much.
“I’m not going to do a lot of talking,” he said. “The idea, as opposed to the annual tour of historic churches, is to let artists and photographers, both amateur and professional, experience these churches first-hand and then express what they feel in the medium that they choose.”
The four churches in Pittston to be visited are St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran on Wood Street, Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish on North Main Street, Second Presbyterian Church on Parsonage Street and Italian Christian Church on East Oak Street.
During the visit, participants can then take time to photograph, draw or paint the church’s structure.
“This fits in with the emphasis on art and on history that has been the centerpiece of the rebirth of Pittston,” Lokuta said.
The tour is restricted to only 20 participants and interested people may sign up by calling Lokuta at 570-296-6471 or 570-296-2181. They can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tour will be Sunday, May 20 and participants will convene at 8:30 a.m. at the Pittston Memorial Library, 47 Broad St.
Lokuta anticipates the tour to last at least five hours, and participants will drive to the churches.
“These are too spread out,” he said. “There’s probably a good two miles from Our Lady of the Eucharist to the Italian Christian Church. We’re going to car pool because some of the streets, particularly East Oak Street and Wood Street, are incredibly narrow. So, we’re going to car pool and take as few cars as possible.”
Because this tour fits in the with the identity of Pittston being a city of art and churches, Lokuta feels satisfaction in bringing the two together.
More importantly, he feels he’s helping to better acquaint people with the overall value of Pittston’s churches.
“I feel a lot of satisfaction that I’m helping to open the doors of these churches to people who would not otherwise have occasion to go there,” he said. “I like to highlight the congregations and the things these congregations have done for decades, and I want people in general to start to think about the broad and deep culture in and around Pittston which is the result of multiple layers of immigration.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher