Unlike other parts of the US and Europe, in the Midwest, the steeples of the surrounding churches are not the dominant markers of the landscape. The grain elevators and silos far surpass the height of even the most ambitious chapel. But what these local churches lack in the hierarchy of height, they make up for with a kind of bold simplicity and frank determination. Wind-swept and storm-battered, the verticality of the church buildings is defiant, taking on the rain and wind and marking a place of gathering. Though the Midwestern houses may seem to hunker down below spreading roofs, the churches make a claim for community, tethering a point on the ground to changeable cloudy skies above.