How can a church make a positive Christian statement to its neighbors when it is closed? How can a congregation tell the community that it is alive and well and doing God’s work even as much of our lives seem to be on hold?
What began here at St. John’s a few weeks ago as a heartfelt, spontaneous response to the widespread and politically motivated rioting and disrespect across the country and close to home, then stalled as it became an internal and somewhat misunderstood issue of “art versus graffiti,” has found new legs and resurfaced as a bold statement of mission and Christian social justice through a collaboration of ambitious and caring members of the SJEC congregation.
Originally conceived as an outdoor wall mural, the idea surfaced too late to allow adequate planning, acceptance and execution before cold weather sets in. But out of the dialogue around the project came the idea for a different kind of outdoor statement, one that can be completed quickly, modified or changed at will, and geared to make a unique impression on everyone who sees it.
I don’t know if it has an official name, so I’m just calling it “words-on-a-fence.” The plan is to obtain materials made for the purpose of attaching large letters, and forming a word or words on the chain link fence surrounding our community garden, visible to motorists and their passengers travelling on Roosevelt road and Cooper Avenue past our church. Most visible would be the north side, facing Roosevelt.
A committee has met on multiple occasions, selected a short list of desired words and phrases and is now obtaining the necessary materials. By displaying a word or short phrase at a time, viewers will be engaged to think about what that word means for them in today’s overheated, overstressed, over-divisive world. Words you are likely to see include share, hope, shine, love, peace and grace. What are your thoughts when you read each of those words?
There are a couple more words that folks may or may not see on our fence but are just as biblical and Christian – truth and justice. And a third that really indicates how we make it all happen – vote. What thoughts do you conjure about these words? Plan now and make it happen!
My COVID Status
Today (Thursday, Sept. 24) is the last official day of my isolation. Most symptoms – mild cough, chills, headache) have abated. I have not had a fever, breathing difficulty or digestive system issue at all. I am still experiencing fatigue and exhaustion, and in the last couple days my sense of smell has almost vanished and my sense of taste is completely gone. In the cosmic scheme of things, these are minor annoyances, but while I should be in the home stretch, I still fear that it could get worse. It’s a very scary thing. I let my guard down for a moment and that’s all it took.
Stay Safe and Have a Blessed Week!