Ashlyn Reynolds   |   March 21, 2018
A photograph from Resident Ashlyn Reynolds's Sanctuaries seriesA photograph from Resident Ashlyn Reynolds's Sanctuaries series

I spent my thesis year at Indiana University, a year prior to NBA XPLOR, photographing churches. My work was revolving around Christianity, my faith, and sanctuary. The title of my thesis was Sanctuaries. I focused on sanctuary in terms of feeling and function rather than tradition and piety. As I photograph the different rooms, cracks, and objects in churches I find beauty and baggage in the history.  On one hand my church has always been a safe place for me, on the other I have also had to wrestle with the fact that the church is not always a safe place for everyone.

Even though I have graduated, and my thesis show has ended, XPLOR has given me the opportunity to continue asking what my faith means to me. XPLOR has challenged me to think about my faith in terms of action and responsibility.

Ashlyn Reynolds is a 2017-18 NBA XPLOR Resident in St. Louis, MO. She serves at Union Avenue Christian Church and Prison Performing Arts.

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NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a "heart for care" as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more and apply at nbacares.org/xplor.

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