Unusual Mosaic Art Designed to Enhance Worship

Post a Comment » Written on December 26th, 2007     
Filed under: News
VALLEY SPRINGS, CA (December 26, 2007) – The Star of Bethlehem mosaic recently unveiled and displayed in the sanctuary of Good Samaritan Community Covenant Church is just the beginning of a year-long project the church hopes will enhance its worship.

The 30-by-30-inch mosaic is the first of 12 that God’s Works in Progress, a new arts guild at the church, plans to complete over the coming year. In unveiling the mosaic this month, the group’s vice president Melissa Brackett told the congregation, “When we have all 12 mosaics up, we envision you walking or sitting in this place and being able to reflect on Jesus’ life from the beginning to the end and ponder what this means to you.”

The guild has been adding color and new opportunities for worship since it was formed in the spring. Projects have included a Christmas tree decorated entirely with handmade ornaments reflecting the denomination’s Swedish heritage and a continuous art show that includes rotating works created by artists in the congregation, says guild member Mary Jean Anderson.

The mosaic actually is the third the guild has created. The first two were of the Evangelical Covenant Church logo and Good Samaritan’s logo. They were unveiled at the dedication of the church’s new sanctuary in August.

Members are committed to creating fine art, they say. The choice of which tiles to use in the mosaics, all of which are designed by the guild, is indicative of the artists’ attention to detail. The tiles were manufactured in Zippori, Israel, and chosen because they came from the Holy Land. In addition, the group used colors that were typical of ancient mosaics.

At the dedication of the Bethlehem mosaic, Margie Alleman told the congregation, “There are tiles that are smooth and some with a few lumps and bumps. There are tiles that are broken and tiles that need breaking to fit into the picture. That is kind of like us here.”

In addition to producing works of art, the guild also has created a doorway for people to enter or re-enter the church, says Anderson. People are able to share the gifts and develop relationships in a new way, she explains.

Roughly 25 people of all ages, including some children, participate in the guild on a regular basis. Talents include painting, music, woodworking, ceramics and flower arranging. The six-year-old son of guild president Nanette Heckler even helped solder the Bethlehem mosaic. “Everyone has a gift to share!” Anderson adds.

The group has a business meeting before worship one Sunday a month. They gather to work on projects from 9 a.m. to noon two Wednesdays a month and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. two Mondays a month.

The church has recognized the importance of the guild’s work, Anderson says. She notes that members used their own money when the group began, but now have been included as part of the church’s new budget.

Members says they are grateful to be in a church that is encouraging creative ministry. “God is teaching us all kinds of things, and one thing he is teaching us to use is our creativity for his glory, while also expanding ourselves to think outside the box,” Heckler said at the Bethlehem dedication. “ ‘What box?’ is becoming our motto.”

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